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Paula Scher

Have you ever been to a lecture outside of your campus? This might not be something you think that you can fit in, or would be interested in but it is something you need to consider taking advantage of! Before Thursday, I had little intention of attending an outside function. Little did I know, I was going to be a part of a few artists, students, educators, and designers to listen to an incredible woman speak into our hearts, and transpire our creativities. Recently, I attended a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design on Paula Scher.
Paula Scher is an illustrator, painter, and graphic designer. She is well recognized for her book Maps.As an aspiring Graphic Designer, I found it rather intriguing how well-spoken, and informative Paula was. During the lecture she spoke about her early life and career, but she mostly discussed Maps and the stories leading to that period.
One of the many things that stuck out to me during the talk was how much she had been inspired from her childhood. In the hour and a half she spoke, I felt like she didn’t leave anything out about her career. She spoke about her interests, and her father’s interests as a basis of influence for her art and design. Paula also discussed the way her father’s job, which was photogrammetric engineering, played a huge role in her taking on the work that she did when she was a designer. Her father worked on aerial photography for the mapping division of the U.S, and he invented a device, in which entitles Google Maps to function the way it does today. He provided the world of navigation accuracy, and efficiency. Proudly, she told the crowd about that while growing up she was always around maps, yet ironically got lost as a child one day riding her bike around her neighborhood. I really enjoyed her stories, along with how much her memories made a difference on her career. She used what she had learned from her father and expanded it into her own personal analogy of the world. Her honesty was profound; it made me realize how confident she was about how these moments led to today’s achievements.

Another thing I respected about Paula was how much she truly valued creativity. She enjoys painting, which is what her Maps are of. She makes maps, inspired from real travel maps, by using typography as a way of texture, color, and form. Comically, she states how inaccurate they are, and how some maps are completely incorrect. Paula pointed out how Fine Arts made her complex style simmer down in her world of graphics. She said had she not taken up painting for so many years, she would not have been able to simply perfect certain identity projects, such as her most famous design, which she sketched within ten minutes on a napkin- Citigroup. Her brilliance truly showed while she spoke, and her interests quickly became my inspirations. The reactions to her stories varied from laughter, to “wow.” She was an amazing speaker, and her story is definitely one to be told.
So whenever you get a chance, step outside and be a part of something that could potentially inspire you in your own personal life, or career. 

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