Joe Duffy

2004 AIGA Medal
1949, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Joe Duffy is a much-admired creative director and an expert in branding and design. When he started Duffy Design in 1984, in association with creative advertising agency Fallon Worldwide, he broke new ground for the collaborative integration of branding and design with advertising.

A native of Minneapolis, Duffy is a graduate of both the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota School of Art where he studied fine art and painting. In his first job he made exploded-view technical drawings of engines and generators for a manufacturing company. Then, in 1975, Duffy established his own illustration and design studio, catering primarily to Minneapolis advertising agencies. From 1980 until 1984, with four other partners, he ran an advertising agency.

Duffy's work includes brand and corporate identity and design development for leading global companies such as BMW, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Starbucks and Sony. His understanding of how design affects consumer attitudes has led to many big ideas executed in advertising as well as design. He has guided the design component of significant integrated programs for EDS, The Islands of the Bahamas, Qualcomm, Whirlpool, Jim Beam Brands, Nuveen Investments, International Trucks, and Nikon.

Duffy, who holds a firm commitment to environmentally responsible design, has served as chairperson of an AIGA Environmental Committee. He has also served on the boards of AIGA, the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN, and the Minnesota State Arts Council. He was recently nominated to the Board of Directors of The One Club, the first designer ever to serve in that capacity.

In the fall of 2004 Duffy will release his first book, Brand Apart, which discusses more than a dozen of the most recognized and effective integrated marketing communications programs from the past decade. A collection of his original oil portraits will be exhibited at the College of Visual Arts Galley in July 2004.

In 2004 Duffy founded Duffy & Partners as an independent company to be a new kind of branding and creativity company partnering with clients and other agencies in all communications disciplines.

“Duffy Design has withstood the winds of fashion, the elitism of the design industry, the economic recession, the creative recession and the consolidation of what was an industry of individuality. Today, Duffy remains a premiere problem-solver for brands with a future.”

—John C Jay, Co-Executive Creative Director, Wieden + Kennedy, Tokyo.