This past weekend saw the opening of the Graphic Design: Now in Production—an extensive new exhibition that examines the remarkable growth of the field over the past decade—at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN. "This major international exhibition explores how graphic design has broadened its reach dramatically over the past decade, expanding from a specialized profession to a widely deployed tool."
Peter Buchanan-Smith - Best Made American Felling Axes (2009)
This phenomenon is attributable to several factors, from the advent of Web 2.0 to the accessibility of software tools to "innovations in publishing and distribution systems," which has enabled "people outside the field... to create and publish visual media." Conversely, "designers are becoming producers: authors, publishers, instigators, and entrepreneurs employing their creative skills as makers of content and shapers of experiences."
Graphic Design: Now in Production explores design-driven magazines, newspapers, books, and posters as well as branding programs for corporations, subcultures, and nations. It also showcases a series of developments over the past decade, such as the entrepreneurial nature of designer-produced goods; the renaissance in digital typeface design; the storytelling potential of titling sequences for film and television; and the transformation of raw data into compelling information narratives.
Daniel Eatock - Felt-Tip Print (2006) & Pantone Pen Print (2006)
The curatorial team consists of Ian Albinson (artofthetitle.com), Andrew Blauvelt (Walker Art Center, Jeremy Leslie (9magCulture.com), Ellen Lupton (Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum) and Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio of Brand New. Together, they've selected works from over 200 designers, dating to no earlier than 2000, for the massive exhibition, which runs until January 22, 2012.
Graphic Design: Now in Production is the largest museum exhibition on the subject since the Walker's seminal 1989 exhibition Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, and the Cooper-Hewitt's 1996 comprehensive survey, Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. Appropriately, this exhibition is being developed jointly with the Cooper-Hewitt.
Sarah Illenberger - Infographic for "The Truth about Sex" for Neon Magazine (2008)
Jop van Bennekom - Fantastic Man #1 & #2 (2005)
Christopher Doyle - Christopher Doyle Identity Guidelines 2008
James Goggin - Dear Lulu (2009)
Metahaven - Uncorporate Identity (2010)
The Walker has also done a nice job documenting the exhibition on their blog, including a series of preview posts and installation shots.