“Good visual design is serious in purpose. Its aim is not to attain popular success by going back to the nostalgia of the past, or by sinking to the infantile level of a mythical public taste. It aspires to uplift the public to an expert design level. To inspire improvement and progress demands that the designer perform to the fullest limits of his ability. The designer must think first, work later.”
Ladislav Sutnar was born on November 9, 1897 in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia. He was majoring in painting at the School of Applied Art in Prague, architecture at Charles University and mathematics at the Chezh Technical University. In 1927, he became the head of publication design in Prague. In 1932, He became a director at the State School of Graphic Arts in Prague in 1932.
Sutnar was commissioned to design the Czech Exhibition at the 1939 New York World Fair. Due to occupation Germany in Czechoslovakia, he was ordered to returned all the materials to Czechoslovakia but he decided to settle in New York and leave his family in Prague. In 1941, he became art director of F.WDodge’s Sweet’s Catalog Service until 1960 where he developed information design along with Knud Lönberg-Holm.
It’s unfortunate that Sutnar was not credited for the implementation of parentheses around the American area code for Belly System. He also was a pioneer using double spreads instead of single page.