NEW YORK—January 22, 2014. This week AIGA, the professional association for design, launches “100 Years of Design”—a dynamic online platform documenting significant design works from the last century that have impacted our collective visual experience. Viewers are encouraged to add their own favorite examples of design history to the initial selection of works, which are drawn primarily from the AIGA Design Archives and woven together with commentary from leading designers. Driven by participation from designers, students and design enthusiasts, the site invites conversation about design’s rich legacy and expanding impact.
“100 Years of Design” is a visual history of communication design, including advertising, identities, print design, typography, packaging, information design, environmental design, editorial design and interaction design. There are iconic designs to explore—such as Milton Glaser’s “Dylan” poster, the logo Walter Landor created for Cotton Inc., and Massimo Vignelli’s information design for New York City’s subway system—as well as designs which impact our daily lives, from the Nutrition Facts labeling on food packages designed by Burkey Belser and Joe Kayser, to the UPC bar code developed at IBM by N. Joseph Woodland & Bernard Silver.
The project is intended as a continually expanding source of inspiration and education for designers and the public alike. Narratives focused on the impacts of design encourage users to consider the role of design in their own lives. Instead of a history based on periods or styles, the result is a collaborative tribute comprised of personal stories about making, experiencing and appreciating design.
“Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the site is the chance to experience the perspective of designers through audio and video interviews, drawing viewers into the creative inspirations of those who have shaped our visual experience over the past century,” noted AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé. “At its core, this history is an eclectic, curated sampling of relevant design which is made expansive, current and inclusive by asking the design community to share their own influences, inspirations and mentors.”
Designers featured in interviews include Michael Bierut, Ivan Chermayeff, Seymour Chwast, Paul Davis, Steve Frykholm, Tom Geismar, Jessica Helfand, George Lois, Clement Mok, Jennifer Morla, Woody Pirtle, Paula Scher, Rick Valicenti, Michael Vanderbyl and Richard Saul Wurman. Viewers are invited to explore more profiles about influential designers such as Saul Bass, John Bielenberg, Alexey Brodovitch, W. A. Dwiggins, April Greiman, Sylvia Harris, Tibor Kalman, Alvin Lustig, Cipe Pineles, Stefan Sagmeister, Deborah Sussman and Edward Tufte.
AIGA is launching “100 Years of Design,” developed with Second Story Interactive Studios, to encourage young designers to define their own historic influences and to celebrate its hundredth anniversary in 2014. AIGA's centennial year kicks off this month with dozens of events across the United States hosted by AIGA chapters in 67 cities. Exhibitions of graphic design history will be taking place throughout the year in Denver, Atlanta and New York City, and The AIGA Centennial Gala in New York this April will honor 24 individuals with the prestigious AIGA Medal for lifetime achievement in design. More information about the centennial is available at 100.aiga.org.
AIGA, the professional association for design, advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, inspire designers and the public, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all. Learn more at aiga.org/about.