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Today is Your Day

It’s 5:42 pm, the workday is almost over and, just now, it has come to my attention that this day, April 27 and none other, is World Graphics Day.

It also happens to be, on this very same day, ICOGRADA’s 39th Anniversary. I am not sure since when this celebration has occurred, probably longer than I would guess. From this: “World Graphics Day marks the formation date of Icograda in 1963” I gather the answer is 42 years. Microsoft’s obsessively-updated Typography site houses Robert L. Peters’, President of ICOGRADA, best wishes for this day — uplifting yet realistic (some could say grim):

Graphic design has become one of the most influential professions in the information/idea age in which we now live, shaping the daily lives of the world’s citizens. Truly amazing tools are at our disposal. And yet so much has not changed… peace still seems elusive, and inequities, injustices, and imbalances continue to be the norm.

So how do we celebrate? Do we activate all our fonts in our computer and use them all at the same time? Do we make confetti out of old Pantone swatchbooks? Do we use french curves all day? If you have any ideas, be sure to forward them to ICOGRADA. Or make a poster.

Also, if Earth, Water and da Vinci deserve special Google Holiday logos, shouldn’t we get one on this day? Certainly not. Ra�l Ram�rez S�nchez, of fine Mexican design blog Isopixel, created his own [scroll down] to not feel left out .

At dinner tonight raise a glass for World Graphics Day, we deserve it.

Thanks to Shahla for pointing out the happy event.

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PUBLISHED ON Apr.27.2005 BY Armin
Tan’s comment is:

Oh man, that foot poster is just gory.

And it's funny that ICOGRADA Australia is going to celebrate by having a barbeque. Design-on-the-barbie as they'd say.

I think I'm going to celebrate by leaving work early...yea, that'd be good.

On Apr.27.2005 at 06:54 PM
Shahla’s comment is:

This year our day was shared with Administrative Professionals Day formerly known as Secretaries Day in the USA. They have the last week of April designated as their week with the Wednesday of that week as their day.

We should get all week ; )

In S�o Paulo they partied all week at the Design Week coinciding with World Graphic Design Day 2004 — we should ask Bennett how that was…

On Apr.27.2005 at 10:39 PM
pedro’s comment is:

I gather the answer is 32 years.


2005 - 1963 = 42 !!!!


On Apr.28.2005 at 12:24 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Well, there is no debating that. 42.

On Apr.28.2005 at 10:00 AM
Armin’s comment is:

AIGA has a gallery of poster submissions — based on the topic of diversity — for World Day of Design. I think we need to agree what we are calling this thing… World Day of Design, World Graphics Day…

On Apr.28.2005 at 10:03 AM
Rob’s comment is:

I believe this day has historically not featured US participation. Good to see AIGA changing that.

On Apr.28.2005 at 11:13 AM
Tan’s comment is:

>I think we need to agree what we are calling this thing

it should be accurate — World Day of Graphic Design.

On Apr.28.2005 at 11:27 AM
Shahla’s comment is:

Thanks for pointing out the AIGA poster contest, Armin.

It’s a nice change to see American designers participate in this global anniversary. At the �National’ website, the American Institute of Graphic Arts’ history page states:

“1914 — At the National Arts Club, 119 East 19 Street New York City, 40 people met and passed a resolution authorizing a committee to draft a constitution and bylaws for a new organization named (at the suggestion of Charles DeKay) the American Institute of Graphic Arts and established "as a source of pleasure and intellectual profit" to its members. William H. Howland, publisher and editor of The Outlook, was elected president.”

No month or day.

In a piece written in 1989 Steve Heller and Nathan Gluck wrote:

“In 1927 the first showing of American book illustration was mounted, and reference works and catalogs in these areas were published…AIGA was so active and highly publicized for its efforts that in 1929 incorporation papers were filed.”

So if a birthday is essential, which is debatable, that date in 1929 would be the official birthday for the American Institute of Graphic Arts. The eve of which we’d see fireworks launched from 164 Fifth Avenue!! ?!

On Apr.28.2005 at 09:03 PM
Elizabeth’s comment is:

I agree with Tan's suggestion for the name of our day. The word "graphics" just makes my skin crawl, much in the way it did when my old corporate clients used to ask if my solution was going to incorporate PowerPoint.

But since it's 2005 and everything else is, I move to abbreviate: WDOGD. To support my point, Day of Graphics would be DOG.

On Apr.28.2005 at 11:33 PM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

I find these kind of non-events to be infantilizing and horribly common.

Typing "appreciation day" in Google results in a wide range of results, from ridiculous (Squirrel Appreciation Day) to depressing. After some poking around on the internets, my non-scientific survey indicates the main effect of World Graphics Day is adding an additional line of copy to a press release for any graphics exhibitions opening on April 27.

Overly-general initiatives probably aren't the best way to advocate for Design. I've heard that if you scratch a cynic, you'll find a romantic; so let me offer an alternative: World Clients Day. If we all reflected on working a bit harder, a bit more passionately, a bit more conscientiously for our clients — without concern for awards, our place in history, looking cool, etc. — then the need for a World Graphics Day wouldn't exist.

My friends, change comes from within.

Thus endeth the lesson.

On Apr.29.2005 at 05:07 AM
Tan’s comment is:

You're just bitter Mark cause no one sent you a "Happy World Graphics Day" card.

Turn that frown upside down Mr.Grumpy.

>World Clients Day

Is this the day when all client change orders are forgiven, and clients get to have their logo as big as they want on anything?

I'm just teasing — but seriously, I get what you're saying and agree. These types of appreciation days are often meaningless, and just points to the hypocrisy of how things are treated, or in most cases ignored, the other 364 days of the year.

On Apr.29.2005 at 02:11 PM
Shahla’s comment is:

Is this the day when all client change orders are forgiven, and clients get to have their logo as big as they want on anything?

Funny, Tan.

It’s not about the business side of things, it’s about the celebrations of another job well done, another day gone by. Do you celebrate your birthday? Like Armin said, just raise a glass to this day…

Agreeing with Adorno about the occult, I still find the pseudoscience of horoscopes entertaining. It’s a bad habit I occasionally practice; how many of us will admit to reading the little blurb predicting the next month for our �sign’ if or when we come across it in a publication? For example, April 27th would make humorous sense for WDOGD because it falls under the sign of (the) Bull.

On Apr.29.2005 at 03:29 PM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

Tan, I would hope that my problem isn't bitterness; but I will admit to an increasing intolerance to the mindless activities generated by bureaucratic like-think.

My late-night suggestion of World Clients Day was offered as a way of reframing the issue. Consider that one of our recent challenges is to overcome the "I have Photoshop and Quark, therefore I'm a designer" phenomena. How do we do that? By emphasizing Design as Idea.

In this light, one has to ask why ICOGRADA didn't avail themselves of their talented membership. They certainly could have done better than Secretary Appreciation World Graphics Day.

On Apr.29.2005 at 04:30 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Could it be that this idea is irrelevant? What designers need is common respect for ideas and probably more money, yes?

When somebody says they want to give us a day if appreciation, I'd make sure my wallet is still in my back pocket and wasn't taken for some dues.

Still, a giant balloon parade down 5th Avenue in Manhattan wouldn't hurt, I guess...

On May.01.2005 at 10:18 AM
Tan’s comment is:

The idea of a celebratory day doesn't hurt, but it feels insular. Patting each other on the back for a job well done or toasting to our existence is fun, but doesn't really do anything for the profession.

Really, I'm not trying to be a curmudgeon. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like World Graphics Day is equivalent to World Offset Printing Day, or World Mail Sorter Day, or something similarly insignificant screaming to be more than what it is. Are we saying that we're unspoken heroes like secretaries and postal workers?

I might be wrong, but I don't think there's a World Architecture Day, World Industrial Design Day, or World Business Management Day.

I think our profession deserves a little more dignity. Don't you think?

But I guess it has to start somewhere. Sigh.

On May.02.2005 at 12:15 PM