Scher studied at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and was awarded a Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa by the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C.. In the 1970s she designed album covers forCBS Records and Atlantic Records, before moving into art direction for magazines. She worked at Time Inc. before forming her own design firm, Koppel & Scher. Since 1991, she has been a principal at the New York office of the Pentagram design consultancy.
Scher has been inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame (1998), received the Chrysler Design Award for Innovation in Design (2000), and a Gold Medal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts (2001). Some of her work is in the permanent collection of theMuseum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Her album designs have earned her four Grammy Awardnominations.
As an artist she is known for her large-scale paintings of maps, covered with dense hand-painted labelling and information. She was involved in the planning of a new multi-use “urban center” in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood of Washington D.C., and teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Scher married designer Seymour Chwast in 1973, divorced him 5 years later, then remarried him in 1989.