What is branding? Is it your company’s logo, tagline, marketing strategies, or all of these at one go? In simple words, branding is the process of creating your brand’s perception in the eyes of the world. Branding design typically refers to the key visual elements such as the logo design, color palette, typography, and other illustrative components that make a business stand out from its competitors. While brand design can at times feel like an all new industry, it’s not really so. This industry has been changing and evolving for centuries at the hand of countless professional brand designers.
Every day, thousands of designers around the world are bringing new and innovative ideas to life, enriching our design conscience with their creations. Many celebrated designers like Ruth Kedar, Carolyn Davidson, Paul Rand, and others have already made eternal contributions to this industry. In order to celebrate the rich and undaunted spirit of today’s brand artists, we’ve compiled a list of ten famous designers with their creative work that have made a mark in the design industry.
A Southern California based designer, illustrator, and hand lettering artist, Lauren Hom is known for her expertise at hand-drawn doodles and typography, and a unique sense of design that’s neat yet quirky. She is the creator of “Daily Dishonesty” and the architect behind some amazingly colorful and eccentric typography that are quite popular. Some of her eminent clients include Google, Facebook, TIME Magazine, Microsoft, Airbnb, Starbucks, YouTube, and MailChimp. All of these brands have used her typographical skills in some of their branding campaigns.
As seen in one of her works (picture above), she loves playing around with different fonts and colors. Whether you’re an aspiring brand designer in need of some inspiration or looking for someone to help you shape your brand’s identity, Homs is the perfect person to follow on Instagram.
Another good reason to follow this talented designer is that she often shares free resources on her blog and also narrates her learning journey through online courses. For those who are wondering what tools she uses to create her masterpieces and how she has gained popularity as a freelance brand designer, take a look at her website. She frequently connects with her audience through her IGTV’s, sharing tips and tricks on how to get started in this field and her own experience in the industry. She looks forward to expanding her creative skillset in 2023 and seeing how graphic and culinary arts meet one another.
Her motto is rightly “Work hard, snack often.”
An outstanding graphic designer based in Kansas City, his works clearly include elements inspired by his native place. You can notice the sunrise, the mountains, the greenery, and the Utah State University logos, which are often referred to as the Utah State Aggies.
A full-time freelance graphic and brand designer, Larson uses thoughtfully selected colors and patterns to create nature-inspired designs that look incredibly real. The use of birds and animals in his designs cannot be missed. Most of his creations feature a simple background and multiple small illustrations neatly organized and color coordinated, making them look like stickers. In one of his works (as seen above), we notice a unique base color that highlights all of his illustrations. Perhaps the most notable feature of this particular creation is the use of one-lined diagrams.
This brand design artist takes inspiration from the American West, road trips, and pizza. If you’re looking for some American nostalgia-inspired creations, make it a point to follow Larson’s Instagram profile.
Velvet Spectrum is a famous design studio based in Portland and run by the duo Luke Choice and Morgan Reid Choice. Its founder and artist Luke Choice holds more than 15 years of experience in the design industry, and is quite popular for his 3D and typographic design expertise. He uses an incredible combination of colors that make his designs look like they’ll pop out of the screen. He has a knack for creating dreamlike visuals that seem to take you to a whole new world of happiness, positivity, and vibrant colors. Most of his works are unapologetically colorful and are an apt example of expressive typography, both of which make his graphic design style unlike any other. The picture above is a Mad Moon logo design for director, writer, and producer @davidlestermooney. With big independent projects and collaborations with business stalwarts like Nike, Velvet Spectrum is your go-to brand design agency for a perfect blend of color and texture.
No designer list is complete without including the name of the dynamic duo behind Sagmeister & Walsh. An Austrian graphic designer based in New York City, Stefan boasts an impressive client list, ranging from HBO and The Rolling Stones to the Guggenheim. He founded his company Sagmeister Inc. in 1993, with an aim to create designs for the music industry. His creations are often a blend of humor, sexuality, the unconventional, and meticulous details to create unapologetically modern designs that inspire and reinvent the design industry. Till date, he has created album covers for various well-known bands and musicians like Jay Z, OK Go, The Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, Aerosmith, and Brian Eno. His Instagram page has been carefully designed to showcase the various works of artists across the planet.
He’s also authored two books on graphic design, “Things I have learned in my life so far” and “Beauty Book”, which are a must read for budding or aspiring designers! From 2011 to 2019, Stefan collaborated with Jessica Walsh under the brand name Sagmeister & Walsh Inc., delivering creative designs for famous clients. In the words of Walsh, the duo separated in 2019 because Stefan started focusing more on non-commercial projects. This drove Walsh to start her own company &Walsh. At present, Stefan works for non-commercial projects under his company Sagmeister Inc. whereas Jessica creates only branding & advertising designs at her company &Walsh. Unlike his partner’s work, Stefan’s feed is remarkably minimal and his designs are replete with neutral shades. His iconic style leaves a strong impression on his audience. He loves to think outside of the box, and it’s evident in every piece of design that he has created so far.
A contemporary graphic designer, illustrator, and art director, Lotta Nieminen launched her own design studio in 2012 in New York. She creates creative visual solutions for clients across various industries, helping them with branding and giving life to their visual identities. Nieminen was also nominated for Forbes 30 Under 30 list and various other awards, including the Print magazine’s New Visual Artist Art and the Directors Club Young Guns award. Almost all of her works show her Nordic roots influence. In this Cook in a Book cover, we can clearly notice how she loves playing around with different bright colors. 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 image background is taken from one of the inside pages designed by her.
One of the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States, Milton is the Master Designer of the ‘I ♥ NY’ logo. Some of his other notable works include logos for Target and JetBlue, poster designs for musician Bob Dylan, and the opening title sequence to Mad Men. Glaser’s color pop, extroverted posters, book covers, magazines, and record sleeves transformed the meaning of American visual culture in the 1960s and ’70s. He welcomed wit, whimsy, illustrative, and creative drawing to commercial art at a time when advertising was heavily influenced by the stern rules of modernism on one hand and the realism of publications like The Saturday Evening Post on the other. In Glaser’s own words, “You want to move the viewer in a perception so that when they first look at the design, they get the idea, because that act between seeing and understanding is critical.”
Leta Sobierajski, a New York-based artist, is famous for her exclusive, quirky designs. Her designs are a perfect balance of art, style, and high-quality photography, as seen in the above example. The unique combination of dark, brilliant colors with the striking yellow background is attractive and engaging. Even though her creations are a blend of multiple colors, all the shades complement one another. The unique contrast between the checkered black and white section and the vibrant colors is easily noticeable. You’ll see these types of combinations on almost all the designs created by this famous artist.
The image shown here is from the 2020 Tokyo exhibition at Calm and Punk Gallery. This image comes with the narrative: “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 2016, Leta, along with her husband and collaborator, Wade Jeffree, launched a design studio. From installations to art direction, their designs cover a wide range of subjects. Their creations are quite provocative and different from all the other artists mentioned above. Just one look at her website and Instagram handle, and it’s a challenge to take your eyes off her amazing visual creations. Some of her eminent clients include Google, Adobe, Bloomberg, Gucci, IBM, Renault, Tate Modern, and The New York Times. Similar to Lotta Nieminen, Leta has also received the Art Directors Club Young Guns 15 award, among many other awards.
Danielle Instagram feed is full of beautiful illustrations in vibrant colors, debunking serious social stereotypes of racial justice, microaggressions, and criminal justice reform, thus making them accessible to a larger audience. Her designs include elements of surprise, energy, and abundance – the ones that disarm and delight, compelling people to change their perspective and strengthen their purpose of making the world a better, more compassionate place. In an interview, Coke describes her work as “I am an illustrator and advocate, using art and words to help good people become better neighbors by making complex issues more digestible and easier to understand.” She also adds, “The impact that it has on other people impacts me as well, because I’ll share it and somebody will say, ‘I’ve been looking for the words to say what you just communicated with this piece.”
Dominic Flask is a Kansas-based illustrator and his works are known for their bold features, striking a perfect balance between retro and punk rock. His designs typically feature bright colors and cool subjects like aliens, spaceships, and castles. He has worked with some of the super brands like Google, Yelp, and Uber. Working under the name “Danger Dom,” he specializes in icon and badge designs, motion graphics, and interactive designs. His love for all things mid-century shows in his vibrant and heavily geometric designs. His talent spans over a range of mediums including print, mobile, identity, interactive, and motion design. When he’s not working as a brand designer, you’ll find him educating aspiring designers at Wichita State University.
Timothy Goodman, a man of multiple talents, is based in New York. Some of his exclusive works can be seen in his well-curated Instagram feed. He made heads turn when he published a book called ’40 Days of Dating’, with his fellow designer Jessica Walsh. He also collaborated with Target and several other projects on the go. His Instagram handle is definitely a hub of creative inspiration!
These were some of our favorite brand designers, some of whom you can follow on social media (particularly Instagram), study their work, seek design inspiration, and start 2022 strong. When it comes to graphic design, your scope is literally infinite. Get inspiration from their design styles, use your creativity, and make a mark for yourself in the industry. Of course, this won’t happen overnight, but in due time you’ll surely achieve success. Remember, slow but steady wins the race.
Head of Design at DesignBro and is responsible for UI/UX Design, managing the global designer community, and ensuring quality levels of both designers and designs remain high.