Citi logo sketch
Paula Scher’s 1998 napkin sketch for the Citi logo

What is the attraction of designing identities for you?

“Identities are the beginning of everything. They are how something is recognized and understood. What could be better than that?”

What mistakes or ‘traps’ should a young designer avoid when working on an identity system?

“Understand what the client does. Understand the audience. Be able to explain why you designed something a certain way and be prepared to inspire your client to a level beyond their expectations.”

Do you think it’s important for a graphic designer to be able to draw?

“It’s important for a graphic designer to be able to see. it’s also important to be able to make a sketch of what you see.”

Quoted from designboom’s interview with Paula Scher.

Be sure to catch Paula’s first online class on liquid identities, and her Highline logo is one of my strong picks for the marked with thought series.


Even if you do come up with what turns out to be the chosen concept quickly, you should still explore alternative routes. I apologize if afterwards she spent time developing different directions, but a single napkin suggests that wasn’t the case.

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