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  • Annual Report 2011

    AIGA’s mission

    To advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force.

    What is AIGA?

    Founded in 1914 as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design and is now known simply as “AIGA, the professional association for design.”

    AIGA’s goals

    • To demonstrate the value of design and designing to business and the public
    • To empower designers across the arc of their careers
    • To stimulate thinking about design

    Membership

    As of December 31, 2011, AIGA’s membership totaled 22,574: 8,385 professional members, 802 educators, 2,750 associate members and 10,637 student members.

    Chapters

    The number of chapters, which serve as AIGA’s most direct connection with members, grew to 66 in 2011 with the addition of AIGA San Antonio. The passionate and dedicated volunteer leaders at chapters organized hundreds of events and activities in 2011—here’s a look at just a few.  

    National programs and initiatives

    National events and initiatives complement activities offered by chapters; in 2011, these included:

    One Day for Design 75pxOne Day for Design (April 13) provided an open, global dialogue on the meaning and future of design, and on the meaning and future of professional associations in our field. With more than 30,000 tweets by nearly 3,900 people, at one point #onedayfordesign ranked as the #4 trending hashtag on Twitter in the United States. Led by eight moderators, it was an astonishing 24 hours of live input online that generated many thoughtful responses to how AIGA should be positioned for the future.

    Have some inspiration to share? 75pxAIGA.org was redesigned to better represent the potential of design to inspire and to improve lives, while giving members a voice and showing the value design creates for business, government and society. The redesigned site is visually dynamic, offering storytelling experiences both long and short, as well as numerous opportunities for participation. It’s a place to be stimulated by the work designers are creating, while serving as a trusted resource for authoritative information relevant to the practice of design today and the legacy of its most influential and inspiring practitioners. The emphasis is on great work, community and communicating the value of design.

    Design Envy 75pxDesign Envy is a curated blog of design excellence—selected by designers, for designers. The wide range of excellent work happening in the profession hasn’t always come through in AIGA’s traditional channels, nor has there been a consistent way to discuss and interact with the designs being recognized. Design Envy, presented by Adobe, opens up the conversation to the broader community and provides a limitless variety of inspiration from across all design disciplines.

    Pivot 75pxPivot:AIGA Design Conference (October 13–16 in Phoenix) provided an opportunity for more than 1,600 attendees and presenters to explore the shifts that have created a critical inflection point for design as a practice, thought process and force for change. The theme supported explorations of how design can be more effective than ever as society, the economy and the context for design evolves. To help extend the experience and critical thinking beyond the conference, videos of many of the presentations were made available to all members.

    Design for Good 75pxDesign for Good connects and amplifies the pro bono efforts of designers, firms, students and chapters across the country—and in turn, inspires more involvement. Through Design for Good, AIGA enables a network of more than 22,000 designers, hundreds of design educators, 66 chapters and 200 student groups to become engaged in projects where they can demonstrate the power of design to communities, their business leaders and the public. As mentioned in GOOD magazine, a key component of the program is sharing case studies of success stories so that designers across the country can replicate effective programs from one community to others.

    Survey of Design Salaries 75pxThe AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design Salaries is the most comprehensive annual survey of compensation data for the communication design profession in the United States. For more than a decade, it has been commissioned annually by AIGA, with the support of Aquent, AIGA’s official sponsor for professional development, and in cooperation with Communication Arts magazine. The 2011 survey resulted in responses from more than 7,000 design professionals and featured an improved interactive format and an updated list of positions and descriptions based on data collected.

    INitiative 75pxINitiative supports in-house designers and teams, who face their own unique challenges. AIGA partnered with The Creative Group (TCG) to form INitiative, aiming to “provide INsights to help INhouse design teams thrive.” Whether you belong to or manage an in-house team, are interested in pursuing this career path or are merely curious about the influential role of in-house creatives, INitiative is for you! Led by in-house expert Andy Epstein, INitiative is a nationwide program providing inspiration, advice and insights from in-house design leaders via online channels and in-person events.

    Breakthroughs 75pxBreakthroughs: Where Inspiration and Technology Meet was created with Adobe, AIGA’s official AIGA sponsor for design solutions, as a free educational webinar series for AIGA members pairing inspiring designers with technology experts. Each of the six webinars was designed to help members achieve their own professional breakthroughs. Live sessions were reserved exclusively for members; archives are available to the public.

    Bright Lights 75pxBright Lights: The AIGA Awards was held on April 7 in New York City. A sparkling evening honoring AIGA Medalists Steve Frykholm, John Maeda and Jennifer Morla, as well as Corporate Leadership Awardees Method and Tiffany, the event raised more than $50,000 to support AIGA activities. To extend the honorees’ inspiration to all members, designers and enthusiasts, short documentaries, produced for and premiered at the event, were made available to watch online.

    AIGA Leadership Retreat 75pxAIGA Leadership Retreat was held June 2–4 in Minneapolis for chapter board members. A two-and-a-half day event, the retreat is devoted to sharing successes and planning to meet the objectives of the Mandate for 2014. All 66 AIGA chapters sent board representatives to learn more about the organization, share best practices and take home new information to strengthen chapters.

    Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders 75pxAIGA Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders was held July 24–29 at the Yale School of Management. AIGA offers this graduate business education program for creative professionals with world-renowned professors from Yale School of Management to provide a deep understanding of how C-level executive see problems and approach decisions. Strategy, marketing, negotiation, operations, financial accounting and more are taught through lectures, case studies and group exercises.

    AIGA design competitions 75pxAIGA’s design competitions received a total of 1,899 entries: “365: Design Effectiveness Competition” received 1,162 entries; “50 Books/50 Covers” received 679 entries; “Making the Case” received 58 entries. Selections from “365” and “50 Books/50 Covers” were published in Design Archives and featured in The Wall Street Journal and Paper Magazine; new case studies from “Making the Case” were published online.

    Exhibitions in AIGA’s National Design Center gallery in New York included:

    • “10th Australian Graphic Design Association National Biennial Awards,” December 9, 2010–February 25, 2011
    • “50 Books/50 Covers of 2009,” December 9, 2010–April 8, 2011
    • “Books from St. Gallen,” June 16–July 22, 2011
    • “365: Design Effectiveness,” September 14–November 23, 2011
    • "50 Books/50 Covers of 2010," December 8, 2011 and continuing

    Benefits. AIGA’s relationships with its sponsors and partners offer members valuable benefits on a range of design-centered products and services. New and ongoing benefits includes discounts to Apple, Adobe, Blurb, lynda.com, Shutterstock and other leading brands. View the full listing of benefits available to members.

    Advocacy. AIGA plays an active role in positioning the design profession, defining its standards, and demonstrating its value, often weighing in on issues concerning proper respect for professional standards. In 2011, this involved Design for Democracy and election design; working with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in developing information design standards for consumer financial reporting; challenging spec work provisions in public, nonprofit, political and commercial cases; and mobilizing broad national support against LogoGarden when it became clear it was appropriating and reselling designers’ work without the creators’ permission.

    Finances

    AIGA’s 2011 audited financial statement is available online.

    Sources of funds


    Membership dues
    $3,324,885
    54%
    Sponsorship
    1,058,350
    17%
    Conference/event fees
    1,040,127
    17%
    Competition fees
    96,670
    2%
    Foundation support
    15,000
    0%
    Individual donations
    17,044
    0%
    Interest and investments
    (8,084)
    0%
    Other revenue, including Design Jobs
    170,939
    3%
    Contribution from reserves
    495,619
    8%
    Total  
    $6,210,550  
    100%  

     

    Uses of funds

    Chapter support
    $1,580,528
    25%
    Web/publishing
    1,161,473
    19%
    Membership
    572,003
    9%
    Governance
    57,743
    1%
    Conferences/events
    1,440,450
    23%
    Fundraising/development
    563,807
    9%
    Communications/advocacy
    544,391
    9%
    Competitions and exhibitions
    192,539
    3%
    Education
    97,616
    2%
    Total  
    $6,210,550  
    100%  

     

    There was a planned deficit in the operating budget in order to invest reserves in maintaining services during the economic slowdown and investing in long-term capabilities to serve growth when the economy improves.

    The uses of funds reflect the allocation of staff and overhead to each function, as well as direct expenses.

    How member dues are spent

    In FY 2011, revenue from membership dues totaled $3.3 million. In order to provide services to members, AIGA raised the balance of the $6.2 million budget from program fees, sponsorships, grants or working capital. In other words, for every dollar in membership dues received, AIGA was able to raise an additional $0.88 from other sources.

    Membership revenues cover:

    • Expenses for supporting chapters, including reimbursements of membership revenues directly to chapters and staff support for chapter development;
    • Web and publishing that support members directly;
    • The membership development function, which includes processing of all membership records; and
    • Governance, which represents board support and legal requirements.

    Fundraising, development, communications, advocacy, competitions and exhibitions and education are funded from revenues raised by AIGA from program fees and development activities.

     

    2011 board of directors

    AIGA’s board of directors is elected by the entire professional membership and plays a crucial role in determining the mission of AIGA, ensuring that the organization continues to operate in the best interest of past, present and future members.

    Doug Powell 75   President
    Doug Powell
    Schwartz Powell
    Minnesota
    doug@schwartzpowell.com  
    Zia Khan   Secretary/Treasurer
    Zia Khan

    Lucid Partners
    Atlanta
    zia@lucidusa.net  
    Ric Grefe 75   Executive director
    Richard Grefé
    AIGA
    New York
    grefe@aiga.org  
    Julie Beeler   Julie Beeler
    Second Story Interactive Studios
    Portland
    julie@secondstory.com  
    Andrew Blauvelt   Andrew Blauvelt
    Walker Art Center
    Minnesota
    andrew.blauvelt@walkerart.org  
      Gaby Brink
    Tomorrow
    San Francisco
    gbrink@tomorrowpartners.com  
    Drew Davies   Drew Davies
    Oxide Design Co.
    Nebraska
    drew@oxidedesign.com  
    Phil Hamlett   Phil Hamlett
    Academy of Art University
    San Francisco
    phamlett@academyart.edu  
    James Koval   James Koval
    VSA Partners, Inc.
    Chicago
    jkoval@vsapartners.com  
    Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt   Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt
    Kuhlmann Leavitt Inc.
    St. Louis
    deanna@kuhlmannleavitt.com  
    Santiago Piedrafita   Santiago Piedrafita
    NCSU, College of Design
    Raleigh
    santiago_piedrafita@ncsu.edu  
    Darralyn Rieth   Darralyn Rieth
    Philadelphia
    darralynrieth@gmail.com  
    Susana Rodríguez de Tembleque   Susana Rodríguez de Tembleque
    SYPartners
    San Franciso
    susana@sypartners.com  
    Nathan Shedroff   Nathan Shedroff
    California Institute of the Arts
    San Francisco
    nathan@nathan.com  
    Angela Shen-Hsieh   Angela Shen-Hsieh
    Visual i|o
    Boston
    angela@visual-io.com  
    Robin Tooms   Robin Tooms
    Savage
    Houston
    rtooms@savagebrands.com  
    Kevin Perry   Presidents council chair
    Kevin Perry
    Struck
    Salt Lake City
    kevinkperry@gmail.com  
    Debbie Millman   Ex officio
    Debbie Millman
    Sterling Brands
    New York
    debbie.m@sterlingbrands.com  

     

    2011 sponsors

    AIGA is grateful to the following sponsors who actively support AIGA and its activities. In addition, we are thankful for the enabling support provided by our alliance partners.

    Official AIGA sponsors

     
    Adobe 65px  

    Adobe

    As AIGA’s Official AIGA Sponsor for Design Solutions, Adobe creates innovative programs that give members a voice and engage the creative community in dialogues about design and technology.

    Aquent 75  

    Aquent

    Aquent is the Official AIGA Sponsor for Professional Development, serving as a source for creative and design talent as well as providing access to great career opportunities for AIGA members nationwide.

    Shutterstock 75  

    Shutterstock

    AIGA’s Official Sponsor for Creative Inspiration, Shutterstock, offers members a comprehensive library of more than 15 million stock photographs and vector illustrations.

     

    Presenting sponsors

     

    Blurb

    Blurb, the easy-to-use, on-demand publishing platform, is the Presenting Sponsor of 50 Books/50 Covers—and offers AIGA members a discount to make their own books.

    Mohawk Fine Papers

    As the Presenting Sponsor of The Living Principles for Design—the online community for sustainability—Mohawk underscores their commitment to responsibility in all aspects of design and business.

    The Creative Group

    The Creative Group (TCG)—a leader in matching creative talent with the best companies—is the Presenting Sponsor of INitiative, a new AIGA national program that provides knowledge and tools to help in-house designers make a greater impact at their companies, evolve professionally and connect with a broader network of peers.

     

    Program and event sponsors

    Program and event sponsors contribute to the resources necessary for AIGA to provide specific individual programs and events to its members, to the broader design community or to the public.  

    Adobe
    Aquent
    Apple
    AVA Publishing
    Bigstock
    Blurb
    Canon USA
    Citi
    Clients & Profits
    Corporate Image
    Creativity International Awards
    Domtar
    Eizo
    Emma


     

    FedEx
    Finch Paper
    Herman Miller
    Hoefler Frere-Jones
    International Paper
    iStockphoto
    Johnson & Johnson
    lynda.com
    Mag+
    Microsoft Expressions
    Mohawk Fine Papers
    Monotype Imaging
    MOO
    Neenah Paper

     

    NewPage
    NYDesigns
    Pantone
    Rockport
    Sappi Fine Paper
    Shutterstock
    Target
    The Creative Group
    Tiffany & Co.
    Univenture
    Veer
    Wix.com
    Yupo Corporation America

     

    In-kind sponsors

    Apple
    Emma
    Herman Miller
    Sierra Signs
    Tekserve
    Visual Graphic Systems (VGS)

    Paper sponsors

    Finch Paper
    International Paper
    Mohawk Fine Papers
    Neenah Paper
    NewPage
    Reich Paper
    Sappi Fine Paper

    Print sponsors

    American Printing Co.
    The Artcraft Company
    O’Neil Printing
    UPrinting.com

     

    Foundations

    Rockefeller Foundation
    Worldstudio Foundation

    Government

    National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
    New York City Department of Cultural Affairs  


    In addition, AIGA is grateful for the enabling support provided by our alliance partners.

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