Supriya Ghosh (Editor)


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Area served  United States
Official languages  English
Founded  1914
Members  over 25,000
Headquarters  New York, United States
Type  Professional association
AIGA wwwaigaorgStaticimagesmenufooter2015header
Location  Headquarters in New York City
Locations  70 chapters across the country
Key people  Board President Su Mathews Hale, Executive Director: Julie Anixter
Similar  American Advertising Federation, Pratt Institute, Art Center College of Design, Rhode Island School of, Museum of Modern Art

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The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) is a professional organization for design. Its members practice all forms of communication design, including graphic design, typography, interaction design, branding and identity. The organization's aim is to be the standard bearer for professional ethics and practices for the design profession. There are currently over 22,000 members and 71 chapters, and more than 200 student groups around the nationwide.


William drenttel jessica helfand 2013 aiga medalists


In 1911, Fred Goudy, Alfred Stieglitz, and W. A. Dwiggins came together to discuss the creation of an organization that was committed to individuals passionate about communication design. In 1913, president of the National Arts Club, John G. Agar, announced the formation of The American Institute of Graphic Arts during the eighth annual exhibition of “The Books of the Year.” The National Arts Club was instrumental in the formation of AIGA in that they helped to form the committee to plan to organize the organization. The committee formed included Charles DeKay and William B. Howland and officially formed the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1914. Howland, publisher and editor of The Outlook, was elected president. The goal of the group was to promote excellence in the graphic design profession through its network of local chapters throughout the country.

In 1920, AIGA began awarding medals 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." Winners have been recognized for design, teaching, writing or leadership of the profession and may honor individuals posthumously.

In 1982, the New York Chapter was formed and the organization began creating local chapters to decentralize leadership.

Represented by Washington, D.C. arts advocate and attorney, James Lorin Silverberg, Esq., The Washington, D.C. Chapter of AIGA, was organized as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Incorporated, Washington, D.C. on September 6, 1984.

Symbol sign project

The AIGA, in collaboration with the US Department of Transportation, produced 50 standard symbols to be used on signs "in airports and other transportation hubs and at large international events". The first 34 symbols were published in 1974, receiving a Presidential Design Award. The remaining 16 designs were added in 1979.


In 2012, AIGA replaced all its competitions with a single competition called "Cased" (formerly called "Justified"). The stated aim of the competition is to demonstrate "the collective success and impact of the design profession by celebrating the best in contemporary design through case studies".

50 Books/50 Covers

Between 1941 and 2011 AIGA sponsored a juried contest for the 50 best designed books published in the previous year, entitled "50 Books/50 Covers". Jurors included booksellers, book publishers, and designers such as George Salter.

On February 17, 2012, AIGA announced that it would cease organizing the contest and that future contests would be organized by Design Observer. This move has been criticized.


The 365 was an annual design competition for all graphic design other than book design. The last “365” competition was organized in 2011, after which it was replaced by the "Cased" competition.


AIGA organized two conferences, the AIGA Design Conference and GAIN: AIGA Design and Business Conference. Both conferences were held biennially and the two were held in alternating years. Beginning in 2016, the AIGA Design Conference will be held annually with the 2016 conference held in Las Vegas.

AIGA Design Conference

The first AIGA Design Conference took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1985.

Past AIGA Design Conferences include:

  • 2016 - Las Vegas
  • 2015 - New Orleans
  • 2013 - Minneapolis
  • 2011 - Phoenix
  • 2009 - Memphis
  • 2007 - Denver
  • 2005 - Boston
  • 2003 - Vancouver
  • 2001 - Washington
  • 1999 - Las Vegas
  • 1997 - New Orleans
  • 1995 - Seattle
  • 1993 - Miami
  • 1991 - Chicago
  • 1989 - San Antonio
  • 1987 - San Francisco
  • 1985 - Boston
  • The 2016 Conference was hosted by Roman Mars.[2]

    National Board Members

    As of 2016, the national board consists of

  • Sue Mathews Hale (President)
  • Andrew Twigg (Treasurer)
  • Julie Anixter (Executive Director)
  • Justin Ahrens
  • Ashleigh Axios
  • Ken Carbone
  • Agustín Garza
  • Karin Hibma
  • Rich Hollant
  • John Luu
  • Matthew Munoz
  • Jill Spaeth
  • Christine Taylor
  • Jennifer Visocky O'Grady
  • Paul Wharton
  • Jenny Price (President's council representative)
  • Sean Adams (Ex officio)
  • Affiliations

    Between 2005 and 2009, AIGA was briefly a member of Icograda (now called Ico-D). In 2010, it withdrew from the international organization, citing financial reasons.

    International membership

    AIGA opened up membership beyond local chapters in 2014, benefiting creative professionals living and working outside of the USA.


    In 1947 AIGA started publishing the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design (ISSN 0736-5322), which in 2000 was renamed Trace: AIGA Journal of Design (ISSN 1471-3497). The journal ceased publication in 2003.

    Between 2000 and 2003 AIGA published Loop: AIGA Journal of Interaction Design Education, an “interactive, web-based” research journal on interaction and visual interface design co-sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Design Studies.

    Between 2004 and 2011 AIGA published Voice: AIGA Journal of Design, an “an online publication for the discussion of design matters” listing Steven Heller as its editor. Although the journal was stated in “What AIGA is doing and why” and had been cited in scholarly research, after AIGA revamped its website in May 2011 it was subsumed under AIGA’s main site and ceased to exist as a distinct entity.


    As part of its strategy to “publish critical thinking about design and designing”, AIGA also “copublishes selected works by thought leaders in design” under the imprint of “AIGA Design Press”. Published titles include

  • The Open Brand: When Push Comes to Pull in a Web-Made World (Kelly Mooney and Nita Rollins, 2008)
  • Digital Foundations: Intro to Media Design with the Adobe Creative Suite (Xtine Burrough and Michael Mandiberg, 2008), which was released under a Creative Commons license
  • Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices (Dan Saffer, 2006)
  • Designing With Web Standards (Jeffrey Zeldman, 2006)
  • Inside/Outside: From the Basics to the Practice of Design (Malcolm Grear, 2006)
  • ZAG: The Number-One Strategy of High-Performance Brands (Marty Neumeier, 2006)
  • Do Good: How Design Can Change the World (David B. Berman, 2008)
  • Writing for Visual Thinkers: A Guide for Artists and Designers (Andrea Marks, 2011)
  • AIGA has also published the periodically updated AIGA professional practices in graphic design including a translation to simplified Chinese.

    Other publication activities

    AIGA also maintains the AIGA Design Archives, which was identified as a publishing activity.


    AIGA Wikipedia

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