The AIGA Fellow program recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to raising the standard of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community as well as their local AIGA chapter. Contributions in education, writing, and leadership, as well as reputation and the practice of design, are given equal consideration. The Fellow award is the highest honor an AIGA chapter may bestow upon one of its members.

A Fellow award nominee should be:

  • A practitioner and/or educator with more than 15 years of experience in the profession
  • A member of AIGA Minnesota in good standing
  • Making or has made a significant contribution to AIGA and/or AIGA Minnesota
  • Making or has made a positive impact within the local or regional design community (non-AIGA)
  • Advancing or has advanced excellence in design as a discipline, profession, and cultural force

Nominees will be reviewed by the 2020 AIGA Minnesota Fellow Program nominating committee.

Recipients will be honored at a local event in late 2020/early 2021. Details to come.
We’re looking forward to your nominations; peer and self nominations welcome.

2020 AIGA Minnesota Fellow Program Nominating Committee

Heather Brooks, President, AIGA MN
Sue Crolick, AIGA MN Fellow
Jo Davison (facilitator), AIGA MN Fellow and past President, AIGA MN
Susan Hopp, member at large
Katrin Loss, past President, AIGA MN
Eric Madsen, AIGA MN Fellow
Mark Odegard, past President, AIGA MN (MGDA)
Karyn Roszak, member at large

AIGA Minnesota Fellows

Andrew Blauvelt
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Andrew Blauvelt is a designer, curator, and educator. For 18 years he held several distinguished positions at the Walker Art Center, including Design Director, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design, and Chief of Communications and Audience Engagement. While at the Walker he oversaw the print and online publishing programs as well as civic engagement initiatives, and served as creative director for the Walker’s progressive brand identity across various media platforms.

As a curator he organized many popular traveling design exhibitions, including Graphic Design: Now in Production (2011) with Ellen Lupton at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York—the first such survey in more than 15 years; Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes with the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and Some Assembly Required: Contemporary Prefabricated Houses (2005), the first major museum survey of the subject. His latest exhibition, Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia (2015), is the first major museum survey of the art, architecture, and design of the counterculture in more than a decade. He also co-organized the popular Insights lecture series with AIGA Minnesota for more than 15 years.

In 2015 Andrew Blauvelt was named Director of the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, which organizes exhibitions, presents programs, and collects objects in the areas of modern and contemporary art, architecture, craft, and design. He is also a graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art where he received his MFA in Design.

A practicing graphic designer for more than twenty-five years, Andrew is the recipient of nearly 100 design awards, including several nominations for the Chrysler Award for Design Innovation and the National Design Awards in Communications Design as well as numerous inclusions in AIGA’s 50 Books/50 Covers competition. His work has been exhibited and published widely in the United States, England, Italy, the Netherlands, and Japan. In 2009, while serving as Design Director, the Walker Art Center received the National Design Award for Institutional and Corporate Achievement from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum—the first non-profit organization to win the honor.

As an educator, Andrew served as department chair and director of graduate studies of graphic design at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. He has also taught the history and theory of design in graduate programs in the U.S., the Netherlands, and Mexico.

In 1995, the Graphic Design Education Association (GDEA) named him Educator of the Year. He also served as Adjunct Professor of Practice in the Department of Architecture, College of Design at the University of Minnesota.

He has served on the national board of directors of the AIGA and is an elected member of the Alliance Graphique International (AGI) based in Switzerland.

Dale Johnston
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Dale K. Johnston received a B.F.A. in Graphic Design at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1962. Prior to Minneapolis School of Art (later to be named Minneapolis College of Art and Design), Dale studied two years at other universities and served four years in the U.S. Navy. Upon graduation, Dale joined the General Motors Styling Staff at the GM Technical Center followed by a year at Chrysler Corporation, two years at Deere & Company, and one year at Control Data.In 1969, Dale formed Design Center Inc. in Minnesota, serving as president until 1985
when Johnston Design Office Inc. was established and operated until semi-retirement in 2005.

Dale was one of the founders of the Minnesota Graphic Designers Association (MGDA) and served as president in 1982. MGDA became AIGA Minnesota in 1986.

In 1990, Dale traveled with a group of sixteen U.S. graphic designers to the Soviet Union to exchange design experience with Russian designers in Moscow and Leningrad.

Dale has personally designed numerous identity programs, packaging systems, family history books, educational products, and government projects for the past 52 years.

Doug Powell
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Doug Powell, formerly of Minnesota, is a Design Principal and Director of Education & Activation at IBM Design in Austin, Texas. In this role, Doug is helping to build the new vision for design at one of the largest and most successful companies in the world. Prior to joining IBM in 2013, Doug was an independent designer, strategist and entrepreneur, based in Minneapolis, leading successful projects for a wide range of clients and collaborative partners in health and nutrition, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Lifescan, and Pepsico. Doug was a consulting Creative Director for HealthSimple, working in close collaboration with the Johnson & Johnson Global Design team.Doug is a past chapter president of AIGA Minnesota and past national president of AIGA. He has been a leading force in the successful launch of Design for Good, the AIGA initiative to ignite, amplify, and accelerate design-driven social change.

A 1988 graduate of the School of Art at Washington University in St. Louis, Doug is a lecturer, commentator, and thought leader on design issues, having presented at a variety of national conferences and forums including Bright Ideas on Minnesota Public Radio, the 2011 Mayo Clinic Transform Conference, and the 2012 TEDx ArtCenter.

Eric Madsen
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Eric Madsen was born and raised in Texas. He began his career in Houston before moving to Minneapolis, where he continues to work as a designer and artist. His graphic design work has been recognized nationally and internationally by such organizations and publications as the AIGA Design Archives, the Society of Typographic Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, the Type Director’s Club of New York, magazines such as Applied Arts (Canada), Communication Arts, Critique, Idea (Japan), Graphis, Print, and by the Art Director’s Clubs of Minneapolis, New York, Dallas, Houston, and Los Angeles. His fine art has been recognized by the Minneapolis Foundation, the Miller Art Museum, the Lake Pepin Art & Design Center, and the Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center. Madsen is a past member of the AIGA National Board and is a founding board member of the AIGA Minnesota chapter and has served on its Board on three separate occasions. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the College of Visual Arts, Saint Paul, and the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. In 2010, he was appointed by the Postmaster General of the United States to serve on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, on which he continues to serve as a member of the full Committee and its Design Subcommittee. Madsen holds a degree in graphic design from the University of Houston.

Heather Olson
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Heather Olson has been integral to shaping and growing AIGA Minnesota off and on for 30 years. Through her extraordinary leadership, volunteerism, mentorship, facilitation, and advocacy, Olson has helped to build and strengthen the Minnesota chapter’s design community to its Top 5 status in the nation today. After editing the chapter newsletter, leading the Luncheons Committee, and co-chairing the Minnesota Design Conference at Lutsen, Olson was elected the first female president of the Minnesota Graphic Designers Association (1983), the predecessor to AIGA Minnesota. She later served as AIGA Minnesota’s Director of Education and Associate Director of In-House Designers, and is Co-Chair of the Veteran Designers Committee and a MNtor Program Mentor. Olson has coordinated other events such as the CVA Leaders of Design Series and sits on the advisory board of Art Buddies. In addition to volunteering, Olson spent the first half of her career as a practicing graphic designer, then shifted into marketing and recruitment for The Office of Eric Madsen, Larsen Design, and now Franke+Fiorella, where she is Marketing Director. Olson received a B.A. with Honors from Iowa State University in Advertising Design and Journalism.

James “Jim” Johnson

Jim has spent the last 50+ years as a graphic designer, visual artist, educator, and ritual master.

At his Minneapolis graphic design firm, Johnson Plus Johnson, clients included Fortune 500 corporations and large-scale environmental graphic design projects such as the Minnesota State Fair, the LynLake Neighborhood, the Minneapolis Skyway System, and the MTC Light Rail System.

Jim has taught at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and is a co-founder of the Minnesota Graphic Design Association (MGDA).

His art and design work have been exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally, most notably for the National Gallery of Art in Images of an Era: The American Poster and for the Walker Art Center in Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History.

For the last two decades, Jim has been finding new inspiration in a close relationship with nature, living on a cattle ranch in South Dakota.

(Note: Minnesota Graphic Design Association (MGDA) became AIGA Minnesota in 1986)

Jo Davison
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Jo Davison is known for her exceptional design leadership and passion for arts education. An outspoken design advocate and mentor, she has inspired the young and experienced alike. Her significant expertise in print and digital design has benefited clients at Larsen, The Edison Group, and McCool & Co. for more than 30 years. Sixteen of those years were also spent teaching at the College of Visual Arts, where she helped guide numerous students to successful futures in design.

Jo’s work has received many honors, including recognition from AIGA, Communication Arts, Critique, Graphis, HOW, and the Type Directors Club. She participated in Samsung’s national product reviews in 2010 and 2011, was included in CVA’s Leaders of Design exhibit in 2011, and juried the Communication Arts Design Annual in 2014.

Jo currently serves on the University of Minnesota College of Design Advisory Board, and is a past member of the University of Wisconsin–Stout Professional Advisory Board.

Jo’s AIGA connection runs deep, having served as a member of the National Board Nominating and Medalist committees, AIGA Minnesota chapter president, Design Camp chair, and 365: AIGA Design Annual Exhibition judge. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the University of Minnesota.

Joe Duffy
Fellow, AIGA Minesota

Joe Duffy is one of the most respected and sought after creative directors and thought leaders on branding and design in the world. Duffy’s work includes brand and corporate identity development for some of the world’s most admired brands, from Aveda to Coca-Cola to Sony to Jack in the Box to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Duffy’s work is regularly featured in leading marketing and design publications and exhibited around the world. In 2004 he founded Duffy & Partners as a new kind of branding and creativity company, partnering with clients and other firms in all communication disciplines. The firm’s work has received countless awards over the years. Duffy has served on the AIGA National Board and he received the Legacy Medal from the AIGA for a lifetime of achievement in the field of visual communications, in 2004. His first book—Brand Apart—was released in July 2005 and in 2006, he was recognized as one of the “Fast 50” most influential people in the future of business by Fast Company. In addition to his role as Creative Director, Duffy actively contributes to high-profile blogs such as Fast Company, Forbes CMO Network and in various design business outlets. He has a B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

John DuFresne
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

John DuFresne has championed quality graphic design education through his teaching and leadership for more than 25 years. As Professor and Chair of the Graphic Design Department for the College of Visual Arts (CVA), DuFresne has been responsible for developing CVA’s strong design curriculum and reputation. He has also taught at the University of Wisconsin–Stout. Over the years, hundreds of his students have become influential designers and AIGA members making significant contributions to the regional and national graphic design communities. In addition, DuFresne has served as AIGA Minnesota Education Director (1990–1992), AIGA Minnesota President (1992–1994), and AIGA National Board Member and Treasurer (1995–1998). He was instrumental in hiring Ric Grefé as AIGA’s executive director and helped to shape the organization’s future both organizationally and financially. DuFresne has been directly involved with the CVA Leaders of Design Series and many other AIGA Minnesota special events that have brought design legends such as Paul Rand and Steven Heller to Minnesota. John has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Wisconsin–Superior and a master’s in advertising design from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Kolean Pitner
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Kolean Pitner is an enthusiastic advocate of design history, teaching History of Graphic Design and History of Illustration at College of Visual Arts for 26 years. She co-authored the book Peter Seitz: Designing a Life, and co-curated CVA Gallery exhibits bRANDs: The Early Years, Branding by Paul Rand, 1941–1955 and The Lustigs: A Cover Story, which later traveled to New York’s AIGA Gallery. Her own work was exhibited in Women in Minnesota Design at CVA.

A long-time AIGA member, Kolean has served on the Minnesota board twice as Education Director, and organized the Insights Lecture Series as its Programming Director.

Kolean coordinated AIGA’s Get Out the Vote Twin Cities poster exhibition. She helped produce AIGA Minnesota’s Art Buddies fundraiser/mural painting project featuring L.A. street artist Chase. She also coordinated the Create! Don’t Hate program with local college design students mentoring Washburn High School art students.

Currently, as Associate Director of Archives, Kolean curated, wrote, and collaborated on the design of MGDA/AIGA: A History Exhibit presented at Walker Art Center. She is guiding translation of the exhibit for, and negotiated the archives acquisition by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Kolean has bachelor’s degrees in Graphic Design and Art Education from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in Communication Design from Pratt Institute. Prior to teaching, she practiced graphic design at firms in New York and Minneapolis before starting Pitner Design.

LaMar Lundell

LaMar Lundell has spent 45+ years supporting the Minnesota graphic design community. He began calling on design studios in 1972 and, ever since, has been assisting and guiding the Minnesota design community with his expertise in all things paper.

LaMar graduated from Minnesota School of Business in 1959 and began his career at Northwest Paper Co. In 1975, he moved to Inter City Paper Company (Now Veritv) as Vice President for Sales Promotion and Specification. After contemplating retirement in 2009, LaMar determined he could not leave the paper world and was employed by Anchor Express, continuing to help designers select the right papers for their projects. In 2014, he moved on to French Paper as a paper consultant. As of last year, he now enjoys a well-deserved retirement.

During these numerous decades of assisting designers, LaMar has also been an integral and generous supporter of AIGA Minnesota with both his resources and his knowledge.

Linda Henneman

Linda is the principal mind and designer behind ThinkDesign Group, a branding and graphic design firm with a credo: without think, it’s just design. It’s the belief that strategy and aesthetics are essential partners in every successful design solution. The result is products that inspire and move people to action. Linda’s reputation for connecting audiences to causes surrounding complex social issues has made her a favorite in the nonprofit community. She works with a diverse clientele including major service and industrial corporations as well as emerging growth companies.

Linda is the recipient of numerous local and national design awards, which include being named a “Person to Watch” by Graphic Design USA and one of Minnesota’s female design leaders by the College of Visual Arts.

As a long-time AIGA member, Linda has served on the chapter’s board of directors (1988–91 & 2013–15) and numerous committees. She has mentored several entry-level designers at ThinkDesign Group who have launched successful careers and MFA students at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).

Luis Fitch

Luis Fitch is an international strategic designer, artist, mentor, and creative entrepreneur. He is the founder and creative director of UNO Branding, a cross-cultural design firm. Luis has led award-winning branding efforts for The Smithsonian Latino Center, PepsiCo, General Mills, Frito-Lay, Target Corp, Best Buy, Nike, Macy’s, Kimberly-Clark, and MTV Latino.

His design and artwork have won numerous awards, including the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, Ohio Art Council Design Fellowship, Type Director’s Club, The Peter Glen Special Award for Public Services, and The Hispanic Creative Awards Competition, among many others.

Luis has been named “People to Watch” by Graphic Design USA Magazine, “Twin Cities’ Top Advertising Minds” by Metro Magazine, and “City Pages Visual Artist of the Year.” He lectures about cross-cultural design at creative conferences and universities nationally and internationally.

Monica Little
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Monica Little established Little & Company in 1979, encouraging and paving the way for women and new college graduates to become design entrepreneurs. For more than 30 years, Monica’s visionary leadership has inspired creative and powerful design solutions for clients such as Target, Microsoft, American Craft Council, Wells Fargo and Way to Grow. Little & Company’s creative work has been recognized by the New York Art Directors Club, AIGA, American Advertising Federation, Communication Arts, Print, Graphis, HOW, Step Inside Design, and I.D., among others. In 2011, Little was chosen to be one of 23 women to be honored in CVA’s Women in Minnesota design exhibit. Little also shares her business acumen and philanthropic ideals by serving on a variety of nonprofit boards including: AIGA Minnesota, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and the Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis. As a tribute to her 30th year in business, Little endowed an annual design scholarship at MCAD. She holds a B.F.A. degree in visual communications from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Paul Wharton

For more than 30 years, Paul’s wide range of expertise in product development and positioning, branding and brand management, and color theory have brought valuable sensibilities to his clients. He excels in creating print and interactive communications for his clients including Wausau Paper, Best Buy, 3M, Target, The J.M. Smucker Company, and The Timberland Company. Paul founded WhartonWorks in 2015 where he serves as the Owner/Principal. Current clients include Star Tribune, NeuroColor, Lion’s Way, Halunen Law, and Entertech.

Paul has demonstrated leadership as a past president of AIGA Minnesota (1990–92) and served or chaired on many committees such as the Design Show, Student Mentorship Program, and Portfolio 1-on-1. Paul was elected to the AIGA National Board of Directors where he served for three years (2012–15). He is a frequent lecturer on design-related topics. His awards include Communication Arts, Print, Graphis, Graphic Design USA, AIGA, and New York Art Directors Club.

Peter Seitz
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Peter Seitz began his career as a graphic designer at I.M. Pei & Associates, New York, before moving to Minnesota to be the curator of design and editor of Design Quarterly at the Walker Art Center. He became a senior designer at Visual Communications Inc., then founded InterDesign Inc. (an interdisciplinary partnership that combined graphic designers, architects and landscape architects) and Seitz Yamamoto Moss. Later, he presided as principal designer of Peter Seitz and Associates. Seitz’s clients have included the City of St. Paul, Minnesota Zoo, Minneapolis Park Board, Lutheran Brotherhood, Miracle Ear, Mayo Clinic, the City of Des Moines, and the Pacific Convention Center in Yokohama, Japan. His work and articles have been published nationally and internationally. In 1978, Seitz was elected President of the Minnesota Graphic Designers Association, the predecessor of AIGA Minnesota, and served on the AIGA National Board (1983–1986). He also represented the Midwest for the Society of Environmental Graphic Designers (SEGD). Seitz is professor emeritus at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). For over 30 years he taught in the design department, pioneered the introduction of computers to design students in the mid-1980s, and twice served as acting chair. He also has lectured at many U.S. universities and the University of Art in Osaka, Japan. Seitz earned a B.F.A. at Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, Germany and an M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art and Architecture.

Sharon Werner

Sharon started her career at Duffy Design Group and, in 1991, went on to found Werner Design Werks (WDW), a small creative studio in St. Paul.

Her goal was to use graphic design to not only impact commerce but our culture and our emotional response to brands. The goal of every WDW project is to create a sensorial creative moment that elicits feelings, entices the mind, and spurs emotion. This philosophy has guided the work for clients that include Moët Hennessey, HiBAR, Lord Jones, and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.

On top of her corporate work, Sharon is also the co-author and co-creator of a series of type-centric children’s books, Alphabeasties and other Amazing Types, Bugs by the Numbers, and Alphasaurs and other Prehistoric Types—all published by Blue Apple Books. Her work has been recognized by nearly every major communication design publication and award show and is part of the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Musée De La Poste, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Sharon has taught as an adjunct professor and has lectured and juried with national and international design organizations. Sharon has also served on the AIGA MN Board, the CVA Advisory Board, the MNSU Moorhead Design Advisory Board, and the TDC Board of Directors.

Sue Crolick
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Sue Crolick started her advertising career in the “Mad Men” era, and actually wore those stockings with the seams up the back. She was the first female art director at two of Minneapolis’ largest ad agencies, and in 1981, opened her own design firm. Sue won the top awards in her industry: Golds from the One Show and New York Art Directors Club, Best of Shows and the Silver Medal from the Advertising Federation of Minnesota, and awards from Communication Arts, Graphis, Print and AIGA. Sue served as board member of AIGA Minnesota from 1990-1993 and organized its first public service programs. In 1994, she was so inspired by the hundreds of creatives who shared their talent with people in need, she started the nonprofit, Creatives for Causes. Its program, Art Buddies, pairs kids from low-income families – one-on-one — with professional creative mentors. Art Buddies helps kids build dreams, boost confidence and discover exciting creative careers. In 2004, the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota honored Creatives for Causes as the best mentoring organization in the Twin Cities. In 2006, Sue was named a Purpose Prize Fellow and national leader in social innovation by Civic Ventures, a San Francisco-based think tank. Sue graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Advertising Design.

Tim Larsen
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Tim Larsen founded Larsen in 1975 with a single-minded desire to stand for graphic design excellence — in the work his firm produced, the people he collaborated with, the results he achieved. Three decades later, Larsen has built an international client list, attracted some of the best creative talent in the industry, and created award-winning branding, interactive, print, and environmental graphics work. The firm has won countless awards from the profession’s most prestigious organizations, including Communication Arts, Graphis, HOW, and AIGA. Larsen has served as the founding member and president of Minnesota Graphic Designers Association, predecessor to AIGA Minnesota, (1976–1977) and as Director of the AIGA National Board. He also co-edited Core of Understanding, a National Endowment for the Arts grant-funded book on graphic design education in (1991). He is a member of the Design Advisory Board at University of Minnesota’s College of Design and Minnesota State University (MSU) Moorhead. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota. Larsen received his B.S. in Art Education/Graphic Design from MSU Moorhead.

Timothy Eaton
Fellow, AIGA Minnesota

Tim Eaton is an accomplished graphic designer and successful business owner. His 45-year design career includes senior design positions with Cowles Communications, Debrey Industrial Design, Ellerbe Architects, Ariss & Eaton, Eaton & Associates Design Company, and Limited.

Tim’s first business venture was a partnership with British designer Frank Ariss. From 1973 to 1980 their consultancy, Ariss & Eaton Design, provided brand identity and collateral design services to Fortune 500 and start-up companies alike in San Francisco and Minneapolis. In 1981, Tim founded Eaton & Associates Design Company—a full-service design agency. That year he joined MGDA (AIGA Minnesota Chapter). Today, E&A continues to provide a select group of small businesses, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations with full-service design, including brand development, print and digital communications, web development, eNewsletters, blogging, ePUBs, and 508 Complaint solutions.

Tim’s design work has been published in AIGA, American Center for Design and Graphis poster books as well as in Communication Arts, Graphic Design USA, Graphis, How, Industrial Design, Photo Design, Photo District News, and Print magazines. His design work has received awards from AIGA, American Center for Design, International Association of Business Communicators, Minneapolis Art Directors Club, Minnesota Graphic Designers Association, Package Design Council of America, Society for Technical Communication, Society of Typographic Arts, Typographers International, Graphis, and AIGA Minnesota.

In 1995, Tim purchased the domain name with the vision of one day sharing his personal passion for canoeing and wilderness travel. On June 1, 2007 the website was launched and continues to grow today with a 100,000+ following with over 525 pages of information and 5,000+ links to additional information. The brand mantra is The Ultimate Guide—Where to Go and What to Buy. Tim received a BFA in Graphic Design from Minneapolis College of Art & Design in 1968.

Past Fellows Events

See photos from past fellows events on our Flickr page:

Contact Leadership

AIGA MN Fellow Nominating Committee
Chair, Fellow Awards