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Noted designer to speak at SDSU

Posted: Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 2012

Rick Griffith

BROOKINGS – In this digital age, graphic designer Rick Griffith does some of his best work with a letterpress. The noted designer will explain that curious choice and more when he presents “My Last Year with Type” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Room D of the Bailey Rotunda on the campus of South Dakota State University.

Griffith said he chose the topic so he could talk about his current work. “It also alludes to a possibility that we might act with some urgency – as if it were our last.”

Griffith must work with some sense of urgency all the time, as his Denver studio, Matter, is noted for innovations in design and particularly messaging for major corporate clients and world-changing organizations.

Griffith’s work has been included in the national design archives of AIGA, formerly the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Butler Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Columbia University. Twenty-six of his pieces are in the permanent collection of the Denver Art Museum and a book of typographic images he produced was named one of the 100 best-designed books of 2005 by AIGA.

During his presentation, Griffith will stress the connection between design and communication and his approach to professional practice steeped in the broad discipline of design.

“There is an opportunity for all people to appreciate our values around language,” Griffith said. “Typography is a significant vehicle for our use of language.”

The importance of how people have historically communicated drives Griffith’s interest in working with three centuries of publishing tools, including letterpress printing equipment from the 19th century.

“I have a deeply held belief that we could spend more time saying what we believe,” Griffith said. “And to that end I can construct and typeset a sentence in about two hours and print it in a satisfactory manner in four hours. How many times do we construct a single sentence in four hours?”

He will be presenting many of his letterpress printed works and take part in a question and answer session directly after his prepared lecture.

The day after his lecture, Griffith will share his letterpress expertise with SDSU students at a demonstration at 2:30 p.m. in Room 118 of Grove Hall.

Griffith’s visit is a joint effort of the SDSU Visual Arts Department, the Van Zante Endowment and the South Dakota Chapter of AIGA.

For more information about Griffith’s visit, call the Visual Arts Department at 605-688-4103 or email Beverly.French@sdstate.edu.

To learn more about Griffith, visit his website at http://morematter.com/.

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