Walker Art Center Debuts ‘Graphic Design: Now in Production’

The dustjacket of the illustrated catalogue produced for “Graphic Design: Now in Production,” which opens tomorrow at the Walker Art Center. (Photo: Walker Art Center)

Beginning tomorrow, the Walker Art Center welcomes visitors to “Graphic Design: Now in Production.” Curated by a team led by Andrew Blauvelt and Ellen Lupton, the highly anticipated exhibition (bound for New York’s Governor Island in June) showcases graphic design highlights of the last ten years, from magazines and posters to film titles and typography. Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity to show off Walker Extended, the Minneapolis institution’s own boundary-pushing graphic identity. Designed by Eric Olson, it functions as a typeface but instead of bold and italic fonts is grouped into related words, or vocabularies, and repeating patterns. “The identity is always a line that contains words and is applied across a surface,” said Chad Kloepfer, senior designer at the Walker, in an interview. “The elements that vary are the actual words, the scale, patterns, colors, and placement. You see different colors and layouts resulting in variations of usage, but the identity is so distinctive that it is always recognizable as the Walker.” The below video, produced by Blauvelt and graphic designer Emmet Byrne, offers a peek inside the identity-cum-design toolkit.