Bright Lights: The AIGA Awards Gala 2013

Bright Lights: The AIGA Awards Gala” took place in New York City on April 19, 2013. This night of cocktails, conversation and celebration supported key initiatives and honored eight designers with the AIGA Medal. Thank you to our event co-chairs Min Lew and DJ Stout, our event committees, and Supporters—this event would not be possible without your generosity!   

Meet the medalists

Learn more about each of the design legends honored with the prestigious AIGA Medal at the 2013 “Bright Lights” celebration:

John Bielenberg Designer, entrepreneur and imaginative advocate for a better world, John Bielenberg was recognized for innovative investigations into the practice and understanding of design and leadership in the “design for good” movement.

Watch the video profile  |  Read John’s biography
William Drenttel

Jessica Helfand
Designer, theorist and publisher William Drenttel was recognized for advancing critical thinking about design; for his long-standing commitment to integrating design strategy into organizations; for expanding design’s role in social innovation; and for his work as cofounder, editor and publisher of Design Observer.

Designer, educator and writer Jessica Helfand was recognized as an incisive critic; a pioneer in design practice and education; an innovator of new forms of visual narrative; and for her work as cofounder of Design Observer.

Watch the video profile  |  Read their biography
Hoefler and Frere-Jones Type designers extraordinaire Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones were recognized for their contributions to the typographic landscape through impeccable craftsmanship, skilled historical reference and insightful vernacular considerations.

Watch the video profile  |  Read their biography
Stefan SagmeisterInspirational and intriguing designer Stefan Sagmeister was recognized for a career based on imaginative and often unorthodox design solutions to both commercial and social communication challenges, which often reveal design’s potential for addressing vexing social problems within popular culture.

Watch the video profile  |  Read Stefan’s biography
Lucille Tenazas Design educator and practitioner Lucille Tenazas was recognized for her prominent role in translating postmodern ideas into critical design practice; her exploration of the relationship between type, photography and language; and the development and leadership of highly-respected design education programs—always with exquisite execution.

Watch the video profile  |  Read Lucille’s biography
Wolfgang Weingart Designer and instructor Wolfgang Weingart was recognized for his typographic explorations and teaching at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, and who, through the work of his students, created a more experimental and expressive approach to typography that has been influential around the world.

Watch the video profile  |  Read Wolfgang’s biography

About this event

The AIGA Awards Gala is an annual celebration to honor the distinguished practitioners, educators and role models whose creativity, intelligence, perception and skill have inspired and shaped the entire design profession. Proceeds from the event benefit Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships and the Legacy Fund.


AIGA is deeply grateful to those who contributed to “Bright Lights: The AIGA Awards 2013”.


H&F-J color



Sandy Alexander Logo  


American Printing Co.
Scott Belsky, Behance
Debbie Millman, Sterling Brands
Mohawk Fine Paper
Phil Hamlett, Academy of Art University
School of Visual Arts
Bonnie Siegler, Eight and a Half
Su Mathews, Lippincott
VSA Partners


    Kim Baer
    Dan Boyarski
    Gaby Brink
    Allan Chochinov
    John Clark
    Bart Crosby
    Nathalie Destandau
    Michael Donovan
    Stephen Doyle
    Nancye Green
    Stanley Hainsworth
    Terry Irwin
    Clement Mok
    Darralyn Rieth
    Anthony Russell
    Lella and Massimo Vignelli
    Ann Willoughby

      Event committee

      Bright Lights co-chairs

      Min Lew, creative director, Base Design
      DJ Stout, partner, Pentagram

      Benefit committee

      Elizabeth Amorose and Brett Traylor, Thinkso Creative
      Chris Auyeung and Vijay Mathews, W&Co.
      Barbour Design Inc.
      Carbone Smolan Agency
      Barbara deWilde
      dress code
      Laura Forde
      Gabriele Wilson Design
      Timothy Goodman
      Hilary Greenbaum, The Whitney Museum of American Art
      Julia Hoffmann, MoMA
      Cavan Huang
      OCD | The Original Champions of Design
      Jill Spaeth, Citizen Creative
      Clif Stoltze, Stoltze Design
      Andrew Twigg
      Melanie Weisenthal, Deerfield
      Willy Wong, NYC & Company

      2013 Awards Committee

      Antonio Alcalá, Studio A, committee chair
      Joe Cecere, Little & Company
      Kelly Stevens, Whole Foods Market
      David Williams, Morningstar, Inc.
      Ann Willoughby, Willoughby Design

      Bright Lights design elements

      Identity, invitation, and decor design
      Base Design

      Program design

      Program printing
      Sandy Alexander Inc.  

      Invitation printing
      American Printing Co.

      Paper partner
      Mohawk Fine Papers

      Keynote presentation design
      Barbour Design Inc.

      Video design
      dress code  

      Photo booth photography
      Foxtrot Foto