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GDUSA Newsletter



GDUSA turns fifty this year and we have made a few updates to extend our reach. One is the launch of our new blog. Here is what I have learned so far about blogging: it is easy to fill the space with marginally relevant stuff and a flood of canned press releases. But what resonates with readers is selectivity and a human connection. To that end, in these early days, we’ve posted items about our founder’s awkwardness with technology; the similarities and dissimilarities between GDUSA and Playboy (also founded in 1963); some incredibly evocative 1960s ads from the likes of Pantone and International Paper; and what I was wearing when I first met Massimo Vignelli. (Spoiler alert: pajamas with feet.) Sometimes we hit, sometimes we miss, but we’ll always welcome your visit. Maybe you’ll even share your pajama story with us.

— Gordon Kaye,

Graphic Design News


The new logo for VH1 features a plus sign to signal its evolution from music to mash up. The cable TV channel was started in 1985 as a sibling with an older demographic to MTV. Immediately popular for its Adult Top 40 style, in more recent days VH1 – like MTV – has had to evolve out of necessity into a mixture of music programming and reality shows like Mob Wives and Single Ladies. VH1 (an acronym for Video Hits One, by the way) is now acknowledges the permanence of this shift by adding a plus sign to the end of the logo. This, say officials in an explanatory video, signifies how VH1 has become “the ultimate mash up of music + pop culture + nostalgia.” The logo and on-air package are the fruits of design firm Gretel, based in New York, which has executed projects for the network in the past.



Ellen Lupton, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Paula Scher, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Debbie Millman, Julia Hoffmann, Veronique Vienne, Alissa Walker. They are all contributors or are otherwise featured in the book Women in Graphic Design 1890–2012. A success in Germany, the work, by Dr. Gerde Breuer and Julia Meer, has finally arrived in the U.S. The authors raises questions: why so few women feature in the history of design, why so few women speak at conferences, why successful design women are often forgotten, and what are the effects of gender on design work? A working theory: female graphic designers have been working actively and successfully, but the artificial synthesis of masculinity and artistic genius has repeatedly prevented women – with few exceptions – to be recognized in ‘official’ design history. This richlly illustrated volume seeks to fill the gap with biographies, essays and discussions of the contribution of women to graphic design. LEARN MORE >


John C Jay, Wieden+Kennedy partner and executive creative director, has parked himself with a new venture. In an all-agency meeting, Jay said the new endeavor, W+K Garage, will “expand the definition of what a modern agency can do, and should do.” He says the new shop is a multidisciplinary creative company that will focus on concepting, creating and investing in innovative experiences, content and technology. “We’re living in the greatest creative moment in history,” he stated. Adds Wieden+ Kennedy co-founder Dan Wieden: “John is Garage. If you're a client and want a personal relationship with someone, not some cast of characters to play with your cast of characters, this is where to go. It's an elevated proposition. That's why it's so intriguing. He's extraordinarily connected at the top levels of the industry, so I think you'll see a lot of magical things when you don't have to work through agency or client bureaucracy...”


Siegel+Gale has designed a new logo for one of America’s leading hospitals, named after the biblical mount where the Ten Commandments were (reportedly) handed down. Says Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and CEO of The Mount Sinai Medical Center: “The new logo is derived from the historic Mount Sinai Mountain range and the intersection lines represent the connection between physicians, scientists, clinical staff, patients and students and the members of the Mount Sinai community.” Intersecting lines of cyan and deep magenta overlap to create the color violet, intended as a metaphor for multiple parts of the organization that work together to create something new. The initiative was led by Leonard Achan, the client’s Chief Communications Officer, working with an internal Brand Council. Actually, two firms supported the work: Siegel + Gale designed the logo, and Infinia Group developed and implemented a new branding platform and system.


A new study by FunctionFox suggests that small creative companies – design, advertising, public relations, web and marketing communications – are looking forward to a better year in 2013. 94% of small creative businesses surveyed expect to hire new employees or maintain their current staffing levels through the New Year, with the same percentage also anticipating stable or increased revenues. “2012 seems to have been a year of consolidation for smaller creative companies,” says Corina Ludwig, President of FunctionFox. “Company owners made sure they had the right employees in place, and made steady revenue gains despite continuing economic challenges. Now, they are focusing on expansion, scouting for new business opportunities, and concentrating on more focused positioning, to ready themselves for expansion and financial growth in 2013.” This is the fifth year of the study.


This month will see a redesign, in print and the website, of The New Republic. Here is an early look at the new logo for the venerable liberal magazine. Creative Director Dirk Barnett, who joined the company a few months ago, led the redesign. He says: “As is always the case when creating a logo, I designed probably 50 variations with 15 different typefaces until settling on the final logo, using Antennae from Font Bureau. And one of the things that got us all excited was the fact that it bleeds nicely off the left and right sides of the cover.” Barnett says the goal of the redesign is to signal that “we are a must-read brand. Obviously it goes beyond the logo to communicate that, but as soon as we designed our first covers with it, we knew we had something vital. And energetic!” READ MORE >


Clive Roux is the new head of SEGD, the environmental graphic design association. An industrial designer and former CEO of the Industrial Designers Society of America, Roux brings significant experience in building and running global multi-disciplinary creative and business groups. Prior to serving as IDSA chief from 2009 to 2012, he spent 15 years leading creative units for Philips Design, the product design arm of Royal Philips Electronics, The Netherlands. The SEGD describes itself as “the global community of people working at the intersection ofcommunication design and the built environment.”

Mother New York designed Wired Magazine’s 2012 annual concept store with a theme inspired by the magazine’s “What’s Inside” monthly feature. The store pops-up each December to showcase innovative products and technologies of the year. Mother created a comprehensive shopping platform: the team architected the space, designed custom furniture and fixtures, created a special design language, and worked to curate the year’s best products. With the help of The Guild and Zing Revolution, large-scaled interactive installations were built to amplify the featured products. One item, the LG Optimus G mobile phone, is presented alongside a wall-sized screen illustration of its insides where observers can interact with its features. Work by photographer and artist Todd McLellan from his series “Disassembly” was displayed, featuring old world technology aesthetically exploded. Explains Piers North, Mother Creative Director: “The most seemingly inane components of a product – what’s inside of it – is what makes it function. If we can understand how those components work individually – how its design makes it work holistically - that is beautiful.”


Take Five! Career Tips From The Creative Group


Football fans aren’t the only ones enthusiastic about the Super Bowl. Those in the creative community are, too. Nearly three-quarters of advertising executives and six in 10 corporate marketing executives surveyed by The Creative Group said they would jump at the chance to work on such a high-profile campaign. About one in 10 executives admitted they would be overwhelmed by all the work. Following are five tips for performing like a pro when the pressure is on:

1. Prioritize, Then Strategize. Take a few moments to develop a game plan before diving headfirst into any project.

2. Don’t Procrastinate. Rather than putting off your most pressing deadlines, tackle them. You’ll lower your stress level and make your overall goal seem more manageable.

3. Think On Your Feet. If priorities change, embrace the new challenge and demonstrate your ability to execute on the fly.

4. Request More Coverage. If you’re doing everything possible to meet your obligations and still see no end in sight, identify duties that can be delegated and ask for backup.

5. Turn Downtime Into Prep Time. After high-intensity projects are completed, take time to decompress and document any lessons that were learned. Reflective thinking will help take the pressure off in the future and prepare you for the next big game.

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design and marketing professionals with a variety of firms. For more information, please visit Connect with The Creative Group at or