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The creative impulse is by its nature diverse—differentiation
and originality are prized over imitation. Yet possibly more
important than creative diversity is the need to understand
cultural diversity, since communication is at the core of
what we do, and the ways that audiences receive messages are
influenced by social and cultural norms.
Design must make use of broad visual and conceptual vocabularies
in order to be accepted and understood by a range of audiences—not
only those that make up the unique social and ethnic quilt of the
United States, but also the many cultures of the global economy. In
today's connected world, communication design must be able to move
seamlessly across national boundaries and the differences among
Data visualization of global population density, G-Econ project (Flickr
image under Creative Commons
The economic turmoil of the past two years has forced both
thoughtful observers and business strategists to recognize that the
future will be different. Our new normal will be a global economy
in which there is no single dominant market or production source;
other cultures will resist universal design features that
compromise local values; responsible design will be expected; and
American designers will be competing with designers from many
cultures, some of whom will have a more highly developed sense of
empathy for those audiences that U.S. designers would like to
In this new era, AIGA is deeply concerned with strengthening the
perceived and actual relevance of design. Designers play a critical
role in developing competitive advantages and creating value in the
emerging economy. Yet to do so, design—and particularly
communication design—must be seen as relevant to the needs of this
more diverse marketplace.
At its best, communication design involves form and content,
crafted in a meaningful context that leaves an impact over time.
However, the highest aspirations of design as a profession will
only be achieved when diversity and excellence are joined. The
profession as a whole must demonstrate the understanding and
perspectives that can only come from the interplay among many
different backgrounds, cultures and experiences. This is where
inclusivity will change every designer, both in the process of
collaboration and in forming adaptive, responsive approaches to
On May 20, AIGA will open a participatory exhibition called
You Are Here.” The exhibition shines a light on the careers of
25 designers from a
variety of backgrounds, whose own lives and experiences demonstrate
this ideal joining of diversity and excellence. Each is a role
model for a young person who might ask, “Why would I pursue a
profession where so few people look like me?”
At the same time, the exhibition reinforces that
inclusiveness—the bringing together of people of many talents and
experiences—is a reflection of what each of us brings to the
Only when the profession and its work are inclusive of the
differences among cultures, as well as what we share across them,
can design assure its future relevance, leadership and impact.
Richard Grefé is the executive director of AIGA, the professional association for design. While guiding all of AIGA’s activities, his most significant contributions are in strategy, formulating new initiatives to enhance the competitive success of designers
and advocating the value of design to business, government and the public.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, a local design studio sought to make sense of the chaotic sequence of events. Using iconography to tell the story, here is the book they created: 102 Hours.
Section: Inspiration -
book design, communication design, Design for Good, social issues
Five nominees for AIGA’s national board of directors were selected by a nominating committee, based on recommendations from AIGA members, chapter leadership and design opinion leaders. Members at the Trustee, Design Leader and Sustaining Member levels approved the slate in April 2014.
The AIGA national board of directors will meet on April 24 in New York to receive recommendations from the strategic planning, finance, governance and communication committees; to review a new membership campaign in progress; and to review the charge for the Nominating and Awards committees.
Each year, AIGA provides a report of
activities and accomplishments to members and stakeholders; the current
report is shown here in full.
Since AIGA was founded in 1914, AIGA presidents have served as leaders of the organization and the national board of directors.
Section: About AIGA -
Beginning this month, AIGA is shifting from a membership model based on the stage of an individual’s career to one that reflects the member’s interest in, and commitment to, AIGA and the design profession. Executive Director Richard Grefé discusses the change and describes AIGA’s aim to achieve a more open and inclusive community.
Section: About AIGA -
AIGA Insight, advocacy, AIGA news
Meet Michelle Fazenbaker, AIGA Baltimore's Special Events Chair & AIGA 100 Chapter Liaison!
Jeff M. Ruble
Member since 2013
Manifold Clock: Studio Ve
April 16, 2014
AIGA New York
Ms. Katy O'Neill
AIGA Kansas City
AIGA Kansas City
AIGA Rhode Island
Arturo B. Aguilar
Mani T. Medina-Markham
AIGA New York
Ca T. Nguyen
RT @ultrasparky: Getting closer and closer to the #Century opening next week @AIGAdesign @byMonotype http://t.co/bsv0N5fsuT
An hour ago
#AIGA100 RT @irinatlee: Explore @AIGAdesign's 100 years of American graphic design history and add your perspective. http://t.co/8HVIE6YDOI
2 hours ago
A tragic love story composed of a hectic sequence of those little faces--emojis. #DesignEnvy via No-Domain: http://t.co/kl61BluUuv
4 hours ago
Nationwide poster competition project bringing awareness to human trafficking in the US
April 24, 2014
BU School of Visual Arts BFA Senior Thesis Show
Multimedia Curriculum Designer – Suffolk Construction
April 23, 2014
Boom Boom Pow
An ethnography primer