“Companies who understand the creative mind have always been rare but, in our 50 years of publishing, it is hard to remember a time when they have been more scarce. Changing technologies and tightening economics are creating dislocations, established brands are disappearing faster than Twinkies, and many companies who once embraced our magnificent market have lost their focus.” – Gordon Kaye, GDUSA Publisher
Every year GDUSA compiles a list of Designer-Friendly Companies and it seems to me that each year the list gets a little shorter. I hail the companies that have continued their commitment to the design industry but as I pore over old issues of GDUSA what sticks with me the most is the number of industries within the design world that have simply disappeared. Photo retouching studios, annual report companies and pre-press production department have all fallen to the wayside.
Today is the birthday of Massimo Vignelli. When I first met him some five decades ago, I was wearing pajamas. But I am getting ahead of the story.
Mr. Vignelli’s grace, style, and talent has been a constant source of astonishment to all who know him — not to mention a source of reportage in GDUSA over the entire 50 year lifespan of the magazine. As we prepared for our 50th anniversary editions of GDUSA magazine, I came upon quotes by Mr. Vignelli in both the January 1980 and January 1990 editions. In 1990, for example, he glimpsed the future of design and wrote: “The challenge of design should be met by responsible and well-educated professionals, otherwise design will fail its task and we will be polluted by meaningless products. Design without culture becomes kitsch. Design that follows trends is totally irresponsible. The design task for the nineties is more than ever a design really integrated in the production process. At the level of production, the computer will play a bigger role. No one can do a stupid job in an intelligent way better than a computer.” No one sees things more clearly or says them more convincingly.