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InsightMar 12, 2024

Recap of RGD Book Club's meetings in 2024

Written by Bianca Jozwiak RGD, CPA Ontario

Four Authors, two books and inspiring conversations. Bianca Jozwiak RGD give us a sneak into the RGD Book Club's meetings this year.

Milton Glaser: POP

By Steven Heller, Mirko Ilić, and Beth Kleber

Host: Esther Sunghee Byun
Moderator
: Bianca Jozwiak RGD

The RGD Book Club kicked off 2024 with Milton Glaser: POP, a book showcasing Milton Glaser's unseen designs from the 60s and 70s. Authors and panellists Steven Heller, Mirko Ilić, and Beth Kleber discussed his influential work on illustration and graphic design, which defined the global visual landscape.

The panellists emphasized the importance of preserving iconic works, particularly Milton's, acknowledging him as one of the most celebrated graphic designers of his era. His work adorned countless book covers, album art, posters, magazine covers and advertisements—both famous and lesser-known. They agreed that Glaser largely defined the international visual style for illustration, advertising and typeface design with interest in his legacy continuing, among modern creatives who are inspired by his vibrant approach.

In the RGD Book Club Breakout Rooms, conversations centred around cost-effective archiving, the necessity of preserving iconic pieces and Milton's habit of doodling during meetings—Mirko even shared some of these never-seen sketches. Participants departed with a newfound appreciation for Milton's vibrant and intentional work, inspiring them to explore various facets of illustration.

About the Authors

Steven Heller

Steven Heller is cofounder of the MFA Design / Designer as Entrepreneur at the School of Visual Arts, and author or coauthor of more than two hundred books on design and popular culture, most recently his memoir Growing Up Underground: A Memoir of Counterculture New York (2022). He has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic online, and Wired, among many other publications.

Beth Kleber

Beth Kleber is the founding archivist of the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives at School of Visual Arts Archives in New York City, where she also lectures on design history and research, and assists visiting researchers. She is curator and co-curator of several design exhibitions, and her essays have appeared in design anthologies, PRINT magazine, and the Container List blog.

Mirko Ilić

Mirko Ilić is a designer, illustrator, and activist based in New York. He organizes and curates shows and lectures around the world, including most recently the Tolerance Poster Show, which has traveled to more than 150 locations in more than forty countries worldwide. He is the coauthor of more than ten books, including The Design of Dissent, co-authored with Milton Glaser.

Creative endurance: 56 rules for overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals 

By Mike Schnaidt

Host: Esther Sunghee Byun

The RGD Book Club’s second session with Mike Schnaidt, author of Creative Endurance: 56 Rules for Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Your Goals, was a blast, with plenty of discussion on practical advice and inspiration for staying motivated and achieving your big-picture goals. Creative Endurance, filled to the brim with infographics and beautifully designed layouts, making it a joy to look through even without reading any of the information on the pages (though that too is very useful!) Mike shared how he went about exploring topics on how to start and see through creative projects and how he chose the interviewees to make sure he received plenty of tips from those who’ve been successful creatively—everyone has their own story and journey to tell.

Mike also shared his favourite interviews from the book, what inspired him while writing it and the things he learned along the way. Questions from our attendees arose on how to create better habits, which included Mike sharing how he mentally had to prepare for running the NYC Marathon as he wanted to write about it within his own section in his book. Overall, the session was relevant, inspiring and motivational, especially with the book being written for a broad range of creative people. The inspirational interviews, quotes and plenty of pages to spend time working out what you want to do and how to get there means this is a great resource for those in a design funk or career crossroads.

About the Author

Mike Schnaidt

Mike Schnaidt is a designer, educator, and writer based in Jersey City, New Jersey. His first book, Creative Endurance, offers practical tips to help creatives overcome their biggest challenges. As Fast Company’s creative director, he leads a team of art directors and photo editors who create visual content for the brand. Schnaidt has designed a variety of publications covering pop culture, fashion, food, and science, and has won awards from the Society of Publication Designers, Advertising Age, and Art Directors Club. He holds a Master of Science in Communication Design from Pratt Institute and teaches graphic design at Kean University.

25 Years at the Public and Pentagram: Living by Design

By Paula Scher

Host: Esther Sunghee Byun, RGD

The RGD Book Club event featuring Paula Scher discussing two books, 25 Years at the Public: A Love Story and Pentagram: Living by Design, was a captivating journey into the world of design philosophy and practice. Here are the top five key takeaways from the joyful discussion:

  • Embrace Experimentation: Paula's insights highlighted the importance of inventing, exploring and having fun with the design process to create something truly unique. Her advice accentuated the value of experimentation in fostering creativity and innovation within a design team.
  • Type as Emotion: Paula's perspective on type as a means of conveying emotion offered a fresh outlook on typographic design. Her guidance to understand the nuances of creating differentiated designs provided valuable insights for aspiring designers.
  • Scale Relationships: Throughout the session and from all of her published books, the significance of dynamic and dramatic scale relationships in design was underscored. The emphasis on tension, proportion and compelling storytelling highlighted the critical role of scale in creating impactful design compositions.
  • Design History: The importance of immersing oneself in design history and literature to enrich one's creative arsenal was emphasized. The passion for design books and continuous learning resonated with the audience, deepening the value of lifelong learning in the design profession.
  • Human Relations: Insights into the social dynamics and human relations that underpin the success of design partnerships were shared. The criteria for selecting partners, including personal affinity and admiration for their work, offered valuable perspectives on fostering collaborative relationships in the design industry.

    Overall, the event was a delightful blend of fun, insight, inspiration and intrigue, offering attendees a deeper understanding of Paula Scher's illustrious career and design philosophy. Attendees left with a renewed appreciation for the power of experimentation, the expressive potential of typography and the importance of human connections in the world of design.

    As you continue to explore Paula's work and influence in the design world, be sure to check out her vibrant and playful campaign for Public Theater's 2024 season. Additionally, consider diving into the Graphic Design course offered by BBC Maestro, taught by Paula herself, for an opportunity to learn and experiment with design principles. Keep an eye out for the reissue of Paula Scher: Works book by the Thames & Hudson releasing in June 2024 and don't miss the chance to watch the recording of ‘Pentagram Partners Tell All’ by AIGA NY. Finally, if you find yourself in Munich this year, make sure to explore Paula's first solo exhibition in Germany titled ‘Paula Scher – Type is Image’ at Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, running through September 22, 2024.

About the Author

Paula Scher

Paula Scher is among the world's most influential graphic designers. Her iconic, smart, and accessible designs have become part of our design language.

Since 1991, Scher has been a partner in the New York office of Pentagram. She began her career as an art director in the 1970s and early 80s, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly influential. In the mid-1990s, her landmark identity for The Public Theater fused high and low into a wholly new symbology for cultural institutions.


The Virtual RGD Book Club is free for all RGD Members. Non-Members may purchase tickets for $15+ tax.

If you are interested in participating in the RGD Book Club, fill out the Expression of Interest form. Email our Membership Manager Zaria Pucknell at zaria@rgd.ca if you are looking to become a part of the RGD Book Club.


Bianca Jozwiak RGD

CPA Ontario

Hiya! I’m a graphic designer working with large scale non-profits and small businesses. Along the way, I’ve also found a passion for floristry and facilitation, along with event design and digital marketing – who says you can't do it all?

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