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Graphic Design USA Magazine

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Mohawk is standing foursquare with the emerging maker culture. In a technological era punctuated with e-mail, smart phones, tablets and texts, the venerable paper mill is supporting this community of like-minded makers with the introduction of three new publications: The Mohawk Declaration of Craft, Mohawk Craft Cooperative and Mohawk Maker Quarterly.

The publications feature the stories of designers, printers, manufacturers, artists, artisans, musicians, and all those who make their living as makers. In so doing, these publications – and the ongoing “Mohawk Maker” and “What Will You Make Today?” campaigns – reaffirm making as a fundamental expression of the human spirit while speaking directly to the heart of the community and the need to create.

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Some 15 years ago I was giving a talk about stock photography trends at a conference and exhibit. Later I wandering the aisles, in a state that can only be called “trade show fatigue” — you know, flourescent lighting, hard floors, stale air, indecipherable products, junk food, bad ties, institutional hotel, keep losing my entry badge, miss my kids — when a person came over and introduced himself as a (not so) distant relative who was a commercial photographer and who knew (vaguely) that we were in the same (sort of) industry.

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MalariaPoster

One of the most positive trends sweeping the professional graphic design world, and the world of design education, is a commitment to use the power of design for the public good. A superb and inspiring example comes from Rule29 and its head Justin Ahrens, who recently tackled two issues at once: helping a slum in Kenya overcome the threat of malaria and helping develop future design leaders.

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TheD4D_MapBacks_Grid-1000

Creative Director Matt Checkowski is known for such innovative projects as digital content for an opera, the first ever pop-up museum for scent and co-creating the dream sequences in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. His company, The D4D, in downtown Los Angeles, is a hub of creativity and a place that inspires ideas with a playful, design centric environment. Like many design enthusiasts, he’s also a collector.

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