The AIGA Minnesota archives feature highlights and documentation of past events and shows.

The second non-juried show sponsored by MGDA, Minnesota Graphic Design 79, opened in December 1978 and was chaired by Robert Fleming. A controversial piece submitted by one of the nineteen designers sparked the request for a juried exhibition in future years. [read more…]

Tim Larsen was elected MGDA president for the second time in 1980. Under his leadership MGDA decided that quality was more important than quantity. The newly expanded board of directors voted to reduce sponsored programs from six to three: the now juried design show, plus a new design conference, and a design office tour. Bob […] [read more…]

Mildred (Mickey) Friedman (1929-2014)—former Walker Art Center design curator, editor of Design Quarterly (1969-1990), and wife of former Walker director Martin Friedman—passed away on September 3, 2014, at age 85. Her profound influence on the Minnesota design community cannot be overstated. She will be greatly missed. Read Andrew Blauvelt’s eloquent essay Remembering Mickey Friedman for an in-depth look at […] [read more…]

Inspired by the Minnesota Graphic Design 77 and 79 exhibitions, the Macalester Galleries mounted an exhibition called Johnson, Johnston, Madsen, Seitz: Graphic Design in the fall of 1978. Curated by Cherie Doyle, this exhibit focused on the role of the graphic designer as both a problem solver and an artist. It explored how the graphic […] [read more…]

Captivating speakers, creative communication, and camaraderie distinguished the Lutsen Design Conference during the early years. For its fifth anniversary, forward thinking conference chair Mark Odegard and his committee booked a stellar slate of speakers (Robert Abel, Phyllis Flood, Barbara Nessim, and Jayme Odgers) who addressed the brave new world of computer design and photography, and […] [read more…]

First MGDA Design Conference at Lutsen (1980) Regional design conferences were rare in 1980 when the Minnesota Graphic Designers Association (MGDA) board of directors organized the Lutsen Design Conference, predecessor of Design Camp, in 1980. The idea of going to one of Minnesota’s most beautiful resorts on the north shore of Lake Superior for a […] [read more…]

Challenging Changes “Improvement has its price. The MGDA presidency becomes a bigger responsibility than anyone wants. Dale Johnston consents to take on the job for six months in order to save the conference and show, on the condition that the membership votes to continue the organization into 1982. A blizzard on election night threatens voter […] [read more…]

MGDA established the Designing for Society Award as a way of honoring individuals for their contributions to design education or advocacy. This cash award was to be presented annually at the Lutsen Design Conference. Rob Roy Kelly, recognized for his outstanding contributions to design education, was the first recipient of the award. After studying at […] [read more…]

A Need for a National Graphic Design Organization? “Please make a priority out of the question of how we might form a larger alliance of graphic design associations.” —Robert Vogele, President of the Society of Typographic Arts (STA), 1980 The first Lutsen Design Conference sparked a serious dialogue between the MGDA and STA, Chicago’s oldest […] [read more…]

Thirty-two dues paying Minnesota Graphic Designers Association (MGDA) members were clamoring for a newsletter in 1979. They needed to be informed about their fledgling organization’s upcoming events, learn more about past events, and have a forum to discuss topics of interest to the Minnesota design community. Under the initiative and guidance of Patrick Redmond (MGDA […] [read more…]

Before we were officially AIGA Minnesota, the Minnesota Graphic Designers Association had formed in 1977 to forge a strong bond between graphic designers for the greater good of the design community. [read more…]

Minnesota Graphic Design 77 was a groundbreaking exhibition to create public awareness and understanding about the graphic design profession. [read more…]