deborah sussman start to research

designer lecture poster // create a hypothetical lecture poster for a designer specifically chosen by marty maxwell lane. and now to figure out the connection…

deborah sussman has established herself as a prominent figure in environmental graphics. she spent ten years under the mastery of charles and ray eames. the views of these mentors i believe really had an impact on her way of thinking about design.

“Charles and Ray and I became friends. They were also parental figures to me. We all worked pretty much 24/7. We were family.” – deborah, women of design

and this husband and wife partnership is also seen in her own firm sussman/prejza, which combines the graphic talents of deborah with the architectural talents of her husband paul. most of the projects this team takes on have multiple components of wayfinding and branding.  one of the most elaborate projects is the 1984 los angeles olympics. other significant works are the signage for disney, duke energy center in cincinnati, and branding of the cleveland cavaliers.

after observing her work i have noticed she incorporates a variety of shapes to play off contrasting colors, and to emphasize shadows. with her super graphics she believes that they should be larger than the architecture and not be shrunk down to fit into a space, to let them be cut off and seem larger than life. the enhancement to the architecture is bold and can definitely stand on its own. she tends to use common colors, such as a royal blue, deep red, and golden yellow in a couple of her way finding signage for cities and attractions.

“She has a keen eye for both client and community needs, creating work that is imaginative, spare, and crystal clear.” -justcreative.com

her way of bringing graphic design into the three dimensional realm for over the past forty years has given her a reputation as a expert on connecting the built environment with the communities.

when photographing vanderslice here at kcai, i thought about how deborah incorporates layers of different planes and play with angles to create compositions and to make dramatic shadows. and also on the unusual and unexpected, which i feel her concepts encompass. here are a couple photos to start my exploration into the mind of deborah sussman //

and let the research continue…

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