If you wanted to find out about the state of the pig farming industry you could feasibly get a load of pig farmers together, interview them and write an article about their porcine concerns and aspirations. But in a visual media like graphic design, state-of-the-industry hand-wringing seems oddly out of kilter in print – don’t tell me, show me.
Graphic Design – Now in Production aims to do just that, looking at how things have changed since the turn of the millennium, as widely-available creative software democratises the methods if not the skills, and user generated content blurs traditional boundaries. Meanwhile the rise of the polygot who works across several disciplines has challenged the way designers are seen, and see themselves.
First shown at the Walker Art Center late last year, this week it opens in New York at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum designed by heavyweight studio Project Projects.
According the organisers, the show, “explores the worlds of design-driven magazines, newspapers, books and posters; the expansion of branding programs for corporations, institutions and subcultures; the entrepreneurial spirit of designer-produced goods; the renaissance in digital typeface design; the storytelling potential of film and television titling sequences; and the transformation of raw data into compelling information narratives.”
The curatorial team sees leading museum experts joined by Jeremy Leslie of MagCulture and Ian Albison of Art of the Title bringing an eclectic mix of voices to the selection and organisation of the exhibits. Bill Moggrdidge, director of the museum said: "This ambitious exhibition looks at cutting edge ideas and breaking cultural revolutions in the world of graphic design. Focusing on design in the 21st century, this exhibition provides insight into the phenomena shaping culture today and transforming traditional conceptions of graphic design practice.”
The show runs May 26 until September 3.