Each year (or so), AIGA Chicago presents awards that, together, celebrate the achievements of local individuals and organizations in advancing the profession, culture and impact of design in the greater Chicago area.
The nomination process is open to the public to ensure an appropriate array of nominees, and a nominating committee—made up of AIGA Chicago representatives that include the current chapter President, current Director of Operations, current Membership Chair, a past board member, an advisory board member and a member at large—make the final call on which nominees will be named recipients. Awards are not necessarily given each year, but rather are conferred at the discretion of the nominating committee.
The Fellow Award program is a means of recognizing mature designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within the Chicago design community and within AIGA Chicago. The areas of education, writing, leadership and reputation, as well as the practice of design are given equal consideration in measuring significance. Chapter Fellows are listed at AIGA.org and honored at the AIGA Awards, held each year in New York.
2018: Katherine Darnstadt
2017: Carlos Segura
2016: Maria Grillo, Victor Margolin
2014: Dana Arnett, Wendy Pressley-Jacobs
2013: Cheryl Towler Weese
2012: Harri Boller
2011: Marcia Lausen
2010: Arnold Goodwin
2009: Morton Goldscholl
2008: Art Paul, Jilly Simons
2007: Joseph Michael Essex
2006: Greg Samata, Pat Samata
2005: Robert Vogele
2004: Rick Valicenti
2003: Philip Burton
2002: Susan Jackson Keig
2001: John Massey
2000: Bart Crosby
1999: Hayward Blake
Corporate Leadership Award
The Corporate Leadership Award was established to recognize organizations that
have shown dedication and leadership by promoting excellence in design as a meaningful business policy. Recipients of this award are companies from the region served by AIGA Chicago and who have:
• Demonstrated a commitment of more than five years to design as a distinctive and effective business policy
• Supported the development of design within its organization, as well as in the broader marketplace
• Promoted or contributed to the development of design in the Chicago area or nationally
2018: Sprout Social
2017: Cards Against Humanity
2016: Wilson Sporting Goods, Wright Auction House
2014: Institute of Design at IIT, Pitchfork
2009: Crate & Barrel
Above & Beyond Award
The Above & Beyond Award recognizes longstanding service and commitment to AIGA Chicago and its membership. The efforts of those recognized ensures the chapter’s continued ability to encourage, promote and serve the design profession.
To celebrate the 2014 recipients, AIGA Chicago asked product design firm MINIMAL to redesign the physical award. Cast in natural concrete, it reflects the recipients’ strengths and commitment to design while embodying unique approaches and perspectives through subtle imperfections in the material.
2018: Vernon Lockhart
2017: Kelly Knaga
2016: Andrew Dembitz
2014: Dawn Hancock, Steve Ryan, Scott Theisen
2007: Lance Rutter
2006: Cheryl Towler Weese
2005: Marcia Lausen
2004: Wendy Pressley-Jacobs
2003: Nancy Denney Essex, Julia Dunlop
2002: Molly Foshay, Mark Oldach
2001: Frank Anello
2000: Liz Shepard, Jilly Simons
1999: Jon Ashmann
1998: Bart Crosby, Joseph Michael Essex, George Hayes, Steve Liska
Emerging Designer Award
Created in 2016, the AIGA Chicago Emerging Designer Award was created to support those in the Chicago design community who are in the early stages of their career but are doing great things none-the-less. Excellent design skills, community engagement and leadership as well as AIGA involvement will be considered. This award is not restricted by age, but nominees should be 0-5 years in their design career.
2018: Ingrid Nelson and Karen Spears
2017: Jenna Blazevich, Sophia Brown, Alex Sheyn
2016: Alyssa Low, Frances MacLeod, Amy Schwartz
The Social Impact Award
The Social Impact Award was established to recognize individuals and organizations that have shown longstanding service and leadership in using design to solve some of our community’s toughest social challenges. Recipients for this award are from the region served by AIGA Chicago who have:
•Demonstrated a commitment of more than 5 years to design as an effective method of creating and promoting social change.
• Contributed to the development of design for social impact within its organization, Chicago and nationally.
• Engaged the community in leveraging design for social action and response
Recipients can range from design firms, nonprofit organizations, for profit organizations, or individuals who meet the above criteria.
2018: Monica Haslip and Spudnik Press
The Educator Award
2018: Kathleen Tieri Ton