For this year’s list, we kept our overall ranking numbers but organized everything by category.
Design 50 2022: The Fifty People Who Shape Chicago (Introduction)
Design 50 2022: Interior Architecture & Design for Home
Design 50 2022: Exhibitors and Advocates
Design 50 2022: Fashion
Design 50 2022: Architecture and the Built Environment
Design 50 2022: Innovation, Incubation & Acceleration
+ Designer of the Moment: Andre Brumfield of Gensler Chicago
Here are those who shape Chicago’s Graphic Design and Branding.
Sharon Oiga and Guy Villa Jr.
Chair of Graphic Design, School of Design, University of Illinois at Chicago/Co-Chair, STA Design Weekend and Assistant Professor, Columbia College Chicago
Sharon Oiga and Guy Villa Jr. question and investigate the process of design—the ways in which ideas are expressed and disseminated, ranging from the micro level of experimental typographic form and self-authorship, to the macro level of creating publications and exhibitions. “We seek to expand the definition of graphic design. Designers can be their own content creators, and they can explore spaces previously held by artists alone,” say the husband-and-wife duo, whose solo show will be opening later this year at Mana Contemporary as part of the Tiger Strikes Asteroid program. “Also opening this year, as part of a larger team of designers and archivists, our animated projection work with the Chicago Design Archive will be featured at the Art on theMart.” Staying motivated and inspired at the intersections of their academic, professional and independent endeavors, Oiga and Villa, explore the endless possibilities of graphic design while striving for a more diverse design landscape.
Founder, Coudal Partners and Field Notes
“I started Field Notes with my pal Aaron Draplin and the amazing team at my design firm, Coudal Partners,” says Jim Coudal, who had no idea what that would turn into. “Over the last ten years, Field Notes has grown and grown until it took over our business; it’s all we do now.” Now, the vintage-inspired pocket notebooks, notepads, journals, calendars, planners and writing accouterments have sold millions worldwide. Taking their name from a tradition of promotional memo books distributed to American farmers over the last hundred years by seed, tractor and other agricultural companies, Field Notes products are more than notebooks—the process and craftsmanship behind them elevates them in the category of design objects or even collectibles. “I am hoping this ages well, but I feel like the summer could bring an explosion of color, boldness, and optimism,” says Coudal, about the future of design in Chicago and beyond. “Perhaps design can help us shake off some of the worry and trepidation of the last couple years.”
John Pobojewski and Bud Rodecker
Co-Founders/Design Directors, Span
Co-founders John Pobojewski and Bud Rodecker describe their work as focused on challenging expectations with wit, logic and a playful spirit. “We want Span to be a demonstration of how a small creative design practice can have tremendous impact— a studio that can do serious work that is very divergent, creative and expressive. And through our research initiatives—the projects that celebrate our point of view—Span’s voice can contribute to Chicago’s cultural consciousness.” Shifting focus on the future of their practice, which began with the sunsetting of their former firm, the legendary Thirst, they are creating a new studio space and expanding the depth of their team. “We are collaborating more closely—everyone on the project has a greater influence over the work. And through that, we’re seeing more creativity, more energy, and honestly more joy than we saw working as individuals or as smaller teams,” they say. “COVID forced us all to rethink our priorities. Our community needs to come together and focus our collective energy on what is most important: equity within our profession, social justice, environmental stewardship, and fearless creativity. Let’s not be timid anymore! As we come back together this year, we need to promote innovative and fearless work, and be sure to bring everyone along with us.”
The Hall of Fame: Graphic Design and Branding
*= new this year
* Chris Eichenseer
Founder/Chief Creative Officer, Some Odd Pilot
Founder/Executive Director, Firebelly
* Matthew Hoffman
Founder, You Are Beautiful
Creative Director, Struggle Inc.
* Christopher Jobson
* Marcia Lausen
Director, School of Design, UIC and Founder, Studio/lab Chicago
Owner, JNL Graphic Design
Founder/Design Director, Thirst
EVP Head of Design, Leo Burnett Chicago
Contact: email@example.com Website: www.rigouvasia.com