James Johnson—Past AIGA Minnesota President, 1977 and MGDA Founder February 19, 2014
Tim Larsen, James E. Johnson & Eric Madsen met in the conference room at the Walker Art Center in 1972. At that time I was the Chief Graphic Designer at the Walker.
Tim Larsen had called me and thought we should get together as Graphic Designers and talk about how to establish some standards to define the profession of “Graphic Design” and as we know now it became > much > Much > More ! ! !
We wanted the organization to be local in scope and not national, so it became the Minnesota Graphic Design Association.
In retrospect it was a little short sighted, but after-all it was just three young Minnesota Scandinavians (”The Three Amigos” as Eric called us) Tim came from North Dakota, me from Minneapolis and Eric from Texas.
We were all just a few years into this fairly new profession for Minnesota called Graphic Design. Previously most people defined us as “Commercial Artists.”
At that time there wasn’t even a listing for Graphic Designers in the Yellow Pages. MGDA was a first for the State and a first for The Walker!