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Rajie Cook

Pioneering graphic designer, activist.

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Date of Birth:



Newark, New Jersey

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Cook's innovations in visual communication and his dedicated humanitarian work have left a lasting impact on both the design world and Palestinian advocacy, highlighting the power of art in promoting understanding and change.

Brief bio

Rajie Cook, known for his work in graphic design and as an art activist, has profoundly impacted how we navigate public spaces through his creation of universal pictograms. His art has also served as a powerful voice for the Palestinian cause, blending creativity with activism.

Major Milestones


  • Founding Cook and Shanosky Associates: In 1967, Cook co-founded this design firm, which became instrumental in developing communication through design.

  • Presidential Award for Design Excellence: In 1984, Cook received this prestigious award from President Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth Dole for his contributions to graphic design.

  • Creation of Universal Pictograms: His firm developed symbols for the US Department of Transportation in 1974, which remain in use globally.

  • Art Activism: Later in life, Cook turned to art activism, creating works that highlighted the plight of the Palestinian people...See More

  • Spiritual Journey to Palestine: At 54, Cook visited Palestine, a trip that deeply influenced his work and advocacy.

  • Universal Pictograms: Cook's design of universally understood symbols has facilitated easier navigation in public spaces worldwide.

  • Advocacy Through Art: His art has highlighted and called attention to the human rights issues faced by Palestinians.

  • Innovative Design Work: Cook's graphic design work has been utilized by major corporations, influencing corporate communication strategies.

  • Educational Contributions: As an alumnus and advisory board member of the Pratt Institute, Cook contributed to educating future generations of designers.

  • Museum Collections: Cook's work, including the Symbols Signs project, has been included in prestigious institutions like the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Date of Last Update: 
April 6, 2024

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