Paula Scher

World Trade Routes, 2018

silkscreen print in 26 colours, edition of 150

57.8 × 31.0 in

 31 x


 78.7 x



plus shipping & taxes

About the work

In this detailed cartographic print, the visual field is one of constant discovery. The viewer unearths details by following the route from continent to continent, ocean to ocean. In this print, World Trade Routes, contemporary artist Paula Scher evokes a sense of freshly charted chaos. Breaking with convention, this map is intentionally unrealistic. Using her unique visual language of “informational and sensory overloads,” with her use of color and line, this piece alludes to distortion in the presentation of data in cartography. “Data isn’t neutral,” Scher says. “It’s gathered, which means someone is editing it. Someone will make a chart, and it might be right, but it’s not literal fact. You don’t know what factors are included or not included. My map paintings are nothing but opinion. I’m controlling the data any way I want and I’m blatantly open about it. I’m using it to create an impression.” This screenprint was created nine years after she painted a monumental piece of the same title.

Medium Prints
Signature Signed
Frame Unframed
Condition excellent
Seller Private
Location Vancouver, Canada
Provenance Art Novel, Print Publisher, Vancouver.

Paula Scher


Described as the “master conjurer of the instantly familiar,” Paula Scher straddles the line between pop culture and fine art in her works. A contemporary American artist and graphic designer best known for her posters, logo designs, and album covers, Scher is influenced by graphic design, Pop Art, and Abstract Expressionism. By pushing beyond the limits of these artistic movements, Scher creates a distinct visual language. Though her paintings and award-winning graphic designs are related, Scher looks at her art practice as separate. As she says, “My paintings are paintings, I accomplish them as a painter, not a designer.”

Born on October 6, 1948 in Washington, D.C., Scher studied at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. After earning her BFA, Scher moved to New York and began her career as an art director in the 1970s and early 80s, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly influential. In the years that followed, Scher held positions at Random House, Atlantic Records and CBS Records, during which time she received four Grammy nominations for her album designs.

Today, Scher’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.
Scher holds honorary doctorates from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Moore College of Art and Design. Her teaching career includes over two decades at the School of Visual Arts, along with positions at the Cooper Union, Yale University and the Tyler School of Art. Scher is the author of Make It Bigger (2002), MAPS (2011) and 25 Years at the Public: A Love Story (2020), all published by Princeton Architectural Press, and the subject of Paula Scher: Works (2017). Scher is featured in “Abstract: The Art of Design,” the Netflix documentary series about leading figures in design and architecture.
During the course of her career Scher has been the recipient of hundreds of industry honors and awards. In 1996, Scher’s widely imitated identity for The Public Theater won the coveted Beacon Award for integrated corporate design strategy. In 1998, she was named to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. In 2000, she received the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. She has served on the national board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and was president of its New York Chapter from 1998 to 2000. In 2001 she was awarded the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in recognition of her distinguished achievements and contributions to the field, and in 2006 she was awarded the Type Directors Club Medal, the first woman to receive the prize. In 2012 she was honored with the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Design Collab Award, in 2013 she received the National Design Award for Communication Design, presented by the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, in 2019 she was named a SEGD Fellow, in 2021 she was honored with the title Royal Designer for Industry (RDI), and in 2022 she received the D&AD Special President’s Award. Scher has been a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) since 1993 and served as its president from 2009 to 2012.

The artist currently works at Pentagram, a design consulting firm in New York.


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