Paula, how about telling us what or who has inspired you over the years?
Paula Scher: Sure. At first, when I was in art school in the 60s I rebelled against the Swiss International style (Helvetica in the grid). I responded to historical typography, and was inspired by Pushpin Studios, Victor Moscoso, sometimes Herb Lubalin and others who applied an eclectic typog?raphy in their work.
In the mid to late 70s I began experimenting with early 20th-century Modernism: Russian Constructivism (El Lissitzky and Rodchenko), the Bauhaus (Herbert Bayer, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy), De Stijl (Mondrian, Piet Zwart), 30s poster art (Cassandre), Futurism (Depero, Martinelli) and mid-century Modernists (Sutnar, Tschichold, Herbert Matter). By the late 70s I began to dislike Herb Lubalin and typefaces designed by ITC, in favor of American wood types and more classical fonts. By the end of the 90s I began liking the Swiss International Style and admired Helvetica, though I still seldom use it.
My continuing heroes are my husband Seymour Chwast and my partners at Pentagram ... They inspire
me every day.
In your opinion what were the most important developments in design and society over the span of your career?
Paula Scher: The internet changed everything. Before the internet, style came in 7- to 10-year cycles. Now all styles exist at once. Look at the difference in car design between 1930 and 1950 and you see a tremendous shift. The difference between 1994 and now isn’t very big at all. It’s mostly comfort features like climate control or iPod connections. The style of the bodies is pretty much the same. The same is true in architecture, in clothing and in hairdos. Not much change. Everyone listens to all kinds of music at once. My team listens to the music on my iPod. I can’t imagine listening to my parents’ music when I was their age.