Bradbury Thompson was undisputably one of the most important role-models of 20th century graphic design world. He received three major design awards which is National Society of Art Dir derectors as Art Director of the Year in 1950, AIGA Gold Medal in 1975 and finally The Art Directors Hall of Fame award in 1977. He is one of the rare art directors who have the chance of receiving all three.
If we look at his career briefly, he worked at the Rogers-Kellogg-Stillson printing firm as art director and then Mademoiselle magazine, after he designed for Westwaco Corporation. He designed a new alphabet which is Alphabet 26 and he started his teaching career at Yale University.
His career was full of achievements but three of them truely shows us his sophitication. After he bacame of the designer of Westvaco Inspirations which was a promotional magazine, he reached thousands of typographer, print buyers and student. He had an extraordinary ability to combine and mix modernist typography with classic typefaces and historic illustrations.
Another success came with the publication of The Washburn College Bible, This was the most gigantic and reformist reevaluation of bible typography since Gutenberg’s edition. He wrote it with Jan Tschichold’s typeface Sabon and he covered chapter openings with gorgeous reproductions of painting referring biblical stories.
A third area of interest which brings him a success is contemporary postage stamp design. A large part oh his designes become symbolic snapshots of American history and culture. He had more than 90 stamps of his own and also he became the guide of U.S Postal Service for designing many others.
Bradbury Thompson died in 1995 as one of the most appreciated and impressive graphic designers of the 20th century.