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Graphic Design USA Magazine

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illustration

Guest Post by Image Source
By John O’Reilly

Couple holding hands and entering flowering garden
Container Plus / Ikon Images / IS09AJ8MM

The surge in popularity in illustration began in the mid 1990s, taking people to magical places. Here we explore some of the benchmark moments and look at the most popular ways illustration is used for effective communication.

It’s the month that Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts’ epic Fifty Years of Illustration gets published by Lawrence King, a book filled with illustration classics such as Klaus Voormann’s Revolver cover to Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster. But if we telescoped down to 15 years and some thumbnail sketches of drivers and moments here are five ideas as to why illustration has got so popular since the late 90s.

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2013 was a pretty good year for Timothy Goodman. We hate to pat ourselves on the back but we sort of told you so. Last January, GDUSA selected Goodman as a Person to Watch. This past summer, while he was busy dating Jessica Walsh and documenting every moment of their courtship, he somehow fit in the design of a 60-foot  installation at Airbnb’s San Francisco offices.

ABNB0

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Every morning as I walk my children to school I take a peek at the wonderful window display at One Girl Cookies. I love everything about this bakery down to the aqua hued walls, patterned wallpaper, cut crystal globe lights and vintage details which are all perfectly suited to my Brooklyn neighborhood. Blown up vintage family photos and a hand painted family tree adorn the walls of this carefully-curated shop.

As a designer, it is so wonderful to see so much care put into the overall look of the bakery down to the sepia-toned letterpress business cards. And let’s not forget the cookies, cupcakes and their signature whoopie pies-simply divine. What makes this bakery the most inviting are the owners, Dawn Casale and Dave Crofton. From the moment, they opened their bakery down the block from my house their warm smiles have made One Girl Cookies a neighborhood favorite.

You may ask where I am going with this story (my husband asks that a lot) but I will get to my point in a moment. One day, as I passed by the shop I noticed their Thanksgiving pie display and in particular a whimsical sign sitting beside the pies. I had never seen signage like this at the store so I decided to inquire who had done it. It turns out it was the handy work of  Felix van Dam & Winneke de Groot, two graphic designers from Holland, living in Brooklyn for a while.

dave

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fannyfolds

I still have a full collection of Dover clip art books stacked up in my office. Of course the whole collection is now available digitally, but I would not change one moment of the many days I spent (and still spend) poring over these wonderful books. If you are anything like me, you can imagine my excitement when I found these Pioneer-Moss ads from 1970 in the GDUSA archives.

pioneer1

pioneer2

 

I hope this wonderfully random grouping puts a smile on your face and if you have any more information about the images or Pioneer-Moss I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

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