How new technology has transformed graphic design

An upcoming Minneapolis show explores how the industry has changed over the last decade

Topics: Imprint, Design,

How new technology has transformed graphic designBest Made American Felling Axes, 2009

Pack up your pixels and don’t forget your fishing pole — we’re headed to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. This October 22nd, Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center is presenting Graphic Design: Now in Production, one of the largest graphic design exhibitions in the U.S. in over a decade. (Think: 10,000 square-feet of designer-made history — swoon!).

The show will highlight design-driven works from the year 2000 to present including posters, books, magazines, information design, branding and identity, typography and typefaces, and film and television title graphics. And, of course, designer-made-goods will be showcased too. Expect works by Stefan Sagmeister, Mevis and Van Deursen, Maureen Mooren, Dutch design collective Lust, Marian Bantjes, and James Victore, among others.

Daniel Eatock -- Pantone Pen Print, 2006

Daniel Eatock — Pantone Pen Print, 2006

Christopher Doyle -- Christopher Doyle Identity

Christopher Doyle — Christopher Doyle Identity Guidelines 2008

Sarah Illenberger

Sarah Illenberger, information graphics for “The Truth about Sex,” published in Neon magazine, 2008.

Co-organized by the Copper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the show explores how the role of “graphic designer” has dramatically shifted from designer to designer-as-maker, and in a relatively short timeframe too. From launching crafty businesses and creative blogs, to authoring and self-publishing books and magazines — there’s no denying that new technology and buzz-spreading social media have forever altered the design profession.

Tom Barham, Curious Pictures

Tom Barham, Curious Pictures — Opening title sequence for Bored to Death, 2009

Peter Buchanan-Smith

Peter Buchanan-Smith — Best Made American Felling Axes, 2009

“As the title alludes to, many graphic designers have become producers — creators of typefaces, entrepreneurs for their own products. The curatorial team has selected examples from the past decade of this attitude and spirit across all the major genres of graphic design,” say Walker Art Center curator Andrew Blauvelt.

And speaking of the curatorial team — who exactly are the folks giving the “yay” or “nay” on what makes the museum-worthy cut? Along with Blauvelt and celebrated designer/writer Ellen Lupton, curating contributors including film and TV design gurus Ian Albinson and Alexander Ulloa of, magazine and newspaper design knowledge-head Jeremy Leslie of, and branding insiders Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio of Brand New.

Metahaven -- Uncorporate Identity 2010

Metahaven — Uncorporate Identity 2010

I don’t know about you, but I’m beyond excited about this show. The exhibition runs through January 22, 2012. So get ready to do some major design history ogling… all through museum-protective glass, of course.

Copyright F+W Media Inc. 2011.

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