For their contributions to design excellence and the development of the profession, AIGA today named Steve Frykholm, John Maeda and Jennifer Morla as the 2010 recipients of the AIGA Medal. Each will be presented with the award—the highest honor of the graphic design profession—at the AIGA Design Legends Gala in early 2011.
Following in the footsteps of Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, Massimo and Leila Vignelli, and Paula Scher, they join a legacy of distinguished design practitioners who have been awarded the AIGA Medal for setting standards of excellence over a lifetime of work or making significant contributions to innovation within the practice of design.
“AIGA is proud to recognize the 2010 Medalists for their exceptional contributions to the field of design,” said Richard Grefé, executive director of AIGA. “Each has contributed to the way design can intrigue the spirit, engage curiosity, enhance business, explore creative use of visual technique, and communicate value that is respected by business, society and our popular culture.”
Steve Frykholm has defined the voice and sensibility of the Herman Miller brand for the past 40 years, directing the graphic identity of the National Design Award-winning corporation. His iconic work, as a designer, art director and client, has been widely published and exhibited at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the Danish Museum of Decorative Art. As the creative director and vice president of Herman Miller, Frykholm has demonstrated the ability of great design to influence business and has in turn influenced many corporations to follow suit.
John Maeda is an artist, designer, programmer, author and educator. For more than a decade, he has worked to integrate technology, education and the arts into a 21st-century synthesis of creativity and innovation. Maeda has demonstrated the power of approaching problems with a designer's ability to challenge assumptions and anticipated outcomes; he is a leading advocate for creativity as a business. Formerly the associate director of research at MIT Media Lab, Maeda now serves as president of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
Jennifer Morla is a consummate communications designer, endowed with a sensibility that uses craft, technique, medium and an intuitive understanding of how words and images can influence human understanding and delight. Morla, a former national board member of AIGA and former president of AIGA San Francisco, is also an adjunct professor at California College of the Arts, where she has been teaching senior-level design courses since 1992. She is the president and creative director of Morla Design and has served as the chief creative marketing officer for Design Within Reach.
“Each Medalist this year is completely unique, yet all three are stellar examples of how to be a true leader and live a life in design,” noted Cheryl Heller of Heller Communications, chair of the AIGA member-based awards committee that recommended each honoree to the AIGA board of directors.
The AIGA Medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements, services or other contributions to the field of design and visual communication. Medals have been awarded since 1920 for contributions to the practice of design, teaching, writing or leadership of the profession in the United States. To learn more about this year’s Medalists and view a complete list of past recipients, visit www.aiga.org/medalists.