This month marks the 100th birthday of AIGA, a.k.a. American Institute of Graphic Arts, the professional association for design which has been one of the foremost trade organizations for designers, along with printers, papermakers and related suppliers that work with designers.
AIGA has very heady beginnings; started at a New York meeting in 1914 with graphic arts luminaries including lettering cartoonist, F. G. Cooper and prolific type designer, Frederick W. Goudy*. Some of the early guests were printers, of course – fine and commercial masters, Hal Marchbanks and William Edwin Rudge. The group initially came together to share their tips and tricks on typographic, photographic and printing processes, and the challenges to meet clients ever shrinking deadlines and budgets. Does this not sound familiar? The more things change, the more they stay the same. Other guests were Alfred Stieglitz, an accomplished and much sought-after publisher and photographer who you may also know of as the spouse of Georgia O'Keeffe. Through the years, presenters have included luminaries in the graphic design community too numerous to list. Please refer to the Sappi Presents 75 selections from the AIGA Design Archives for some of the incredibly talented designers and art directors that have been instrumental in the evolution of design and advertising over the decades. As a graphic design association, AIGA is a global thought leader, offering more speakers and content topics that continue to challenge, address and evolve a variety of design, developmental and social issues. In fact, the United States is practically blanketed and well represented with 66+ AIGA chapters and student groups to present design throughout the country. It makes one wonder if Mr. S.D. Warren – the founder of what has now evolved into Sappi Fine Paper North America – or one of his agents was present at those early meetings to talk about visual communication; to talk about print; to talk about Warren Standard Papers and challenges that printers and designers alike could solve and accomplish using their expertise and influence? Just as Sappi Fine Paper North America is here today to support you in the ever changing world of graphic design and production print, AIGA is changing with the needs of the designer, and its many related and support industries. Simply put though, we believe print is an integral part of the designers' print experience. Happy Birthday AIGA and may you have 100 more. Does that make sense? P.S. Also celebrating a birthday, the Macintosh® computer from Apple Inc. turns 30 this month. Coincidence?
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