We are proud to announce that Kit Hinrichs, the founder and art director of @ Issue, head of Studio Hinrichs, and former Pentagram partner, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Art Center College of Design last weekend. Congratulations, Kit. We’re proud to work with you, and grateful for your contributions to design.
Simply adding another blog post in light of recent horrors seems wrong. The terrorist attack in Paris last Friday, along with the twin bombings in Beirut the day before, and the downing of a Russian civilian jetliner two weeks earlier cannot pass without acknowledgement. We join the world in mourning the loss of humanity, and pray for peace.
Those of you who clicked on the Print Archive only to find a photo of covers (seen here) and nothing else, we are happy to report that you can now access the back issues online. Previously only key stories had been posted because Kit needed the intern who was scanning old articles for other tasks. Finally, everything has been scanned and you can view them in their entirety here. We are also pleased to report that for those who want the real printed publication, past editions are available while they last from Corporate Design Foundation; email email@example.com. (For the record, yes, we miss the print editions too, and would be thrilled to return to ink on paper.)
Next week @Issue is relaunching itself; not to become something entirely new, but to return to what we saw as our editorial mission back when we started in 1994. For the first 15 years of our existence, @Issue: Journal of Business and Design was solely a print publication dedicated to demonstrating how good design is a major factor in establishing brand distinction, product desirability, customer loyalty, and ultimately business success. We featured in-depth case studies on brands that used design skillfully, and positioned ourselves as a bridge between business and design. At our peak, @Issue enjoyed a circulation nearing 100,000, with an avid following of designers, mar-com managers, corporate executives, printers and the like.
Then in 2008, the financial market collapsed, and with it our funding. To preserve the equity of our brand, we decided to publish online, which we have been doing ever since. This relaunch of @Issue online is intended to reintegrate some of the content that we had in print. We aren’t giving up the features we learned to love online, but we do plan to introduce stories that are more educational in tone to become a resource for creative inspiration and a platform for the best in design. Please stay tuned.
We recently lost one of the giants of our profession, Massimo Vignelli. An internationally acclaimed modernist, Massimo left a strong mark on our collective culture. Having had the privilege to know him personally, I also came to appreciate him as a warm, personal and extremely generous individual. Massimo was highly principled, joyous, robust, and thoughtful, but above all, he was a man of great passion who lived deeply. I saw this last year when I asked Massimo, along with 14 other designers, to describe how he sees San Francisco for a promotional project. I expected remarks about cable cars, steep hills, great restaurants, the Golden Gate Bridge,etc. Massimo’s response was lyrical, elegant, insightful and heartfelt – like the man himself. I held onto his description to remind myself that at the heart of visual arts is a poetic soul. Here is Massimo’s impression of San Francisco:
“Summer temperature, suddenly a chilling wind, a drastic drop in temperature and awesome clouds billowing over the hill toward me. A preview of the end of the world. A city inside a cloud. Would I survive? Is it real? The rampant clouds are rolling one over the other, gradually absorbing the city, vanishing it around me.”
Massimo, we will miss you.
The words “typeface” and “character” are fitting terms to describe fonts. When listening to good designers talk about them, you would think they were gossiping about people. They talk about their emotional qualities, complain about what they perceive as their flaws, get blushingly specific about their physical beauty. For them, some typefaces are casual flings, good for a quickie when the mood strikes and the lighting is right; with others, they are in love and ready to commit for life. For many designers, a studying letterforms is more engaging than reading what the collected letters have to say.
Some of you know that seven years ago I wrote a book called “The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946,” published by Ten Speed Press/Random House. As usual, it was designed by Kit Hinrichs (Kit’s origami flag assemblage below) and photographed by Terry Heffernan. After more than 30 years as a corporate writer, I suddenly found myself propelled in another direction and immersed in a subject that I largely avoided my entire life. Although I had no thought that it would make a good art exhibition, I began receiving requests from museums across the U.S. and the array of objects made from scrap and found materials by people imprisoned in the camps were exhibited in some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. and the International Folk Art Museum of Santa Fe. Today it opens at the University Art Museum (Geidai) in Tokyo to kick off a one-year tour of Japanese cities. If you are in Japan, I hope you’ll take the time to see it. I’ll be back in my San Francisco office next week with more new posts. — Delphine
In the U.S., July 4th is a national holiday commemorating the day in 1776 when the tiny 13 American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, instigating a revolutionary war that lasted eight long years. From a graphic standpoint, the American flag is unique because change is built into it. Each time a state joined the Union, it got its own star on the flag. The 50th and most recent star was added in 1959 when Hawaii won statehood. The flag’s appearance has remained constant since then. This video, produced by Kit Hinrichs, presents a chronology of when states entered the Union, how that changed the look of the flag, and which Presidents served under each version of the flag. Yes, we did run this video last Fourth of July, but we thought the John Philip Sousa’s tune “Stars and Stripes Forever” would be an invigorating way to celebrate the holiday. By the way, Sousa who was born in Washington D.C. is a classic American “melting pot” story. His father was born in Spain of Portuguese parents and his mother was born in Bavaria. Happy Fourth, enjoy the hot dogs and watermelon but don’t light fireworks if you live in a fire zone.
We don’t know how to wish you a happy new year in multiple languages, but we found several cats that do. From the team at @Issue, we wish you all the best in 2012 — peace, friendship, health, great collaborative clients, a free flow of creative inspiration, and many many moments of joy and laughter. Thank you for following @Issue throughout the year.
Pssst! Need a legitimate business reason to go to Las Vegas? Come to the AIGA Las Vegas “Return on Design: Business + Design Conference on November 17-18.
According to Patty Mar Simmons, event co-chair and president of AIGA Las Vegas, “We are uniting designers and business leaders to foster a better understanding of how good design can help drive tangible results for any size company.”
On the business/marketing side, speakers include Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts International; Jamie Naughton, Zappos.com; Richard Worthington, Molasky Group of Companies; Vince Alberta, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Christina Barr, Nevada Humanities; Brian Gordon, Applied Analysis, and Luke Heffron, Shutterlfy. Design side speakers include Debbie Millman, Sterling Brands and AIGA National board member; Andrew Naudin, ExhibitForce, and yours truly – Kit Hinrichs, Studio Hinrichs and design director, @Issue, and Delphine Hirasuna, editor, @Issue.
The cost to attend is $175 per person and includes a reception on Thursday evening, plus the conference sessions, breakfast and lunch on Friday. Come early, spend the weekend. Support the Las Vegas economy. For more information, visit returnondesignvegas.com.
Doyald Young, a lettering teacher of mine and mentor to generations of designers died recently at 85. Lynda.com prepared a tribute to him in a most fitting way. Letters and Logos.
An exhibition of “The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946” opens today at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. It is curated by @Issue’s very own editor, Delphine Hirasuna, and based on her book of the same name, which was designed by @Issue’s very own design director, Kit Hinrichs.
The exhibition (and book) features art and objects made by some of the 120,000 ethnic Japanese who lived on the U.S. West Coast and were forced into barbed wire enclosed/heavily guarded internment camps for the duration of World War II. Allowed to take only what they could carry, they were sent to live in remote uninhabited locations in the deserts and swamps.
Editor’s Note: Normally we don’t post people announcements on our blog, but we are breaking the rule for Kit, @Issue’s co-founder and creative catalyst. Kit’s new studio is off to a running start, with his entire San Francisco staff still on his team and projects proceeding on schedule. Below is the joint announcement released by Pentagram and Studio Hinrichs. Watch for more great work from Kit. Congratulations, dear friend, and all the best.
October 1, 2009 — After 23 years as a partner of Pentagram, Kit Hinrichs announced that he is leaving the international consultancy to establish an independent design firm, Studio Hinrichs, in San Francisco.
“My more than two decades at Pentagram have been the most gratifying of my 40-plus years in design,” says Hinrichs. “I’ve been proud to be in partnership with many of the world’s most talented and dedicated designers. Their commitment to design excellence set the bar to which I’ve continually aspired.”
Welcome to atissuejournal.com, the online version of @Issue: Journal of Business and Design. Like the print edition of @Issue, which debuted in 1994, this blog is intended to show how design has been used effectively to raise brand identities and contribute to business success. Our hope is to spur a dialog, provide food for thought, and encourage business and design to appreciate what each brings to the creative process. We plan to keep the blog content brief and topical, leaving the printed @Issue to offer more indepth, analytical coverage.
Our intention with the blog is to post frequent updates, but bear with us while we get up to speed. Story categories may change if we find they aren’t working. This is a work-in-progress that we hope will get better with each new posting. Also, indulge us for a brief while if we pick the “low-hanging fruit” and feature case studies of projects we worked on and know first-hand.
For us, @Issue has always been a labor of love, but we can’t survive without your support. To keep the blog alive, click on us regularly, tell your friends and colleagues to visit too, share your thoughts in the Comments box, and if you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please click on “Become a Sponsor” above and email us for more information.
Come back soon. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.