David Reinfurt: A *New* Program for Graphic Design


  • David Reinfurt. Courtesy of the speaker. 

  • A *New* Program for Graphic Design, by David Reinfurt. Co-published by Distributed Art Publishers (D.A.P) and Inventory Press. 


Talk

  1. Apr 22, 2020, 6:30 – 8 pm
Level 3, Bookshop


In Spring 1967, Italian designer Bruno Munari was invited to the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University to teach a short course in graphic design. For four months, Miunari led students developing an inventory of new methods and techniques for graphic design. The course was later compiled into a textbook, Design e Comunicazione Visiva.

A *New* Program for Graphic Design is a do-it-yourself textbook that builds on mid-to late-20th-century pedagogical models to convey advanced principles of contemporary design for a general reader. Rooted in three courses (Typography, Gestalt, and Interface) originally developed for liberal arts students at Princeton University, the book provides a broad introduction from Benjamin Franklin to Bruno Munari, Moholy-Nagy to Muriel Cooper and the Macintosh computer. After a brief introduction, David will discuss overlaps between the two projects.

In 1967, Bruno Munari said: "Knowledge of the new means of visual communication is indispensable for a designer who has to operate in the heart of society. After the invention of the compass, nobody makes circles by hand anymore."

A *New* Program for Graphic Design is co-published by Inventory Press, Los Angeles, and Distributed Art Publishers, New York.


David Reinfurt

David Reinfurt is an independent graphic designer and writer in New York City. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1993 and received an MFA from Yale University in 1999. Reinfurt worked as an interaction designer with IDEO (San Francisco) from 1995–1997. At IDEO, he was the lead designer for the New York City MTA Metrocard vending machine interface, still in use by millions of people every day 13 years later. On the first business day of 2000, Reinfurt formed O-R-G inc., a flexible graphic design practice composed of a constantly shifting network of collaborators.

Together with graphic designer Stuart Bailey, Reinfurt established Dexter Sinister in 2006 -- a workshop in the basement at 38 Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side in New York City. The workshop is intended to model a Just-In-Time economy of print production, running counter to the contemporary assembly-line realities of large-scale publishing. This involves avoiding waste by working on-demand, utilizing local cheap machinery, considering alternate distribution strategies, and collapsing distinctions of editing, design, production and distribution into one efficient activity. Dexter Sinister published the semi-annual arts magazine Dot Dot Dot from 2006-2011. After running O-R-G since 2000, and Dexter Sinister since 2006, Reinfurt set up another entity in 2012, this time a 501c3 corporation called The Serving Library with Stuart Bailey and Angie Keefer. The Serving Library is a cooperatively-built archive that assembles itself by publishing. It consists of 1. an ambitious public website; 2. a small physical library space; 3. a publishing program which runs through #1 and #2.

Reinfurt began teaching at Princeton University in 2010. Before coming to Princeton, David held teaching positions at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University School of Art. On arrival at Princeton, David worked to re-establish the Typography Studio and introduce the study of Graphic Design as a practical and theoretical starting point for students from all corners of the university as well as visual artists. Reinfurt was 2010 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow in Architecture and Design. He has exhibited widely and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. David was the 2016-2017 Mark Hampton Rome Prize fellow in Design at the American Adademy in Rome. Muriel Copper, a book about the pioneering designer he co-wrote with Robert Wiesenberger, is forthcoming in 2018 from MIT Press. 


Generous support for Carpenter Center programing is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.