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Speak Up is now part of the AIGA

After several months of talks, negotiations and all-out melees regarding the condition of the Graphic Design profession there is finally a resolution, and it comes in the form of the acquisition of Speak Up by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) as well as The Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) were both outbid by the AIGA. During negotiations, Design Observer (DO) also made a strong bid to acquire Speak Up — or at least the code for their web templates — however, when a stipulation in the contract required that foul language be used as much as possible they pulled back their offer which included a tour of Pentagram’s New York office, a free subscription to Eye Magazine and a copy of Winterhouse’s National Security Strategy of the United States of America.

The acquisition netted Armin Vit, Speak Up founder, a reported US$275.00 (the equivalent of a Professional AIGA membership) which he plans to donate to Adbusters and their worthy cause as they jam America. In the deal, Vit will stay as part of the advisory board of Speak Up but all managerial decisions will be done by AIGA’s National Board, he will also be granted three more copies of the What every business needs brochure. All Speak Up authors will be required to adhere to the AIGA Standards of Professional Practice and must also write for the AIGA’s online forums but moderators will monitor their contributions.

Speak Up will roll out its new identity — initially implemented and tested internally — within the next three months. One year in the making, the new brand, designed by Futurebrand New York who showed admirable restraint in the visual development, will retain AIGA’s brand essence while dispelling all of Speak Up’s personality. Vit participated in all focus groups sessions but his opinion was outweighed by the majority. He remains skeptical but positive.

In a press release issued by Emigre today, its founders expressed their support and contempt for the deal. The profession’s trade publications, including HOW, Print, STEP and Communication Arts have vied for exclusive interviews, but Vit’s only authorized biographer will be Steve Heller, who will score book number 83… no, number 84… 85…86? Yes, number 86 as of this printing on Vit’s account. Milton Glaser will issue a collector’s edition I (heart) SU button — after debate of whether or not to jump straight to I (heart) SU More Than Ever. Stefan Sagmeister declined to show his privates… even though nobody asked him to. The Tomato collective has agreed to film a documentary that tells the Speak Up story through a relenting visual feast of the transformation of a single Silly Putty. And lastly, Bruce Mau will add number 44 to make his manifesto more complete:

44. Speak Up. If you can’t make your own tools, scat, stay up late or even ask stupid questions, speaking up might just save your life from the ominous repercussions of life as we know it.

Through it all, Vit is proud of the new Speak Up and will do as much as possible to see it succeed under its new management. When asked to comment on the situation, Vit, in his handsome and exotic accent, answered: Happy April’s Fool.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ARCHIVE ID 1897 FILED UNDER Speak Up Announcements
PUBLISHED ON Apr.01.2004 BY Speak Up
jesse’s comment is:

I was having a bad morning until I read this.

I'll probably still have a bad morning. Oh well, thanks for the laugh, Armin!

On Apr.01.2004 at 07:50 AM
JZ’s comment is:


On Apr.01.2004 at 08:01 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

You made me smile in the New York rain Armin. Thank you.

On Apr.01.2004 at 08:04 AM
Jason’s comment is:


I was surprised to see this merger take place. In my mind, Emigre was always first in the running to team with Speak Up. Oh well.

On Apr.01.2004 at 08:13 AM
Brady’s comment is:


Um, not really. I was working on my own April Fools joke as well last night and was going to finish this morning.

Good one though Mr. Vit! Written well enough to pull you in but not serious enough to believe it.

It must be fun for the Norman crew to be around you day in and day out.

On Apr.01.2004 at 08:24 AM
Greg’s comment is:

Holy crap! It's May?! I'm waaaay behind!! AAAGH!!

On Apr.01.2004 at 08:27 AM
David Weinberger’s comment is:

Very funny, Vit.

On Apr.01.2004 at 08:43 AM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

Best post all month!

On Apr.01.2004 at 09:00 AM
Rob Bennett’s comment is:

Thanks for bringing a little sunshine to a rainy day. I was really hoping we could merge with AIA or at least, the NRA. Just imagine, designers with guns.

Have a great day Armin. Thank G-d, through all of this work you do, you haven't lost your sense of humor.

On Apr.01.2004 at 09:04 AM
Andrew’s comment is:


haha the one that got me this morning was mezzoblue. also (it's a bit out of the design community) http://www.vgcats.com/ has a good one.

On Apr.01.2004 at 09:07 AM
Branigan’s comment is:


On Apr.01.2004 at 09:08 AM
erica’s comment is:

i forgot it was april fool's until i read this--i actually believed it all up until i saw that logo, when i realized it had to be a joke!

On Apr.01.2004 at 09:11 AM
amanda’s comment is:

very cute.

On Apr.01.2004 at 09:13 AM
Bill’s comment is:


1. When you weren't looking yesterday, Design Observer did a leveraged buyout of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, which we are renaming The Design Observer Institute. We intend to still honor the deal you made with Ric Grefe, and you can expect your check for $275.00 in fiscal year 2004/2005 (after you have paid your AIGA dues).

2. Winterhouse is being paid $1.00 for the rights to use The National Security Strategy booklet as a prop in the next Sidney Pollack film, "The Interpreter." Look for it on Nicole Kidman's bedside table. Coming in 2005. No kiddin'.


On Apr.01.2004 at 09:16 AM
marian’s comment is:

The GDC has issued a formal complaint against the AIGA for the back-door proceedings and under-the-table negotiations in this matter. Our message is simple, "Don't fuck with the GDC.™" This isn't over.

On Apr.01.2004 at 09:23 AM
Rebecca C.’s comment is:

Oh I get it... it's a joke! Heh.

On Apr.01.2004 at 10:04 AM
Hrant’s comment is:

Man, am I glad this is a joke.


On Apr.01.2004 at 10:17 AM
Curtiss Prickett’s comment is:

Man... I really need to look at a calendar once in awhile. You really had me going Armin.

Keep up the great work! Nice article in Step Inside Magazine btw.

On Apr.01.2004 at 10:31 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Heh heh.

Also: Of interest: #5

On Apr.01.2004 at 10:41 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Glad ya'll are enjoying it. I was so cracking up when I was writing it. I had a lot more cheap shots for a lot more people, but it's all about karma, so this is the PG-13 version.

On Apr.01.2004 at 11:27 AM
Sarah B.’s comment is:

Gullible as I am... I knew something was up. Probably because I have been pulling "pranks" all morning...

btw.. where can I get one of those "I (heart) SU" buttons?

On Apr.01.2004 at 12:12 PM
Rick’s comment is:

Wait... I don't get it.

What's this AIGA you keep talking about?



On Apr.01.2004 at 12:36 PM
Ricardo’s comment is:

thanks for making me laugh so much on a decidedly crummy day, Armin!

you almost had me going there... :-D

On Apr.01.2004 at 12:36 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> btw.. where can I get one of those "I (heart) SU" buttons?

I was going to pay the production of them with the $275.00 and I asked Adbusters to give back the donation but they had already spent the money in black markers for billboard jamming.

On Apr.01.2004 at 01:23 PM
Ashley’s comment is:

This has to be a prank. A well thought out prank.

If you fool me again tomorrow... you will be the biggest fool at last. Or will I for not believing you the first time. Hmmm...

On Apr.01.2004 at 01:34 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Psst...I have it on good authority that AIGA, its small-market competitor the GDC, and all affiliated subsidiaries and holdings, including newly acquired, blog-channel source SpeakUp, will be acquired by Microsoft Corporation within FY04 (June 31).

The new acquisitions will anchor a new brand division known as MSDP, or the Microsoft Desktop Publishing Division.

On Apr.01.2004 at 02:22 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

That is funny, Tan, cause I actually heard that Microsoft was being bought by Landor.

On Apr.01.2004 at 02:27 PM
justin powell’s comment is:

man, i am pretty new here at speak up... and i was getting down right pissed about that "new logo" design. the sad thing is that focus groups do have the potential to destroy marks... i really thought thats what happened some how. so, so glad that logo was a joke.

on a side note: i really dig the current type id for speak up. great stuff.


On Apr.01.2004 at 02:41 PM
Tan’s comment is:

> I actually heard that Microsoft was being bought by Landor.

If this was true, I think I'd jump out the window right now. It's only the second story though, so it'd be more symbolic than purposeful.

I'm currently sitting in an airport terminal waiting to fly home after some meetings w/ a Microsoft division this morning.

You'll never guess where. Clue: there's not a single, freaking Starbucks here in this God-forsaken town. *sigh*

On Apr.01.2004 at 02:42 PM
Rick’s comment is:

there's not a single, freaking Starbucks here in this God-forsaken town.

Weird. Starbucks are the universal sign of habitability. If you're in a place that can support life, isn't there automatically a Starbucks already open?

On Apr.01.2004 at 04:49 PM
Jason’s comment is:

Tan, I'm guessing you're in Omaha.

On Apr.01.2004 at 05:34 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Close, Jason. I was in Fargo, headquarters for the mighty MBS group. Yes, wood-chipping, you-betcha, Paul Bunyan-lovin Fargo.

Actually I'm too harsh. It was a nice town -- in a small-town-in-the-middle-of-nowhere kind of way. Sweet waitresses, polite cabbies, etc. Just no Starbucks, Caribou, or any kind of espresso shops to be found. Really!

On Apr.01.2004 at 09:45 PM
lorenzo morales’s comment is:


Karma, shmarma... This is good but you should've gone with the more cheap shots.

You had me going.

On Apr.01.2004 at 11:45 PM
Gerardo Reyes Jr’s comment is:

You really had me going. I thought, "You have got to be kidding me!" I'm glad I kept reading and didn't prematurely send you an email of dissappointment and loss.

On Apr.02.2004 at 12:50 PM
Ginny ’s comment is:

My mouth was wide open the entire time I read this!!! I couldn't believe what I was reading!!

good one!

And I'm glad it's not true!

On Apr.02.2004 at 02:47 PM