Lester Beall, USA (1954)
Rural Electrification Administration, 1937
A self-taught graphic designer who grew up in Chicago and freelanced there (1927–35), before moving to New York. He has been called a ‘trailblazer of American design’. Was the first to receive a one-man exhibit at NY MoMA (1937) and post humously a Lifetime Award by the AIGI in 1993. He did it all: identities, advertising, packaging, product styling, posters, books, reports, magazines, murals and interiors for clients like the Rural Electrification Administration, Container Corporation of America (CCA), Chicago Tribune, Collier’s and Time magazine. In 1955 he moved his studio to Dumbarton Farm in Brookfield, CT. Lester read a lot, and blended Jan Tschichold’s New Typography with Dada’s intuitive placement of elements and also made playful use of 19th-century American wood type. He was an early innovator in the development of the design manual as a major tool in corporate identity programmes. On top of all this, he was the chief proponent of the American modernist design movement.