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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.
When I look back on periods in my life where I struggled to prove myself, and reach the next rung on the ladder of my career, it's amazing to me to discover how much of what I went through then, I am still going through today.
Section: Inspiration -
advertising, corporate design, personal essay, mentoring
A short film about designer, entrepreneur and social advocate John Bielenberg, who was awarded the AIGA Medal at “Bright Lights: The AIGA Awards Gala” in New York City in April 2013.
Section: Inspiration -
AIGA Medal, interview, social issues, social responsibility
Today AIGA introduces its redesigned website to members, the broader design community and all who appreciate the value design brings. Executive Director Richard Grefé offers his welcome and shares what’s new.
Section: About AIGA -
AIGA Insight, membership
Sooner or later, the idea
of self-employment without the need to deal with clients—that is, being able
to generate passive income—is going to enter your head. This is the story of how two designers created a side project using something they loved—wood type—and made some money in the process.
Section: Tools and Resources -
typography, motivation, business strategy, letterpress, innovation
New Directors New Films
The Museum of Modern Art
Transforming raw materials into living forms... @NYTmag's @_calebbennett on Li Hongbo. Watch the video: http://t.co/QQzfuxEqGe #DesignEnvy
Boralex 2008 Annual Report
Big Corporations Are Buying Design Firms in Droves
Posted by Nathan Hurst
4 days ago from
Wired Top Stories
Redesign A Joint Bank Account, Save A Marriage
Posted by Kathy Cheng
25 days ago from
The Social Marketer's Urban Twictionary
Shared in Tools & Resources by Neil Spencer
Substance of Things Not Seen
frog design, inc.
chieunahn (Chieun chi Ahn)
RT @aigadc: Shape your career, keep learning new things, and follow your curiosity: http://t.co/NytI2YAfRg #aigaconnect
2 days ago