Design 50 2022: Graphic design and branding

For this year’s list, we kept our overall ranking numbers but organized everything by category.

Design 50 2022: The fifty people who shape Chicago (Introduction)
Design 50 2022: interior architecture and design for the home
Design 50 2022: exhibitors and defenders
Design 50 2022: Fashion
Design 50 2022: Architecture and the built environment
Design 50 2022: Innovation, Incubation & Acceleration
+ Designer of the moment: Andre Brumfield of Gensler Chicago

These are the people who shape the graphic design and branding of Chicago.

Guy Villa Jr. and Sharon Oiga/Photo: Nathan Keay

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Sharon Oiga and Guy Villa Jr.
Chair of Graphic Design, School of Design, University of Illinois at Chicago / Co-Chair, STA Design Weekend and Adjunct Professor, Columbia College Chicago
Sharon Oiga and Guy Villa Jr. question and investigate the design process – the ways in which ideas are expressed and disseminated, ranging from the micro level of experimental typographic form and self-authorship, to the macro level of publication creation and exhibitions. “We seek to broaden the definition of graphic design. Designers can be their own content creators and they can explore spaces previously held by artists alone,” says the husband and wife duo, whose solo exhibition will open later this year at Mana Contemporary as part of the Tiger Strikes program. Asteroid. “Also opening this year, as part of a larger team of designers and archivists, our animated projection work with the Chicago Design Archive will be showcased at Art on theMart.” Remaining driven and inspired at the intersection of their academic, professional, and freelance endeavors, Oiga and Villa explore the endless possibilities of graphic design while striving to create a more diverse design landscape.

Jim Coudal/Photo: Nathan Keay

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Jim Coudal
Founder, Coudal Partners and Field Notes
“I started Field Notes with my friend Aaron Draplin and the amazing team at my design company, Coudal Partners,” says Jim Coudal, who had no idea what it would look like. “Over the past ten years, Field Notes grew steadily until it took over our business; that’s all we do now. Today, vintage-inspired pocket notebooks, notepads, journals, calendars, planners and writing accessories have sold millions worldwide. Taking their name from a tradition of promotional notebooks distributed to American farmers over the past hundred years by seed, tractor and other agricultural enterprises, Field Notes products are more than notebooks – the process and the craftsmanship behind them elevates them into the category of design objects. or even collectibles. “I hope it ages well, but I feel like summer could bring a burst of color, boldness, and optimism,” Coudal says, of the future of design in Chicago and beyond. “Maybe design can help us take away some of the worry and apprehension of the past two years.”

John Pobojewski and Bud Rodecker/Photo: Nathan Keay

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John Pobojewski and Bud Rodecker
Co-Founders/Design Directors, Span
Co-founders John Pobojewski and Bud Rodecker describe their work as focusing on challenging expectations with wit, logic, and a playful spirit. “We want Span to be a demonstration of how a small creative design practice can have a huge impact – a studio that can do serious work that is highly divergent, creative and expressive. And through our research initiatives — projects that celebrate our perspective — Span’s voice can contribute to Chicago’s cultural awareness. Focusing on the future of their practice, which began with the closure of their former firm, the legendary Thirst, they are creating new studio space and expanding the depth of their team. “We collaborate more closely – everyone on the project has a greater influence on the work. And through that, we see more creativity, more energy, and honestly more joy than we’ve seen working individually or in small teams,” they say. “COVID has forced us all to rethink our priorities. Our community needs to come together and focus our collective energy on what matters most: fairness within our profession, social justice, environmental stewardship and fearless creativity. Let’s not be shy anymore! As we come together this year, we must promote innovative and fearless work, and make sure to bring everyone with us.

The Hall of Fame: graphic design and branding
*= new this year

*Chris Eichenseer
Founder/Creative Director, A strange driver

Dawn Hancock
Founder/Executive Director, belly of fire

* Matthew Hoffman
Founder, You are beautiful

Cody Hudson
Creative Director, Fight Inc.

* Christopher Jobson
Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Colossal

*Marcia Lausen
Director, School of Design, UIC and Founder, Chicago Studio/Lab

Jason Pickleman
Owner, JNL graphic design

Rick Valicenti
Founder/Design Director, The thirst

Alisa Wolfson
Senior Vice President of Design, Leo Burnett Chicago

Clifton L. Boyd