Ben Barnhart

Ben Barnhart

June 8, 2021
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June 8, 2021
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The field of graphic design has never looked better. Every day, artists worldwide are all bringing something new and unique to the table, enriching our collective design conscience with their work.

Many legendary designers have made a lasting contribution to this industry. Sir Jonathan Ive, Rob Janoff (the Apple logo creator), and Massimo Vignelli (creator of NY Subway signage) are just some of them.

Much of their art is often confined to offline spaces that aren’t as instantly visible to us. If you’re looking for a micro-analysis of such classic graphic design pieces, you can check out our blog post on the best graphic design books to get for them.

Are you:

  • Looking for something more contemporary, like famous graphic designers blessing your daily feed with their fantastic art and inspirations?
  • A fellow designer looking to get inspired by the work of a famous designer?
  • A graphic design admirer looking forward to seeing different ways how visual communication is expressed?

If so, you are in the right place! In this article, we will look at eleven famous graphic designers and artists from all over the world. We will also explore different examples in the graphic design industry using a different style of design.

We will share a bit about their bio, their collaborations with other artists. We will also give some insights into which clients they have worked with and explore their style of design in more detail.

From contemporary designers to typography designers, there is something for everyone, no matter which style of design you prefer. Without further ado, let’s dive right in! Here are some of the best graphic designers that you should follow right now.

Neil Secretario

San Francisco. SF. The City by Neil Secretario

If you’re the type to get sucked into the deep end with your typography, then Neil Secretario is the right graphic designer to explore.

He is a left-handed lettering artist and graphic designer. Neil has created art for clients all over the world. He has drawn logos, custom letters, and type for Sony Pictures, YouTube Red, Conde Nast, GQ Germany, Intercom, Lionsgate, Mikimoto, Penguin Random House, and Schweppes Europe.

In this graphic example, we see the words San Francisco and California on a white background. For both words, this famous graphic designer has chosen a light brown color. However, he has decided to shift the focus to “San Francisco.”

That is why he has used bold letters and bigger font size. The word “California” is not written in bold and has a faded color filling.

With this specific work, the Atlanta-based freelance designer has once again shown the playful part of his style of typography. The letters themselves seem like they are surfing. They give you a feeling of San Francisco even though you only see the name of the city and nothing else.

With a profile that’s bursting with a sophisticated and elegant type, you’re sure to find some typographical inspiration by following his Instagram profile.

Mike Perry

Graphic Design by Mike Perry

Here’s a feed that is an absolute explosion of color infused with psychedelic animation that will leave a lasting impression. You might recognize Perry’s graphic style from the title card animation of the popular Comedy Central sitcom “Broad City.”

Perry is known for his generous use of colors. You can see every single color combination in his amazing designs. Colors, and especially bold and bright colors, are the way Perry expresses himself in his works.

In this particular graphic design, we can see how he has “transformed” the Sun into a human form walking through nature and smiling.

The colors used in this piece work well together. In the background, we can see the green leaves contrasting with the yellow-orange sun in the middle ground. This color play has been done on purpose to bring all the attention to the main character.

“Good morning. Today is another day. I love you. Be well. Stay safe.”- is written in the description of this Instagram post, which was published during the pandemic.

With this graphic design, Perry has joined his design community to transmit positive energy into the world and give hope to people during tough times.

With his hands in everything from animations to sculptures, graphic novels, books, to public art installations opening up the avenues for his many international exhibitions, this is one to keep tabs on for the coming future.

Lauren Hom

Courtesy of Lauren Hom

Lauren Hom is a Detroit-based designer and hand lettering artist. She first started hand lettering as a hobby and then leveraged it into a thriving freelance business.

Hom is the author of “Daily Dishonesty” and the creator behind some amazingly quirky and colorful typography that fits right into your Instagram feed any day. Among some of her clients are TIME Magazine, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Microsoft, YouTube, MailChimp, and Starbucks.

All of these brands have had the pleasure to work with this fantastic typography designer and artist, using her typographical wisdom in some of their campaigns.

As you can see in the graphic design example chosen from her works, she loves to combine different fonts and colors. If you want to know more about how typography artists can help you shape your brand or corporate identity, Homs is the person to follow.

Another reason why you have to follow this talented graphic designer is the fact that she always shares free resources on her blog and is happy to also share what she has learned through her online courses.

If you are wondering what tools she uses to create these mesmerizing graphics and how she grows her business as a freelance artist, you can take a look at her website.

As a freelance designer, she also likes to speak directly with her aspiring audience through her IGTV’s, giving mentorship-themed bytes on getting started in this field and her experience in the industry.

Her motto is “Work hard, snack often.” In 2023 she plans to expand her creative skillset and explore how culinary arts and graphic arts intersect with one another.

Pavlov Visuals

Courtesy of Pavlov Visuals

We at Vectornator, as a vector-based software, consider Pavlov Visuals as one of the best graphic designers out there. Behind the art name, Pavlov Visuals is the artist Ryan Dean Sprague.

Pavlov Visuals was started by Ryan and his brother, who are both musicians. The need to have a strong branding and top-notch design for their music pushed this duo to start learning how to design.

Ryan is much more than an album cover designer. Pavlov Visuals’ work ranges from creating icons to logos and packaging designs. Their modern works with vector graphics range from sophisticated typography to newspaper front pages and even their unique takes on movie posters.

Nowadays, Pavlov Visuals helps other artists all over the world to build their identities. Among their clients are Sony Music, Rebook, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and Coors.

Like the example we are showing here, you can feel the art deco influence their works. The combination of pastel colors with the bold black to emphasize the panther works very well.

So does the combination of round shapes with straight lines and curves. This combination transmits a feeling of balance and an “organized” mess at the same time.

If you’re seeking sleek and modern vector works, this is the account for you. We’ve got nothing but love for vector designs, and this group of designers is a must-follow.

Sam Larson

UTAH by Sam Larson

This outstanding graphic design artist is based in Utah, which is pretty obvious in most of his designs. Even when he does not spell out the name UTAH in his works, you can clearly see the elements inspired by this special place.

You see the mountains, the sunrise, the plants, and the Utah State University logos, which are also called Utah State Aggies.

Larson is a full-time freelance graphic designer. He uses carefully selected color palettes to create nature-themed designs that pop out from your feed. As mentioned earlier, you can see pretty clearly where his inspirations come from.

His attitude toward design rarely changes. The use of animals in his designs is almost always present. In most of his designs, you will notice a plain and simple background and several small illustrations “placed” in an organized way, making them look like stickers.

In the example we are showing here, we see a unique base color that makes all of his illustrations pop. What we love the most in this particular graphic design work is the use of one-lined drawings.

This graphic design artist takes his inspiration from the American West, pizza, and road trips. So, for that all-American nostalgia-inspired artwork, this is the profile you want to follow.

Velvet Spectrum

Mad Moon by Velvet Spectrum

Velvet Spectrum design studio is based in Portland and is led by the duo Luke Choice and Morgan Reid Choice.

Founder and artist Luke Choice has over 15 years of experience in the creative industry. He is well known for his 3D and typographic design expertise.

This Australian graphic designer is known for his colorful creations that look like they will pop out of the screen at any minute. And that is the aim of this artist. He loves to create dreamlike environments that seem to invite you to a whole new dimension full of happiness and vibrant colors.

Expressive typography is a visual identity for these artists since their graphic design style cannot be mistaken with anyone else.

Their works are unapologetically colorful and cover multiple facets of design, illustration, and typography with that unmistakable unique aesthetic.

The example you see here is a Mad Moon logo design for writer, director, and producer @davidlestermooney. With independent projects and collaborations with the likes of Nike, this is your go-to destination for a blend of color and quirk.

Dschwen

Todd by David Schwen

A feed that combines mesmerizing animation with everyday photography and the occasional humorous take.

Dschwen is a design studio that has partnered with brands and agencies all over the world. Their designs are not only great but also funny to look at. Want to make your day or evening? Just take a look at their website filled with beautiful gifs and visuals or scroll through their Instagram feed.

The only bad thing about their Instagram feed is that it leaves you wanting to see more from them and wish for them to post more often on their Instagram profile. The style of design in all of their work is playful and vibrant. They often use adorable characters such as Pikachu and Minions.

The design example by David is yet another of his amazing designs that make you smile and motivate you to exercise and have fun while doing it.

David Schwen’s studio has gathered designers who regularly put out fun-infused designs that aren’t afraid to experiment with bold colors and are sure to put a smile on your face.  Click to view it with audio!

Stefan Sagmeister

Courtesy of Stefan Sagmeister

No list is complete without mentioning the powerhouse duo behind Sagmeister & Walsh. Stefan has carefully curated his Instagram page to reflect the diverse works of artists around the world.

This Austrian graphic designer is based in New York City. There he founded his company Sagmeister Inc. in 1993.

The aim of the company was to create designs for the music industry. So far, Stefan has designed album covers for well-known bands and musicians such as OK Go, The Rolling Stones, Jay Z, Aerosmith, Talking Heads, and Brian Eno.

He’s also authored “Things I have learned in my life so far” and “Beauty Book”, two books on graphic design you should have in your graphic design reading list!

From 2011 until 2019, Stefan partnered with Jessica Walsh under the name Sagmeister & Walsh Inc., designing for famous clients.

According to Walsh, the duo split in 2019 because Sagmeister started to focus more on non-commercial work.

This prompted Walsh to found her own company &Walsh. Currently, Stefan creates non-commercial work for his company Sagmeister Inc. while Jessica creates branding & advertising work at her company &Walsh.

In contrast to his partner’s work, Sagmeister’s feed is notably minimal and explores more neutral colors in the designs.

He has an iconic style that leaves a strong impression on the viewers. He always likes to think outside of the box, and we can see it in every single piece of work he has created so far.

Jessica Walsh

Graphic Design by Jessica Walsh

The other half of Sagmeister & Walsh, Jessica is arguably one of the most recognized names in the design industry today. With Stefan Sagmeister moving on from commercial work, she’s now taken full charge of her creative agency and (in a bold move) rebranded to &Walsh.

This American contemporary graphic designer, art director, and illustrator is an inspiration to many. She is also an educator since she has taught at the School of Visual Arts (SVA).

The example we have taken from her portfolio was published in March 2020, right after the pandemic broke out.

The message “Disinfect me baby one more time” attached to the bottle encourages continuous sanitization of hands and surfaces. It also channels Britney Spears’ song title “...One more time” combined with pop art.

This famous graphic designer’s portfolio is a treasure chest of works previous and current, with frequent updates to look forward to. Having worked with A-listers like Jay-Z and Levi’s, her works are heavily inspired by the retro, vibrant stylings of the 1950s.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for inspiration for a book cover design, poster design, album cover, or book jacket. Jessica Welsh always delivers with her modern design skills.

Lotta Nieminen

Book cover by Lotta Nieminen

Lotta Nieminen is a contemporary graphic designer, illustrator, and art director. Originally from Finland, Lotta founded her own studio in 2012 in New York.

Lotta Nieminen Studio creates visual solutions for clients across various disciplines. The studio also works as a creative partner, helping their clients with branding and bringing their unique visual identities to life.

Lotta has been nominated for Forbes 30 Under 30 list and several other awards, including the Art Directors Club Young Guns award and Print magazine’s New Visual Artist. In almost all of her works, you can feel her Nordic roots influence. However, in her designs, she likes to play around with bright colors.

In this example, we can see how she plays around with different colors for this Cook in a Book cover. This award-winning graphic designer has also illustrated interactive recipe books for children. So far, she has illustrated a series of four Cook in a Book.

The background you see in this example shown here is also taken from one of the inside pages illustrated by her.

Leta Sobierajski

Exhibition by Leta Sobierajski

New York-based artist Leta Sobierajski is known for her unique and quirky designs. She combines traditional graphic design elements with styling, art, and photography, as we see on this example.

The combination of bold, bright colors with fashion and the bold yellow background is eye-catching and draws you in. Even though there are many colors used in this example, all the colors work well with one another.

The contrast between black and white parts and the bold colors is powerful. You will see these kinds of combinations on almost all the art pieces by this artist.

The image we have taken as an example is from their 2020 Tokio exhibition at Calm and Punk Gallery.

They have accompanied it with this description: “Music to your eyes is picking up the rainbow and playing it like a piano and dancing from dawn until dusk to the sound of your own heartbeat.”

In October 2016, Leta founded a design studio together with her husband and collaborator, Wade Jeffree. Their projects range from art direction to installations. Their provocative designs are very different from all the other artists we have mentioned above.

Just take a look at her website or Instagram feed, and we assure you that you will have a hard time taking your eyes off those amazing designs.

Among the clients Leta has worked with are Adobe, Bloomberg, Google, Gucci, IBM, The New York Times, Renault, and Tate Modern.

Like Lotta Nieminen, Leta has also been recognized as an Art Directors Club Young Guns 15 recipient, among other awards.

If you are looking to break the monotony of your Instagram feed to engage with content outside of your social media bubble, then these 11 design profiles are sure to help with new ideas and inspiration on a daily basis.

Additionally, you will have a lot of design tips to learn by following their work and design process. We are sure their work and life will be a true inspiration for becoming one of the top graphics designers one day!

Do you have any other ones that you follow? Make sure to let us know on our social media.

You want one day to become a famous graphic designer yourself? Then definitely check out these graphic design courses.

Cover Image by Aïshti's Under the Sea Campaign by Jessica Walsh & Stefan Sagmeister, edited in Vectornator.

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