Philip B. Meggs

Philip B. Meggs was born May 30, 1942 in Newberry, South Carolina. At age 16 he practiced typesetting metal type after school and enjoyed painting. He attended Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University) to get his Master in Fine Arts. Meggs worked as senior designer at Reynolds Metals then at age 24 as art director at A.H. Robins Pharmaceuticals. These jobs gave him the chance to create some really amazing work in the form of posters, booklets, packages, a quarterly magazine, exhibitions, annual reports, and even advertising campaigns.

Meggs began teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University and became visiting faculty at Syracuse University and National College of Art and Design in Dublin. During 1974-1987 Meggs was the Chairman of the Department of Communication Arts and Design and during this time enrollment doubled and the graphic design program improved. He began teaching a course on the history of graphic design which led to the publication of his first book “A History of Graphic Design”. He felt as though his students didn’t have enough knowledge of this history of design. He published dozens of other books and 150 articles about graphic design and typography. He was inducted into the Art Director’s Hall of Fame and was given its Educator’s Award “for lifetime achievement and significantly shaping the future of the fields of graphic design education and writing”. He died November 24, 2002 after a battle with Leukemia.

Meggs was a huge influence on the history of graphic design. He began teaching this history of how design progressed and published books that are still used today for education. Not only was he an incredible teacher and author but he was also an impressive designer. His time at Reynolds Metals and A.H. Robins helped him produce some really awesome pieces. I really like the things he has done and I’ve actually read some of his writings before this deciding to write this blog and was impressed on the amount of knowledge and research done in the writing.


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