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Monday, April 22

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Design Mon Jun 22 2015

AIGA Hosts Book Launch Party That's Part Circus, Part Theater

The Chicago chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, launched its new book about Chicago design and designers Thursday. But it wasn't your typical book signing party. The designers did it with style and surprises. The venue itself was a signal that things would get interesting, since it was held at Redmoon Theater, a well-known avatar of surprises and creativity.

This Is Chicago, a 224-page book, celebrates the centennial of the organization originally known by its initialism, the American Institute of Graphic Arts. This Is Chicago features "an eclectic mix of designers who have had significant impact on us--in hopes that their passion, perseverance, humility and bravery will enable you to see Chicago the way that we see it." Their intent, AIGA says in the book's foreword, is to celebrate what it is about Chicago that makes it different from any other community.

The book is composed of interviews with 15 designers from agency and corporate backgrounds, interpolated with many photos and examples of their work. Design and editing was by VSA Partners with interviews by Patrick Sisson.

GB-ThisIsChgo-bicycle.JPGThe launch party at Redmoon emphasized spectacle in the massive post-industrial building at 2120 S. Jefferson. There were video projections and a DJ projecting sound in front of a large metal structure that also served as the speaker's stand. A sommelier on a giant tricycle delivered wine to the serving bars around the venue.

Along two long walls were vignettes related to each designer's work. Art Paul's work as Playboy design director (he created the famous bunny logo), was personified by a woman in the Playboy Club's iconic bunny suit (with ears). John Massey's famous poster, "Chicago Has a Great Lake," was created live and in 3D.

GB-ThisIsChgo-PlayboyLogo.pngBook signatures (uncut page spreads) were mounted in a large display that provided a view of the whole book. Here's a preview.

The designers featured in the book and recognized at the party are:

  • Cody Hudson of Struggle Inc.
  • Curt Schreiber of VSA Partners
  • Vijay Kumar of IIT Institute of Design
  • Alisa Wolfson of Leo Burnett
  • Linsey Burritt and Crystal Hodges of INDO
  • ZoĆ« Ryan of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Richard Wright of Wright Auction House
  • Bart Crosby of Crosby Associates
  • Elaine Chernov, Jana Kinsman, Victoria Pater, Jennifer Sisson and Katherine Walker of Quite Strong
  • Max Temkin and Emily Haasch of Cards Against Humanity
  • Cheryl Towler Weese of Studio Blue
  • Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi of Sonnenzimmer
  • John Massey of John Massey, Inc., and Container Corporation of America
  • Mig Reyes of Basecamp
  • Art Paul of Playboy magazine

This Is Chicago (6x9 inches, 224 pages), can be ordered online for $30 for nonmembers, $20 for members.

"Sommelier on Tricycle" photo by Nancy Bishop. Other images courtesy AIGA.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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