Ladislav Sutnar

Sutnar, a Czech designer born in 1897, was one of the first designers to actively practice the field of information design. His work was rooted in rationality and the process of displaying massive amounts of information in a clear and organized manner for easy consumption by the general viewer. He placed a heavy emphasis on typography and primarily used a limited color palette. While he often used punctuation symbols to help organize information one of his signature creations was the idea to place parentheses around the area codes in telephone books.

For nearly 20 years he served as the art director for Sweet's catalog services where he created information graphics and catalog layouts for a wide range of manufactured items. Before working for Sweet's he taught at the State School of Graphic Arts in Prague. He was heavily influenced by the ideas of Modernism and his work was so well structured that he had no problems communicating information clearly to an American audience, even though English was not his primary language.