There has been a design studio at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis for over 60 years. Its work has been exhibited and published worldwide and it has received numerous design awards. Andrew Blauvelt has been the studio's design director since 1998. Prior to his appointment, Blauvelt taught design at several universities including Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Matt Pyke is an example of a new breed of designer who works for major global corporations – as well as other smaller entities – yet has none of the trappings of a large studio with a smart metropolitan address. Instead he produces a fizzing cocktail of commercial and art-based work from his custom-made studio in his garden in Sheffield, in the north of England.

Rick Valicenti's work fizzes with a uniquely American energy. His work - and the work of his studio - is as American as the Chicago skyscrapers that distinguish the city where Valicenti is based. He says that his studio is dedicated to ‘art, with function and real human presence'.

Leonardo Sonnoli's work is remarkable for its graphic precision and visual dexterity. Born in Trieste, Italy, in 1962, he founded CODEsign with Paolo Tassinari and Pierpaolo Vetta in 2002. He is currently a partner in Tassinari/Vetta, where he works on the visual identity of private and public companies.

Tony Brook works at the coalface of modern visual communication, producing sharp, highly disciplined, zeitgeisty work in print and electronic media. Yet Brook is firmly rooted in the grand tradition of graphic design, with a profound respect for and knowledge of graphic design's history.

Lizá Ramalho and Artur Rebelo founded R2, a graphic design studio, while studying at Porto Fine Arts University. The studio works for a wide range of cultural organizations, curators, artists and architects. Projects include identity work, poster design, book design and exhibition design. They have won numerous international awards and regularly act as jurors for design competitions.

Paula Scher is a luminary of contemporary American graphic design. She began her working life at Atlantic and CBS Records designing album covers. Much of her work from this period has passed into pop culture cosmology. Later she ran her own studio in partnership with the designer Terry Koppel. But it is her work as a Pentagram partner that forms her most enduring legacy.

Stephen Doyle founded Doyle Partners in New York in 1985, with William Drenttel and Tom Kluepfel. He previously worked at Esquire and Rolling Stone, and for the great Tibor Kalman. A flavour of Kalman's quixotic spirit can be seen in Doyle's cultured and often witty graphic expression.

Hideki Nakajima's character is like his work: restrained, introspective and disciplined. Ask young Japanese designers about him and they talk with a sort of quiet awe.