Postmodern Graphic Design’s Midwest Routes
The route that postmodern graphic design took can be traced from the wellspring of eclecticism, from Push Pin Studios in the late ’50s and ’60s to the “Michaels” of San Francisco to the Minneapolis offices of The Duffy Group onto the desk of Charles Spencer Anderson.
There’s not one specific artifact that cements this claim, but there is one that sums it all up. The 1988 spiral bound French Paper Speckletone sample book, featuring the work that put Duffy and company on the national map, designed by Anderson and Duffy expresses the colorful optimism of the late 1980s and the trajectory of the designers’ distinct careers.
Speckletone was one of the early recycled papers and thanks to Anderson’s cheerful, retro design language French Paper’s promotions were exceedingly popular with young designers. This is an excerpt from the promotion that paved the route.
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About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →