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Lester Beall was one of the most prolific and influential designers of the early to mid-twentieth century Philip Meggs in his A History of Graphic Design credits Beall with almost single-handedly launching the Modern movement in American design He changed the way graphic design was perceived by people both involved in and outside of the profession Beall felt that designing something simply to make it visually appealing was j ust not good enough that design had the higher purpose of being a means to an end an instrument of communication He was quoted as saying that the designer must work with one goal in mindto integrate the elements in such a manner that they will combine to produce a result that will convey not merely a static commercial message but an emotional reaction as well If we can produce the kind of art which harnesses the power of the human instinct for that harmony of form beauty and cleanness that seems inevitable when you see it then I think we may be doing a job for our clients He graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelors degree in Art History but as a designer he was mostly self taught The influence of European Avant Garde and Bauhaus artists and designers such as Herbert Bayer El Lissitzky and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy is obvious in the bright flat colors and dynamic placement of geometric elements seen in most of his work This philosophy is most evident in the series of posters Beall did for the U S government between 1937 and 1941 especially those for the Rural Electrification Administration which were designed to encourage rural residents to electrify their homes The posters display examples of the basic needs of daily rural life such as light running water for laundry farm work and radio communication stated simply and quietly in slab typefaces and represented by a silhouetted graphic image This would usually be depicted resting on
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