Graphic designers from the Twin Cities, across the country, and around the world will visit the Walker Art Center in March for
, the Walker and AIGA Minnesota’s lecture series showcasing innovative approaches to design practice. Eric Olson, founder of Minneapolis-based Process Type Foundry, one the most sought-after foundries in the United States, kicks off the four-week series at 7 pm Tuesday, March 10, with Nicole Dotin, a principal in the company. Known for its unique contemporary typefaces, extensive extended character sets, and custom commissioned work, Process Type Foundry counts among its clients Facebook, NBC, the New York Times Magazine, and Chevrolet. Insights 2009 continues with David Reinfurt of the New York-based design studio O-R-G and the workshop/bookstore Dexter Sinister, on March 17; principles from the Amsterdam studio Experimental Jetset, known to U.S. audiences from their appearance in the documentary Helvetica (2007), on March 24; and Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and author of the best-selling books D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (2006) and D.I.Y. Kids (2007), on March 31. The 7 pm lectures, which take place in the Walker Cinema, will be webcast live and archived on the Walker channel (channel.walkerart.org).
Individual tickets are $20 ($15 Walker and AIGA members; $10 students) and series tickets are $70 ($48). Tickets may be purchased at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Tuesday, March 10, 7 pm
Process Type Foundry, Minneapolis
Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin
Process Type Foundry has quickly become one of the most sought-after studios in the United States. Created in 2002 by Eric Olson, the company is known for its unique contemporary typefaces, extensive extended character sets, and custom commissioned work. Its early font releases included the rounded sans serif Bryant, the quirky modular FIG Script, and Locator & Locator Display, a type family designed to represent the Twin Cities. Klavika, released in 2004, has become the foundry’s most popular typeface to date, appearing in everything from the Facebook logo to NBC’s on-air graphics and magazines such as Blender and Architecture MN. Process Type Foundry has worked with clients such as the New York Times Magazine, Thomson-Reuters, and Chevrolet to strengthen their identities with custom type work, and in 2005 Olson engineered the Walker Art Center’s new graphic identity. The studio’s work has been featured in the book Metro Letters and in numerous magazines, including Eye, Nylon, PRINT, étapes, HOW, STEP, Metropolis, Task Newsletter, and CAP&Design. Prior to forming Process, Olson taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and was a design fellow at the University of Minnesota Design Institute and a graphic designer at the Walker. A principal in the company, Nicole Dotin received her MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, England, and previously taught at MCAD. In 2006 she joined Olson as the foundry’s second designer.
Tuesday, March 17, 7 pm
David Reinfurt, New York
O-R-G and Dexter Sinister
At the vanguard of a recent wave of young designers whose practices blur the lines between the worlds of client-driven projects and critical investigation, David Reinfurt melds highly conceptual ideas with technological experimentation. After receiving his MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University in 1999 and working as an interaction designer at IDEO in San Francisco, he founded the studio O-R-G in New York, where his clients included the New York Times, AIGA NY, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Brill’s Content, and Dean Sakamoto Architects, among others. In 2006, with graphic designer Stuart Bailey, Reinfurt established Dexter Sinister, a small workshop/bookstore on the Lower East Side. Counter to the assembly-line realities of today’s large-scale publishing, the studio’s process involves working on-demand, using inexpensive local machinery, considering alternate distribution strategies, and collapsing distinctions of editing, design, production, and distribution into one efficient activity. Dexter Sinister was featured at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in Switzerland and the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Reinfurt has written for magazines such as the New York Times Magazine, Dot Dot Dot, Social Text, Visual Communications (UK), Modern Painter, Metropolis M, Idea Magazine (Japan), and Nozone Empire. He previously held a yearlong research affiliate position at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT and currently teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and the Rhode Island School of Design.
Tuesday, March 24, 7 pm
Experimental Jetset, Amsterdam
Marieke Stolk and Danny van den Dungen
Based in Amsterdam and founded in 1997 by Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers, and Danny van den Dungen, Experimental Jetset has been consistently reinterpreting the implications of modernism, often from the perspective of a youth-based counterculture. The studio has influenced new generations of graphic designers and is perhaps best known to U.S. audiences from their appearance in the documentary Helvetica (2007), a typeface that has become a defining aspect of their work. Experimental Jetset’s print work explores ways in which we are both shaped by and help shape our material environment. Projects for cultural clients include collaborations with the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, Purple Institute, Centre Pompidou, Colette, Dutch Post Group, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Le Cent Quatre, De Theatercompagnie, and 2K/Gingham, which released their iconic John&Paul&Ringo&George T-shirt design. The studio’s work has been exhibited in galleries across the world, and in 2007 New York’s Museum of Modern Art acquired a large selection of their projects for inclusion in its permanent collection. Since 2000, members of Experimental Jetset have been teaching at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.
Tuesday, March 31, 7 pm
Ellen Lupton, Baltimore
Ellen Lupton’s prolific career spans the realms of design practice, education, criticism, and curating, and is specifically aimed at bringing design awareness to a broader audience. She directs the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, where she also serves as director of the Center for Design Thinking. As curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum since 1992, Lupton has organized numerous exhibitions, including the National Design Triennial (2000, 2003, 2006), Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office (1993), Mixing Messages: Graphic Design and Contemporary Culture (1996), Letters from the Avant-Garde (1996), Graphic Design in the Mechanical Age (1999), and Skin: Surface, Substance + Design (2002). In addition to the robust catalogues that accompany these shows, she has written and coauthored the best-selling books Thinking with Type (2004), D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (2006), D.I.Y. Kids (2007), and most recently Graphic Design: The New Basics (2008). With J. Abbott Miller, Lupton’s essays on design and culture were published in Design Writing Research (1996). Her writing has been featured in magazines such as Print, Eye, I.D., and Metropolis. She has a regular column, “The El Word,” in Readymade magazine and her editorial illustrations have been published in the New York Times. Lupton is a 2007 recipient of the AIGA Gold Medal, the profession’s highest honor.