Mr. David Calvin Laufer
|Member Since||April 2002|
|Member Type||Design Leader|
Brand and identity
David Calvin Laufer’s designs first came to international attention with his rebranding of Oxford University Press for its 500th anniversary. This launched a career that includes branding programs for Fortune 500 clients, product designs for the Museum of Modern Art, NY, more than 30 exhibitions, five U.S. patents and mentoring relationships with some of the great creative legends of the last 40 years. Mr. Laufer owns Atlanta based consultancy BrandBook LLC. He is a founding trustee of AIGA-Atlanta, and past president of the National Investor Relations Institute Chapter in Atlanta. He earned a BFA in Design from Carnegie-Mellon where he was a Champion International Imagination Scholar. Mr. Laufer is a leader in the global Little Free Library movement.
His book Dialogues with Creative Legends, Aha Moments in a Designer's Career, was published in 2013 by New Riders, San Francisco and in Chinese and Korean editions by PT Press, Hong Kong.
David Laufer commented on the article "Cast your vote for AIGA’s future"
I recently made a trip to the AIGA headquarters to get an idea of the asset itself. I was struck by several things. First, the remarkable acumen of the earlier board and leadership in purchasing the building when they did, and second, that the building, while it is in a great location, is not the best place for the equity we have tied up in it. Lastly, I note that the floor plan of the existing building is a bit isolating, the upper stories not really accessible. It's not only time to take the profit, it will help the national staff to have a space set up for the future, rather than the past. While it sounds sensible to de-link the building sale from the organizational goals, redeploying the equity now makes a lot of sense. Our national board has put a lot of thought and outreach into developing a framework for the future. Yes, it needs to be fleshed out, but the process is sound. I see the building as evidence that AIGA can identify opportunities, be far sighted, and create value in conventional ways as well as unconventional. Let's be strong in our conviction that as an organization we still have that entrepreneurship in our DNA. Look carefully, aim it and go. My own instinct would be to make the chapter innovation fund a much more central part of the asset re-allocation, making it like a development bank for design ideas that can replenish the fund as they mature.
David Laufer commented on the article "Your voice is important as AIGA considers transformative change"
To satisfy my curiosity about the sale of the building, I went to visit AIGA HQ in September. Denise was very kind to show me around. I came away convinced that the decision to buy it when they did was brilliant, and the decision to sell it now is equally so. The building is very vertical, and the elevator is not really functional. Consequently, a lot of the space, especially on higher levels is really not very useful to the staff or membership. Right sizing and unlocking the equity that members Dues have paid for over the last few decades deserves everyones support. If you have doubts, go visit. That said, I agree with the transformation concept, and I think the staff at National and the executive board should be congratulated for the thought they have put into it. There is one crucial change needed. The Instead of a 13 Million dollar endowmant and a 1 Million dollar chapter enterprise fund, it should be 7 and 7. The enterprise fund should in no way be a give away; rather it should be run with an eye to funding ideas that can recapitalize the fund, like a development bank. This is only fair as it was member dues that paid for the building. Providing this kind of resource will require chapter oversight, and, if done right, will draw a lot of excited new innovators into the membership. If we are willing to have the strength of our convictions in the creativity and entrepreneurship at the chapter level, I am convinced we will far exceed the 75,000 membership level In Summary: 1) By all means sell the building and give our organization a space better suited to our needs. 2) Use the proceeds boldly— If we are serious about reinventing the organization, let's strike a balance between endowment at the n ational level and empowerment at the chapter level.