On the Calendar: An Evening with Michael Schwab

BISON poster

Michael Schwab – The Evolution of a Style

On the evening of Wednesday, September 25th — 6:00 p.m., at the Balboa Building Auditorium in Santa Barbara, California — join AIGA Santa Barbara to meet Michael Schwab, the man behind many iconic images, and get a glimpse into his creative process. Tickets are available online until Wednesday, September 25th, at 3 p.m., or at the door thereafter. For more information, visit www.santabarbara.aiga.org or call 515.710.9208.

Schwab will be sharing stories about the groundbreaking projects he’s worked on and the renowned people he’s worked with over the past 30+ years — from his beginning years at A&M Records, to his cutting-edge work for Levi Strauss.

Michael Schwab’s minimalist artistic signature has become a distinct part of today’s culture. As a key player in contemporary art and design, Schwab’s national award-winning graphic style can been seen in the advertisements of high-profile clients such as Apple, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sundance, Muhammad Ali, Robert Mondavi, The San Francisco Opera and Major League Baseball, among others.



Michael is a Graphis Master, who has been represented in Graphis 304Logo Design 8 and Graphic Art of Michael Schwab. His Dreams + Destinations poster was awarded a Graphis Platinum award in our Logo Design 8 competition, in addition to numerous Graphis Gold and Silver awards for other work.

California-based, Schwab focuses on the interplay of positive and negative space, building light and dimension with blocks or flat, bold colors, according to our biographer Amos Klausner.

“Schwab has the unique ability to stop time and engage with audiences with his resonant images,” Klausner wrote. “The result is highly disciplined, defined by dramatic perspectives, stunning clarity and immediate recognition.”

Schwab studied advertising at New York City’s School of Visual Arts, prior to earning a degree in graphic design at the distinguished Art Center College of Design in California, where he remains today, Klausner noted. But he never forgot his roots. Born and raised on a ranch in Oklahoma, he gained an early appreciation of the land — a trait that is mirrored in his stylized, mid-Western artwork today, in addition to his bi-coastal influences.

The genius of Schwab’s work lies in the clarity of his concepts and his focus on form. His genius understanding of color, in tandem with his skillful use of crisp, clean lines, creates a timeless quality, at once current and classic. Communication Arts described his Fidel Castro as one that stands alongside Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and Milton Glaser’s Bob Dylan as an American graphic icon.

For quick reference, a low resolution pdf of Graphis 304 is available free to Graphis Members in our store. A high resolution digital copy of Graphis 304 is available for iPads and iPhones from the Graphis App found here: Graphis on iTunes.

To see more of Schwab’s work, click here. For a sneak peek into his studio, check out HGTV’s Super Fan Meets Michael Schwab:


Author: Rachel Lowry

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