Best place to hear self-important design professionals talk about themselves (and sometimes each other), and occasionally also see some excellent work (2008)

The American Institute of Graphic Arts

If you have neurasthenic shudders from seeing the Google logo too often, or find yourself clinging to tattered copies of defunct magazines such as Flair and The Smart Set like a drowning man or furtively searching those grimy blankets of bootleg DVDs for a copy of Gary Hustwit's feature-length typographic porno, Helvetica, then there's simply no hope for you, kiddo: You are an irredeemable design geek. But there are others like you, more or less, who can pronounce the word "Frutiger" correctly and know that a ligature is more than just something one can use to tie up and/or strangle someone. And there are places other than the musty corners of used-book stores where you can meet those of your ilk without fear or shame. The American Institute of Graphic Arts is one. The AIGA was founded in 1914 by type designer Fred Goudy and photographer/gallerist/editor Alfred Stieglitz (a/k/a Mr. Georgia O'Keeffe) as a nonprofit society for design professionals. Today, the New York chapter (one of 57 nationwide) boasts over 3,500 members. Goodies including a design archive, mentoring program, newsletter, and professional directory; discounts at Fed Ex, Lincoln Center, and even Bumble & Bumble are available to paid-up members; and most lectures, exhibitions, and other events are open to the public (visit for schedule and fees).


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