Annual Report 2013

Filed Under: About AIGA


AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force.

What does AIGA do?

AIGA pursues its mission by connecting practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons through regional, national and global events and by creating and curating content that:

AIGA had 67 chapters as of December 31, 2013; AIGA Middle East was added during the course of the year as an international affiliate. Chapters serve as AIGA’s most direct connection with members and are led by passionate, dedicated volunteers.

The board of directors refined AIGA’s strategic framework in 2013, based on feedback from members and chapter leadership. The framework is organized around four critical areas:

Focus on Design

Goal: Communicate, celebrate and demonstrate the value of design to business, government, media and the public
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1,800 designers gathered in Minneapolis in October for “Head, Heart, Hand: AIGA Design Conference.” The 15th biennial design conference featured speakers such as Leyla Acaroglu, Eric Baker, Aaron Draplin, Steve Duenes and Matthew Ericson, George Lois, Paulina Reyes and the fourth season of Command X.
Fellow 2013
14 Fellows were named by chapters across the country, recognizing designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local design community.
126 examples of design that connects, informs, assists, delights and influences were featured in the initial launch of
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109 original articles, videos and case studies discussing issues facing design and designers were published on
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1.5 million unique visitors viewed content on; 400,000 people followed @AIGAdesign on Twitter; and AIGA’s Facebook page reached 30,000 fans.
15,500 visitors viewed five exhibitions in the gallery space at the National Design Center: The Lustigs: A Cover Story, from December 10, 2012–February 15, 2013; We the Designers from March 5–April 5; AIGA Colorado Presents: Bordo Bello NYC from April 22–July 2; Estrada: Sailing through design from July 17–October 7; and DIVINE DETAILS: A shop for the (extra)ordinary from November 2–December 28.
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14 case studies were selected by an esteemed jury for “Justified: AIGA Design Competition,” chaired by Clement Mok. Out of 263 submissions, these examples best demonstrated the value of design in a clear, compelling and accessible way and revealed how the designer approached their clients’ challenges.
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46 Design Envy curators shared design inspiration with the community throughout the year, featuring 215 items. Design Envy continues to showcase new and interesting designs that curators “envy” for their originality, beauty, practicality or other elusive qualities.
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25 Design for Good case studies were published with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Design for Good program recognizes the increasing number of designers who play a catalytic role in communities through projects that create positive social impact.
323 educational institutions that are members of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) will be accredited according to new standards for design programs based on accreditation criteria developed with AIGA and and design education leaders, and adopted by the NASAD board of governors.
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5 constituencies (federal, state, local community, business and media) were influenced by AIGA’s active advocacy efforts, as AIGA advocated members’ interests with the White House, NEA, state legislatures on election design issues, local communities, business leadership and the media.

Focus on Designers

Goal: Empower designers across the arc of their careers
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31 participants graduated from “Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders,” offered by AIGA and the Yale School of Management. This was the 10th class to complete the program, equipping more than 300 designers with a deep understanding of how top business executives see problems and approach decisions.
22 chapters offered mentoring programs, up from nine, as a result of a National Endowment for the Arts grant received by AIGA.
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30 designers learned “Facilitation: by design” in Minneapolis, giving them the skills to guide diverse groups of organizational leaders, colleagues and community members to develop solutions for big, interconnected problems.
2013 survey
10,000+ designers provided data for the 2013 AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design Salaries, the most comprehensive annual survey of compensation data for communication designers in the United States.
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2,800 jobs were posted on AIGA Design Jobs, and more than 200,000 people visited the site. Potential employers reach a pre-qualified audience, since complete job details are available only to AIGA members.
11 essays by visionary thought leaders were published, exploring their plans, predictions and aspirations for the studio of 2015 and beyond.
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18 Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships and six honorable mentions were granted to an outstanding group of applicants in five categories, through the generous support of sponsors including the AIGA DC Continuum Fund Scholarship, Coyne Family Foundation, Kraus Family Foundation, Shutterstock, the Young Photographer’s Alliance and an anonymous donor.
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16 “INitiative” articles, videos and interviews—shared through four INform newsletters—provided inspiration, advice and insights to those working in, and managing, in-house design departments.
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17 webcasts were hosted by AIGA board members and other influential designers, including Nathan Shedroff on “Meaningful Design,” Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt on designing a sustainable studio, Allan Chochinov on “Products of Design” and Christopher Liechty on cultural differences.
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162 global associations and educational institutions became linked with AIGA as AIGA returned to Icograda, the international association of design organizations. AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé serves as Secretary General and builds positive relationships on behalf of AIGA members.

Focus on Members and Chapters

Goal: Engage members and empower chapters to create vital communities and supportive networks
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1,000+ speaker events, salons, workshops and happy hours were hosted by AIGA chapters and student groups, providing inspiration and advice to designers in communities across the country.
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17 chapters held Design Weeks across the country in the fall of 2013, with dozens more planned for 2014.
260 chapter board members converged in Philadelphia for “Forward: AIGA Leadership Retreat,” May 30–June 1.
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$800,000 in dues reimbursements was returned to chapters across the country to support local programming.


22,323 members belonged to AIGA as of December 31, 2013, an increase of 9 percent compared to December 31, 2012.

Focus on Organizational Viability

Goal: Ensure a well-managed, financially sound, and responsive professional organization

AIGA’s FY 2013 audited financial statement is available online. AIGA’s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. Friedman LLP provided an unqualified audit of AIGA practices and finances, the highest expectation for prudent and responsible financial management.

Sources of funds


Membership dues
Event fees
Interest and investments
Individual donations
Government grants
Competition fees
Other, including Design Jobs
Contribution from reserves 


Uses of funds


Chapter support
Conferences / events
Web / publishing
Fundraising / development
Communications / advocacy
Competitions and exhibitions


Note: The uses of funds reflect the allocation of staff and overhead to each function, as well as direct expenses.

In FY 2013, revenue from membership dues totaled nearly $2.9 million. In order to provide services to members, AIGA raised the balance of the $5.2 million budget from program fees, sponsorships, grants or working capital. In other words, for every dollar in membership dues received, AIGA raised close to an additional dollar from other sources.

Membership revenues cover the following, including activities that would have to be undertaken individually by chapters without the benefits of scale when done centrally:

  • Expenses for supporting chapters, including reimbursements of membership revenues directly to chapters and staff support for chapter development
  • Web and publishing that support members directly
  • The membership development function, which includes processing of all membership records
  • Governance, which represents board support and legal requirements

Fundraising, development, communications, advocacy, competitions and exhibitions, and education are funded from revenues raised by AIGA from program fees and development activities.


AIGA’s board of directors is elected by members at the Sustaining, Design Leader and Trustee level. The board plays a crucial role in determining the mission of AIGA, ensuring that the organization continues to operate in the best interest of past, present and future members.

Sean Adams 2013
Sean Adams
AdamsMorioka, Inc.
AIGA Los Angeles
Drew Davies
Drew Davies
Oxide Design Co.
AIGA Nebraska
Darralyn Rieth
Darralyn Rieth
AIGA Philadelphia
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Deborah Adler
Adler Design
AIGA New York
Kim Baer
Kim Baer
AIGA Los Angeles
Andrew Blauvelt
Andrew Blauvelt
Walker Art Center
AIGA Minnesota
Robert Calvano
Robert Calvano
A+E Networks
AIGA New York
Allan Chochinov
Allan Chochinov
AIGA New York
Jenny Lam 75x75
Jenny Lam
Jackson Fish Market
AIGA Seattle
Su Mathews Hale
Su Mathews Hale
AIGA New York
Kevin Perry 75x75
Kevin Perry
AIGA Salt Lake City
Doug Powell 75
Doug Powell
IBM Design
AIGA Austin
Ruki Ravikumar
Ruki Ravikumar
University of Central Oklahoma
AIGA Oklahoma
Susana Rodríguez de Tembleque
Susana Rodríguez de Tembleque
AIGA San Franciso
Nathan Shedroff
Nathan Shedroff
California College of the Arts
AIGA San Francisco
Brian Singer
Brian Singer
AIGA San Francisco
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Executive director
Richard Grefé
New York
Email Ric
Andrew Twigg 2
Presidents council chair
Andrew Twigg
Andrew Twigg Design Studio, Ltd.
AIGA Pittsburgh


Official AIGA sponsors

AIGA’s official sponsors—Adobe, Aquent and Shutterstock—make significant investments in AIGA, and in turn support activities we would not be able to pursue alone. Their support is critical to AIGA's full range of programs each year and represent a substantial and sustained investment in the future of design and the design profession.

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As AIGA’s Official AIGA Sponsor for Design Solutions, Adobe creates innovative programs that give members a voice and engage the creative community in dialogues about design and technology.

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Aquent is the Official AIGA Sponsor for Professional Development, serving as a source for creative and design talent as well as providing access to great career opportunities for AIGA members nationwide.

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AIGA’s Official Sponsor for Creative Inspiration, Shutterstock, offers members a comprehensive library of more than 15 million stock photographs and vector illustrations.

Presenting sponsors

Presenting sponsors play a critical role by investing in a single national AIGA event or initiative that AIGA develops for its members. Frequently, these activities would not be possible without the support of the presenting sponsor.

The Creative Group July 2012

The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG)—a leader in matching creative talent with the best companies—is the Presenting Sponsor of INitiative, a new AIGA national program that provides knowledge and tools to help in-house designers make a greater impact at their companies, evolve professionally and connect with a broader network of peers.

Program and event sponsors

Program and event sponsors contribute to the resources necessary for AIGA to provide specific individual programs and events to its members, to the broader design community or to the public.

Academy of Art
Appleton Coated
Eight and a Half
French Paper Co.
Hoefler & Frere-Jones
IBM Design 
Johnson & Johnson
Minneapolis College of
 Art and Design (MCAD)
Neenah Paper
Parsons, The New School
 for Design
PepsiCo Nutrition Ventures
Riot Creative Imaging
Sappi | Ideas that Matter
School of Visual Arts (SVA)
Sterling Brands
The Creative Group
Vermont College of
 Fine Arts (VCFA)
VSA Partners


 Sign Systems


Appleton Coated
French Paper Co.


MET Fine Printers
Sandy Alexander




Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Worldstudio Foundation


National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Government of Spain, Ministry of Education,
 Culture & Sports