Deborah Sussman

Graphic Designer; Interior Designer / United States / Sussman/Prejza & Company, Inc.

(1931–2014).Deborah Sussman is recognized as a pioneer in environmental graphic design, specializing in urban branding, for which she creates arresting visual imagery and designs its highly imaginative applications for architectural and public spaces. Sussman’s passion for the marriage of graphics and the built environment, fueled by her early career in the Eames office, has led to extensive collaborations with planners, architects, other designers, and clients.

Her work, informed by perceptive observation and rigorous documentation of communities and cultures, has found its place in projects for cities, arts and entertainment venues, commercial developments, and the private sector around the world. She began to work with architects in the late 1960s and 1970s and subsequently incorporated as Sussman/Prejza & Co., with husband, Paul Prejza. Sussman has led the firm in designing an array of notable projects: the “look” of the 1984 Olympics, which received Time magazine’s award for “Best of the Decade”; the identity and branding applications for Southern California Gas Company; the identity, product exhibits, and corporate interiors for Hasbro Inc.; and award-winning wayfinding systems for Walt Disney Resorts and the cities of Philadelphia and Santa Monica. More recent projects include branding of the headquarter campus of SC Johnson & Son in Racine, Wisconsin, and exhibit design for the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco.

Honors Sussman has received include the Golden Arrow Award (SEGD), 2006; Medalist, American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), 2004; Honorary Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), 1988; Elected Member, Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), 1987; Doctor of Humane Letters (Bard College), 1998; Fellow and Founder, AIGA/LA, 1986; Fellow, Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD), 2006; and Laureate, Art Directors Global Hall of Fame New York (ADC), 2012. She was the first woman to exhibit in New York’s School of Visual Arts’ “Master Series.”

Her work has been featured in Abitare, Architectural Record, Architecture, Domus, Graphis, Grid, Metropolis, and Print, as well as in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Time magazine. Her career was the subject of an exhibition, “Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles,” at Woodbury University’s  WUHO gallery in 2013.

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