AIGA’s 2007 Medals go to Fella, Lupton, Mau and Olden


Four big names were dropped into our mailbag late last night, the four names of the four people who will be receiving the AIGA Medal in 2007. Edward Fella, Ellen Lupton, Bruce Mau and Georg Olden will be honored at the Design Legends Gala in September. Read on about these four star designers.

Edward Fella. Eschewing design orthodoxies, Fella’s eccentric letterforms and compositions came into full fruition in the 1980s and subsequently influenced the course of expressive typography in the ensuing decades. A self-described “commercial artist,” Fella began his career in Detroit’s advertising world of the 1950s and nearly thirty years later entered graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art. In the past twenty years he has been a faculty member at CalArts where he has had a profound influence on a younger generation of designers.

Ellen Lupton. Ellen Lupton established her presence in the graphic design world in the 1980s through the trailblazing activities of her studio, Design Writing Research, co-founded with her husband and partner J. Abbott Miller. Lupton’s intellectual curiosity, influential ideas, and passion for the field has found its place through her activities as a curator of contemporary design at the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, as a writer of books on typography and design, and as director of the graduate design program at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Bruce Mau. Crossing disciplinary boundaries has become the leitmotif of Bruce Mau’s eponymous design studio based in Toronto, but whose influence in the United States and worldwide has been substantial. Mau’s noted collaborations with leading artists, scholars, architects, and business leaders have produced enormously diverse projects that range from books to exhibitions, landscapes to textiles. His recent establishment of the Institute without Boundaries–part school, part studio, part think tank–and its inaugural project Massive Change tackles nothing less than the design of our world.

Georg Olden. George Olden made his name in the 1940s and 1950s design of early television graphics. As an art director at CBS for 15 years, he led the network’s design of on-air promotions and news graphics, creating the CBS “eye” logo. Olden later worked at BBDO as the television group art director and was vice-president at McCann-Erickson. However, Olden’s work in communication design extended beyond the medium of television. He was the first African-American commissioned by the Unites States Postal Service to design a postage stamp and was the graphic designer to the International Secretariat at the United Nations. He also received seven Clio awards and earned an advertising prize at the Cannes Film Festival.