At the recent AIGA Gala in at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, five people who had great impact on the graphic design community were honored with a prestigious AIGA Medal. The five were: Ruth Ansel (legendary Art Director for Bazaar, New York and Vanity Fair), Ric Grefé (former Executive Director for AIGA and champion for the rights of designers), Maira Kalman (famed New York artist), Gere Kavanaugh (a pioneering multidisciplinary designer), and Sister Corita Kent (artist, educator and agent of social change). The Gala, the proceeds of which benefit the Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships and the AIGA Legacy Fund, was co-chaired by Dana Arnett of VSA Partners and Su Mathews Hale of Lippincott. It is “annual celebration to honor the distinguished practitioners, educators and role models whose creativity, intelligence, perception, and skill have inspired and shaped the entire design profession.”

The medal of AIGA—the most distinguished in the field—is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements, services or other contributions to the field of design and visual communication. The contribution may be in the practice of design, teaching, writing or leadership of the profession. The awards may honor designers posthumously.

Medals have been awarded since 1920 to individuals who have set standards of excellence over a lifetime of work or have made individual contributions to innovation within the practice of design.

Individuals who are honored may work in any country, but the contribution for which they are honored should have had a significant impact on the practice of graphic design in the United States.

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