Minneapolis, February 15, 2012—Insights, the annual design series presented by the Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota, begins March 6 and runs every Tuesday through March 27. The series brings the world’s leading graphic designers to the Twin Cities to share their work, process, and experience. Lectures begin at 7 pm in the Walker Cinema.
Insights 2012 begins with Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Company in Portland, Oregon (March 6). Subsequent programs feature Khoi Vinh of Lascaux Co. and formerly of the New York Times (March 13); Michael Lejeune of Metro Design Studio in Los Angeles (March 20); and acclaimed book designer David Pearson (March 27).
The Insights series began in 1986 when the Walker partnered with AIGA Minnesota to create what would become a yearly tradition. Since then, the series has featured a consistent mix of emerging talent and established industry leaders. Speakers have included local legends Peter Seitz (1986) and Joe Duffy (1991); Massimo Vignelli (1993), creator of the iconic New York City subway system maps and signage as well as identity programs for companies such as American Airlines and Bloomingdale’s; Gael Towey (2000), chief creative officer at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; Matthew Carter (1995), prolific type designer and 2010 MacArthur Fellow; James Goggin of London-based studio Practise; and dozens more.
Series tickets for Insights 2011 are $70 ($50 Walker/AIGA members); individual tickets $20 ($15; $10 students). Tickets can be purchased by calling 612-375-7600 or visit walkertart.org/tickets. Lectures will be webcast on channel.walkerart.orgs
Tuesday, March 6
Aaron Draplin, Draplin Design Company
Although he makes his home in Portland, Oregon, Aaron Draplin is more a product of being born, raised, and educated in the Midwest. A native of Detroit, he studied graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design before heading out west to work as art director of Snowboarder magazine. He founded Draplin Design Company (DDC) in 2004, producing a wide range of award-winning projects and developing products for businesses such as Coal Headwear; board designs for Ride, Forum, and Gnu; conceiving Field Notes journals with Coudal Partners in Chicago; and the array of merchandise for the DDC brand enterprise. Draplin’s iconic forms and bold designs are steeped in a no-nonsense Midwestern vernacular and work ethic. They project an authenticity and attitude that seems inseparable from his self-deprecating personality and his client’s passions, reflected in the DDC motto “work hard and do good work for good people.”
Tuesday, March 13
Khoi Vinh, Lascaux Co.
As a child, Khoi Vinh emigrated to the United States from Vietnam. He studied illustration and practiced graphic design for print before moving to New York City in 1998, where he began his career in web and interactive design. From 2006–2010, he gained acclaimed as design director of nytimes.com, working with colleagues to transform the early web version of the newspaper into the robust, multifaceted digital platform that we know and use today. Named one of the 50 most influential designers by Fast Company, Vinh shares his thoughts about media, technology, and design on his blog at subtraction.com and at conferences worldwide. Since leaving the New York Times Company in 2010, Vinh cofounded Lascaux Co., which recently launched Mixel for iPad, the world’s first social collage app that allows users to make, share, and remix their creations.
Tuesday, March 20
Michael Lejeune, Metro Design Studio
Michael Lejeune is charged with “making public transportation cool,” a not-so-easy task in the car culture of sprawling Los Angeles. As Creative Director of LA Metro, Lejeune heads a studio with a staff of more than 20, applying design strategy and thinking to the nation’s third largest transit agency, which serves some 1.5 million people each day. Their projects, ranging from wayfinding systems, schedules, and maps to vehicle identity graphics and advertising campaigns to promote ridership, have been honored with more than 80 awards. This mix of consistent design standards, commonsense approaches to complex information, and engaging communications strategies has made LA Metro a standout in the public sector for embracing design and the capabilities of in-house teams.
Tuesday, March 27
David Pearson celebrates the printed book in all its dimensions despite the publishing industry’s woes and its headlong dive into e-books and other digital platforms. He began his professional career in 2002 at Penguin Books, the venerable British imprint, where he fused a contemporary sensibility with classical bookish elements to reinvigorate the brand. His traditional looking designs can be both unorthodox and unexpected, such as all-typographic book covers for Penguin Classics, the rainbow spectrum applied to the book spines of Pocket Penguins, or the use of letterpress and tactile papers in the Great Ideas series. He formed White’s Books with editor Jonathan Jackson in 2008, repackaging classic texts by Shakespeare and Dickens as well as titles such as Jane Eyre and Treasure Island.