Sunday, March 1, 2009

"If a design doesn't feel good
in your heart, what the mind thinks doesn't matter."

"Hand Holding a Bowl of rice" 8,200 sq ft, Public art commission,
Wilshire Vermont mixed-use metro project, August 2007


April Greiman was born in New York in 1948. She began her studies in Graphic design in the early 1970s attending the Allgemeine Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel, Switzerland, and the Kansas City Art Institute before working as a graphic designer in New York.
April Greiman is a contemporary designer. She is recognized as one of the first designers to embrace computer technology as a design tool starting in 1984 and, to a lesser extent, for introducing the New Wave aesthetic to the US. An intuitive, eclectic departure from the stark organization and neutral objectivity of the grid that sent shock waves through the design community. Wide letterspacing, changing type weights or styles within a single word, and the use of type set on an angle were explored, not as mere stylistic indulgences but in an effort to expand typographic communication more meaningfully.

Logo for inventing Flight , a centennial celebration
that will coincide with the Ohio Bicentennial.
Di-Zin logo type, 1984

April moved to Los Angeles in 1976, establishing her multidisciplinary design practice, called “Made in Space”,introducing video, computer graphics, architecture and environment. Greiman developed a new design approach and, in 1986 she used the Macintosh computer's rudimentary capabilities to create an issue of the journal Design Quarterly, entitled
Does it make sense? In This notable issue has since become one of the key staging posts in the evolution of graphic design. She re-imagined the magazine as a poster that folded out to almost 3x6 feet. It contained a life-size, MacVision-generated image of her outstretched naked body adorned with symbolic images and text— a provocative gesture which emphatically countered the objective, rational and masculine tendencies of modernist design.

Design Quarterly #133, "Does it make sense?"
Walker Art center, Minneapolis, 1989

Having pioneered a computerized blend of photography, airbrushing, and typesetting, Greiman is pushing design to the edge of computer technology. Considered the queen of techno-colour, she combines every visual and electronic medium and is, according to New York designer Massimo Vignelli, by far the most daring and meaningfully experimental graphic designer in the world - Quote "When do i get the other side?" re: "Does it make sense?" Working with technology developed for advanced video production, Greiman mixes still photography with video imagery, artwork, calligraphy, and animation.
Greiman sets an example for future generations of designers to be willing to ask the questions that need to be asked.

U.S Postage stamp commemorating the Nineteenth Amendment

Poster designed in 1982 for the 1984 Olympics



  1. An inspiring, inventive experimenter and groundbreaking image maker. I'll have to look into more of her work.