Kendall and GRAM Partner to Present Graphic Design: Now In Production

Posted December 18, 2012 in Gallery, Campus

Unique collaborative exhibition spans two venues. On view February 1 - April 21, 2013

The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) and Kendall present Graphic Design: Now in Production, a unique, collaborative exhibition that spans two venues and explores the way designers use color, typography, images, symbols, and systems to make the surfaces around us come alive with meaning. This ambitious exhibition looks at cutting edge ideas and breaking cultural revolutions in the world of graphic design. 

The largest of the design professions, graphic design is the art of visual communication that gives shape to the thousands of messages we encounter each day—from the printed page to the computer screen and beyond. Focusing on design in the twenty-first century, this exhibition provides insight into the developments shaping culture today and transforming traditional conceptions of graphic design practice.

Hosted in part at GRAM, and in part at The Fed at Kendall, Graphic Design: Now in Production marks the first collaborative exhibition between these two institutions, featuring immersive gallery experiences at both locations. The College renovated the historic Federal Building in 2012 for its expansion. GRAM was housed at the locationuntil 2007, before moving to the new facility adjacent to Maya Lin’s Ecliptic at Rosa Parks Circle. 

"This is a very exciting collaboration that simply makes sense," said Dana Friis-Hansen, GRAM Director and CEO. "West Michigan is a center for design and creativity. GRAM is committed to the presentation and interpretation of design history and contemporary expressions, and Kendall is a recognized leader in design education, with degree programs including Collaborative Design, Digital Media, and Graphic Design, among others. The continued collaborative spirit between the two organizations creates a strong base of knowledge and opportunity in the community.

Friis-Hansen continued, “And similar to the partnership GRAM now enjoys with the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Graphic Design: Now in Production is also a collaboration with prestigious national institutions, the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt NationalDesign Museum and the Walker Art Center, both with internationally respected design exhibition programs.”

“I love the GRAM and of course, I love Kendall. Joining these two extraordinary forces for art and design in the region provides the exhibition even greater energy and meaning," said Dr. David Rosen, President of Kendall College of Art and Design." The new relationship brought about by this union is also energizing each of our two exceptional institutions.”


Graphic Design: Now in Production includes seven themes that are presented at the venues as follows:

Grand Rapids Art Museum -Typography -Branding & Identity -Information Design -Film & Television

The Fed at Kendall  -Posters  -Magazines -Books -Storefront -Film & Television


Graphic Design: Now in Production is co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York. Co-curators of the exhibition are Andrew Blauvelt, Curator of Architecture and Design, Walker Art Center and Ellen Lupton, Curator of Contemporary Design, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.