Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Peter Seitz: Designing a Life



Just wanted to spread the word about the book of the life and work of graphic designer Peter Seitz! Designed by MCAD-alum Ryan Nelson and published by MCAD in 2007 (with support from the Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota), this book is a must-read for understanding a key figure in the design history of MCAD and Minneapolis. More background information on the project can be found here.

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Peter Seitz (1931-Present) is a legendary graphic designer, author, teacher and business owner who served as the first Design Director at The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), helped establish the graphic design curriculum at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and took out the very first listing as a Graphic Designer in the Twin Cities Yellow Pages. His life and work is chronicled in "Peter Seitz: Designing A Life" (published by MCAD, 2007, ISBN-10: 0980089301).

Seitz followed the road less traveled in all aspects of his career, starting things rather than joining them. He began his design studies at the Ulm School of Design (a Bahaus offshoot) in Germany, studying with celebrated graphic designers Tom├ís Moldonado, Max Bill, and Otl Aicher. He received a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Photography from Yale University in 1961, studying with Paul Rand, Bradbury Thompson and Herbert Matter.

Upon moving to Minneapolis in 1964, Seitz became the first Director of Design at the Walker Art Center, where he created pioneering exhibitions as well as the groundbreaking journal Design Quarterly. Seitz went on to organize the Minnesota Chapter of AIGA, Siggraph, and the country’s first interdisciplinary design firm, InterDesign— producing the identity programs and signage systems for the Minneapolis Parkways, the downtown St. Paul Skyways, the Minnesota State Capital and the Minnesota Zoological Gardens. From business, Seitz moved into education, serving at various times as the Chair of Design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design from 1971 until 1998.

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Peter Seitz: Designing a Life can be purchased from the Walker shop as well as from Amazon.com. Be sure to pick one up if you haven't already!

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