Graphic Design: Now in Production
Skip to main content

Graphic Design: Now in Production

This major international exhibition explores how graphic design has broadened its reach dramatically over the past decade, expanding from a specialized profession to a widely deployed tool. With the rise of user-generated content and new creative software, along with innovations in publishing and distribution systems, people outside the field are mobilizing the techniques and processes of design to create and publish visual media. At the same time, designers are becoming producers: authors, publishers, instigators, and entrepreneurs employing their creative skills as makers of content and shapers of experiences.

Featuring work produced since 2000 in the most vital sectors of communication design, Graphic Design: Now in Production explores design-driven magazines, newspapers, books, and posters as well as branding programs for corporations, subcultures, and nations. It also showcases a series of developments over the past decade, such as the entrepreneurial nature of designer-produced goods; the renaissance in digital typeface design; the storytelling potential of titling sequences for film and television; and the transformation of raw data into compelling information narratives.

Graphic Design: Now in Production is the largest museum exhibition on the subject since the Walker’s seminal 1989 exhibition Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, and the Cooper-Hewitt’s 1996 comprehensive survey, Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. Appropriately, this exhibition is co-organized by the two institutions. A comprehensive, illustrated catalogue produced by the Walker accompanies the exhibition.

Curatorial Team

  • Ian Albinson,
  • Andrew Blauvelt, Walker Art Center
  • Jeremy Leslie,
  • Ellen Lupton, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution
  • Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio, Brand New

Tour Schedule

  • Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
    October 22, 2011–January 22, 2012
  • Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Governors Island, New York
    May 26–September 3, 2012
  • Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
    September 30, 2012–January 6, 2013
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum and Kendall College of Art Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan
    February 1–April 28, 2013
  • Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas
    July 20–September 29, 2013
  • Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    October 18, 2013–February 23, 2014
  • Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence
    March 28–August 10, 2014


  • Graphic Design: Now in Production is co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York.

    The Walker Art Center’s presentation is made possible by major support from Judy Dayton. Additional support is generously provided by the Bush Foundation as part of the Walker’s Expanding the Rules of Engagement with Artists and Audiences initiative, Deborah and John Christakos, Megan and James Dayton, the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam, Rebecca C. and Robert Pohlad, Harriet and Edson Spencer, and Audrey and Zygi Wilf. Night School is made possible by the Margaret and Angus Wurtele Family Foundation. Media partner Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.

Hotel Partners