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Jilly Simons is Concrete.
Like the essential material for which it is named, Simons’ design
firm, Concrete, consistently produces work that is strong, hardworking
and grounded in her clients’ needs. Her design solutions and the way she
runs her practice are all of a piece: Place the art and craft of design
before bureaucratic demands. Keep things simple to make them clear.
Face roadblocks head-on. Lead by example. Discriminate between
information and true communication.
Before “thinking global” was the buzz, Simons was there. She was born
in New York City, raised in dissonant South Africa, traveled the globe
and then chose Chicago, the concrete capital, as her personal and
professional home. Simons’ design vocabulary echoes her international
design experience, beginning with her work at Grapplegroup in
Johannesburg, where she found her voice as a designer. An invitation
from Young and Rubicam to join Cato Johnson in Cincinnati brought her
back to the United States. After settling in Chicago, she became part of
the design group at Handelan-Pedersen, where she joined design director
Steve Bagby. She was partner and co-creative director at Lipman +
Simons before she founded Concrete, in 1987.
Concrete’s clients run the gamut, from architecture firms to
financial institutions, from museums and universities to retailers. Over
the course of two decades, Simons and Concrete have developed
longstanding client relationships that have evolved into collaborative
partnerships. Concrete’s work has brought clients high visibility, and
Simons herself has earned many awards and honors. Her work has been
published widely in books and periodicals in the United States and
abroad, included in seminal design exhibitions and housed in the
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent collection and the
Newberry Library of Chicago.
A longstanding member of AIGA, Simons received the AIGA Chicago Above
and Beyond Award in 2000 for her service to the chapter. She served
several terms as a member of its board of directors and continues to
serve on its advisory board. She was elected to the historic 27 Chicago
Designers and has been invited to serve as a juror of design
Known for employing and nurturing talented young designers, she
extends her teaching and mentoring to the classroom. Simons has taught
at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of
Illinois at Chicago, and now devotes her teaching energies to her
students at Columbia College Chicago.
Are there rules that govern the design of protest buttons? Heller sticks it to the current crop of anti-incumbent lapel missives.
Section: Inspiration -
advertising, Voice, election design
One of the perks of being the managing editor at AIGA is spending my
mornings reading design stories and calling it “work.” But not everyone
(or wants to) peruse RSS feeds like it’s their job. Consider
this a hit list (as well as a few things you may have missed) of the
things I’ve and seen, read and watched this week.
Section: Inspiration -
Education, graphic design, packaging
Dana Arnett is recognized with a 2014 AIGA Medal for setting the highest standards for communicating corporate interests and championing design as a
strategic, multidisciplinary function for both firm and client.
Section: Inspiration -
advertising, branding, interaction design, marketing, digital media, corporate design, AIGA Medal, annual report, online advertising, strategy, technology
Antionette Carroll of AIGA St. Louis, the chair of AIGA's Diversity and Inclusion task force, shares some background on the problem of diversity in design, why it matters, and what this program hopes to achieve.
Section: Tools and Resources -
Design for Good, K-12, advocacy, diversity, social responsibility
Roca Barcelona gallery
RT @holaimpatti: I'm so inspired today! Thank you, @etsy and @randyjhunt, for sharing your space with @AIGAdesign and the #GAINstudiotours.
2 hours ago
Handle with care
Lawrence Zeegen talks his new book and his hopes for illustration
Posted by Rob Alderson
It's Nice That
11 Most Interesting and Inspirational Packaging Designs
Posted by Spyre Studios
Graphic Design Blueprints: Architects have them, now designers do too. Boost designs by discovering their target markets' Visual Preferences
Shared in Tools & Resources by Steven Kronick
RT @aigajax: NEW POST // Getting Digital this Weekend. #AlphaLab #LetsGetDigital #aigaconnect http://t.co/TABPQEgG7x
5 hours ago