Your 2012 AIGA Medalists: Ralph Caplan, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Armin Hofmann, and Robert Vogele

Frederic Goudy had one, so did Philip Johnson and Robert Rauschenberg. The Eameses had two. Pentagram is awash in them. George Lois wears his to bed. We’re talking about AIGA Medals, the graphic design world’s highest honor. This year’s medalists are Ralph Caplan, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Armin Hofmann, and Robert Vogele. Caplan will be honored for his “discerning eye, deftness with words, and wonderful sense of humor toward defining design over half a century through writing, editing, and teaching,” while Lustig Cohen gets the nod for for her integration of “European avant garde and modernist influences into a distinctly American, mid-century manner of typographic communication.” AIGA recognizes Swiss graphic designer Hoffman, who Paul Rand once described as a shape-shifting “daredevil driver, mountain climber, teacher par excellence, and guru,” for his broad and deep influence in “teaching the power and elegance of simplicity and clarity through a timeless aesthetic, always informed by context” while the entrepreneurial Vogele is singled out for having “nurtured the creative potential of generations of Chicago designers, challenging all to think about design for the greater good.” They will be presented with their James Earle Fraser-designed medals tomorrow evening at Bright Lights.