Eight Designers Awarded the AIGA Medal for 2013

John Bielenberg, William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, Stefan Sagmeister, Lucille Tenazas and Wolfgang Weingart will receive the AIGA Medal

NEW YORK—February 5, 2013. A lifetime of achievement in design can take many forms. The 2013 recipients of the AIGA Medal, the highest honor of the design profession, represent the range of contributions designers make to clients, future generations and society at large—through inspiration, thoughtful critique, social impact and the education of future design leaders. This spring, AIGA will recognize eight designers with this prestigious award: John Bielenberg, William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, Stefan Sagmeister, Lucille Tenazas, and Wolfgang Weingart.

John Bielenberg 150 

John Bielenberg

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

William Drenttel 150

Jessica Helfland 150 

William Drenttel

Designer, theorist and publisher William Drenttel will be 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.

Jessica Helfand
Designer, educator and writer Jessica Helfand will be 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.

Hoefler and Frere-Jones 150 

Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones

Type designers extraordinaire Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones will be recognized for their contributions to the typographic landscape through impeccable craftsmanship, skilled historical reference and insightful vernacular considerations.

Sagmeister 150 

Stefan Sagmeister

Inspirational and intriguing designer Stefan Sagmeister will be 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.

Lucille Tenazas 150x150 

Lucille Tenazas

Design educator and practitioner Lucille Tenazas will be 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.

Wolfgang Weingart 150x150 

Wolfgang Weingart

Designer and instructor Wolfgang Weingart will be 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.


Each Medalist will be presented with the award on April 19 in New York at “Bright Lights: The AIGA Awards,” a celebration that benefits the AIGA Design Archives, a public online collection of excellence in design, and Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships for underprivileged design and art students. Chaired by DJ Stout, partner at Pentagram, “Bright Lights” brings together hundreds of design enthusiasts and professionals to celebrate design excellence.

Information about “Bright Lights,” including slideshows of all the Medalists’ work, is available at aiga.org/the-aiga-awards.

About the AIGA Medal

The AIGA Medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements, services or other contributions to the field of design and visual communication. Medals have been awarded since 1920 for contributions to design practice, teaching, writing or leadership of the profession in the United States. To learn more about this year’s Medalists and view a complete list of past recipients, visit aiga.org/medalists.

About AIGA

AIGA is the professional association for design, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA today serves more than 22,000 members through 67 chapters and 200 student groups throughout the United States. AIGA stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. Learn more at aiga.org/about.

For further information, please contact:
Jennifer Bender, director of communications and marketing
AIGA | the professional association for design