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For the past two years I have served on the board of Icograda,
the International Council of Graphic Design Associations. The
opportunity has been extremely valuable toward reinforcing our
members' interest in being part of a global community of designers,
particularly as the global economy becomes the design arena of the
Most recently, I traveled to Cuba to participate in the
Design Congress, held in Havana on October 19–26. This weeklong
experience included an education conference, an international
design conference, a general assembly of member associations and an
Icograda board meeting—the last one I would be attending.
Joining me at these conferences were a number of American
designers, educators and social scientists, as well as others from
around the world. The activities surrounding the conferences
included the “Shared Dreams” exhibition
of posters from U.S. and Cuban designers—which had also exhibited
at “Next: AIGA Design
Conference” in Denver—and other exhibitions that included AIGA
members' work alongside the work of designers from around the
The general assembly included AIGA delegates David Gibson and
Kenna Kay, former and current AIGA board members, respectively. At
the general assembly, SEGD, GAG and the University and College
Designers Association (UCDA) were admitted to the organization,
joining AIGA in representing U.S. designers. AIGA's involvement is
still a very strong presence, as the largest and oldest of the
member associations worldwide. The value of our membership is that
it allows us to build bridges to designers in other countries,
develop links to our designers rather than just their work and
share what we have learned with other associations so that they,
too, can advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool
and vital cultural force.
The entire experience helps to strengthen the leadership
perception of AIGA abroad, which, in turn, strengthens the
credibility of our voice and standards in the United States. The
benefits to our members are not easily measured; however, our
participation in Icograda offers AIGA a chance to advance issues
important to its members in other international venues, as well as
opens up the potential for collaborative projects between AIGA
designers and designers from other countries.
There are few certainties amongst the challenges to design's
relevance in the future, yet one is clear. Designers will be
working in a global design economy where clients, collaborators and
competition are all more likely to come from outside the United
States. It is important for AIGA and its members to be seen as a
progressive, supportive part of this future if we are to have open
access, respect for our unique capabilities and increased
opportunities. Although my term on the 10-member Icograda board has
ended, current AIGA members from Qatar, Italy and Denmark remain
involved and will continue to promote our principles.
The next world design congress will occur in Beijing in 2009; we
anticipate that AIGA
China will have a role in its program. Look for a forthcoming
Insight column that will expand on the activities of AIGA China and
why our involvement there matters to all of our members here.
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.
New York, NY—September 29, 2014. As the definition of
“design” continues to broaden, so too will the scope of AIGA’s biennial
design and business conference. Next month, leading
thinkers-practitioners-writers-educators will converge in New York City
at “Gain” to consider many facets of the design of business for the
New York—September 23, 2014. Next week, AIGA, the professional
association for design, opens “Dan Friedman: Radical Modernist”—a
vibrant and inspiring retrospective of a designer who pioneered New Wave
design while carving his own path from academia to corporate design,
experimental European commissions and AIDS activism in the East Village
art scene. This exhibition is organized and designed by AIGA Medalist
Chris Pullman and Laura Varrachi of LVCK Environmental Graphics with
support from Dan Friedman's brother Ken Friedman.
New York, NY—September 25, 2014. AIGA and Wacom announce the launch of “Rise & Shine,”
a new video series that goes behind the scenes of the diverse practices
of six up-and-coming communication designers. Viewers are invited to
travel across the United States with AIGA, the professional association
for design, and Wacom, the leading producer of intuitive design tools,
to visit a range of talented, emerging designers working today and find
out what fuels their creativity. The series offers a closer look at
everything from creative processes and big career breaks to the
techniques and technology they use to realize their visions.
NEW YORK—September 18, 2014. AIGA, Design Observer and Designers & Books today published results of the 2013 “50 Books/50 Covers” competition. A panel of jurors including Michael Bierut, partner at the New York design firm Pentagram; Jessica Helfand, founding editor of Design Observer; and Peter Mendelsund, associate art director of Alfred A. Knopf Books chose 50 outstanding books and 50 exceptional covers.
This task force is charged with reviewing the role AIGA might play in recognizing, communicating and advocating remarkable design that has emerged from the graphic design tradition—experienced in many media and forms today.
Section: About AIGA -
Design feedback shouldn't be a painful process. In fact, if it's a painful process, I'd say someone's not doing it right. The most successful projects are usually ones with a collaborative workflow between a well-balanced team of designers, developers, project management, and of course — clients! It's essential to have a healthy feedback process, in which the client knows exactly what feedback is most helpful for the next round of revisions, and the designers and developers know how to translate and solve those problems.
I know, I know, both web teams and people who have hired web teams are out there groaning right now (we get it, and this isn't a soapbox). Everyone has had their fair share of difficult projects and poor communication, but it doesn't have to be that way. In efforts to improve the feedback process for web clients and design teams alike, I'm writing this two-part article about How to Give Good Web Design Feedback, and Turning Client Feedback Into Your Best Work.
Member since 2011
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