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GDUSA

Graphic Design USA Magazine

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A few months ago, I was approached by Project Runway to participate in an episode that included the HP and Intel Pattern Challenge. I listened intently as the producers explained the challenge even though I knew exactly what they were going to say since I am a huge fan of the show. At this point in the competition there were only seven fashion designers left. Each remaining designer would be paired with a “Next Generation Achiever” to help inspire a pattern that was then made into a textile and incorporated into their runway look. And they wanted ME to be that inspirational person!!

After I finished doing the happy dance followed by consecutive shrieks of joy I regained consciousness and started to panic. How in the world was I going to be an inspiration?

I started to think about the role of a graphic designer and how powerful design can be when used effectively. As creative director at GDUSA magazine I am fully immersed in the world of design and I continually find that the best designed projects are those that come from a labor of love. For me, this labor of love is Barbalu.

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Each fashion designer had the chance to spend an hour with their innovator to draw inspiration for their pattern. I had the pleasure of meeting Alexandria von Bromssen at the future home of Barbalu. As I explained to Alexandria, Barbalu is a soon-to-open Italian restaurant near the South Street Seaport. In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated my beloved hometown of New York City and the restaurant in which we stood was filled with more than 6 feet of storm water. Everything was gone. But now — nearly a year to date — the brave owners are rebuilding in the same location. The business needed to start from scratch and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to help them redesign their entire identity.

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“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.

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Milton Kaye (pictured left) founded GDUSA in 1963.   His son, Gordon Kaye (pictured right at a family event in 1980) is the Publisher of GDUSA and     has been working full time at the magazine since 1990.

Welcome to GDUSA’s new blog, the launch of which roughly coincides with the start of our 50th anniversary of publishing.

Let me take you back to 1963. A then visionary publisher released the first issue of a magazine that would change the landscape of publishing, help shape the culture of post-war America, and become a household word.

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