Paula Scher has been a strong presence in the design field for almost four decades. As Pentagram’s leading lady — she joined the New York office in 1991 — she has shaped the face of clients ranging from Citibank to Perry Ellis and the MoMA. Scher’s work brightens the city with its exuberant imagery, drawn type, and vibrant use of colour that constantly convince viewers that they want to be a part of it.
Throughout her career Scher has maintained an open attitude and ambition to reinvent herself. Some of her best work, like the identity for the New York Public Theatre, was accomplished through ‘serious play’ and is usually the result of encounters with materials she had no previous experience with. The signage projects for several theatres in the 1990s are good examples. To combine type and architecture, Scher ignored the customary panels and simply painted signage onto the walls and floor.
In 2001 Paula Scher received the AIGA medal, the highest honour in the design profession, and currently is president of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.
Interview, August 10, 1995. Paul Scher with Ellen Lupton, August 10, 1995. An edited version of this interview appears in the book Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996