From products and packaging to printed materials and digital interfaces, graphic design permeates every day life. Since the advent of desktop publishing not only have graphic designer’s roles expanded, but the types of work that fall under the umbrella of graphic design have as well. Current technologies continue to impact design in new and often unexpected ways, hence the organizing theme of “Graphic Design—Now in Production” focusing on “recent innovations in the ways designers work.” Arriving just in time for Memorial Day weekend, the exhibition which welcomed an impressive 1,400 attendees for its debut at the Walker Art Center in 2011 opens this Saturday, May 26 on New York City’s Governors Island, aptly described as “New York City’s ‘backyard’ for arts and culture” by Trust for Governors Island president Leslie Koch and the second stop on its national tour.
Justin Manor, John Rothenberg, and Eric Gunther, “Set Top Box,” 2010, Courtesy Sosolimited
Co-organized by Cooper-Hewitt and the Walker Art Center “Graphic Design—Now in Production” spans a remarkable array of design work across a variety of areas including books, posters, information design, typography, branding and identity, storefront, magazine and film and television titles. Lead curators Andrew Blauvelt, curator of architecture and design at the Walker Art Center and Ellen Lupton, senior curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt have assembled an exhibition of remarkable breadth that effectively examines the impact of production on the way media is made and consumed, from designer as author and print on-demand technology, to a software fueled digital typeface renaissance. Or, as Director Bill Moggridge stated “This exhibition looks at cutting edge ideas and breaking cultural revolutions in the world of graphic design.”
Meike Gerritzen, Beware of Software vest from the Saved by Droog Project, 2010. Text: Geert Lovink. Photo: Stefanie Grätz Copyright: Droog Design
Set against the backdrop of Governors Island, some personal favorites from the exhibition were Dutch design collective LUST’s Poster Wall for the 21st Century an interactive piece that automatically generates 600 unique posters daily using content gathered from various internet sources, physical movements, social media and QR codes, reexamining the definition of what constitutes a poster; Christopher Doyle’s Identity Guidelines, Doyle’s hilarious take on branding and identity design showing personal brand guidelines, including a section on “brand devices” (such as his glasses) stipulating that they “must always incorporate a core color of 100% black” and David McCandless’ interactive infographic Mountains Out of Molehills showing a “timeline of global media scare stories”.
An equal treat for designers and non-designers and a great way to spend the day, “Graphic Design—Now in Production” will be on view in Building 110 on Governors Island, the exhibition will be free and open to the public weekends and holiday Mondays, 10 a.m. to 6p.m., May 26, 2012–Sept 3, 2012.
First featured image: Experimental Jetset, “Statement and Counter-Statement,” 2011, Courtesy the artists Copyright:Experimental Jetset