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World-famous artist speaks to large crowd

Justin Tardiff | Friday, November 4, 2005

World-renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut spoke to graphic design students about his life and career at the Snite Museum of Art Thursday.

Bierut emphasized the importance of design in contemporary society.

“If you think that doing graphic design doesn’t make a difference, take the presidential elections of 2000,” he said. “The problems with voting were based around the poor design of the ballot.”

Senior Evan DeWalt said he attended the lecture because of Bierut’s fame and prestige in the world of graphic design.

“He has a great sense of humor and is really personable, so on top of being a huge name in the business, I knew he’d be interesting,” he said.

Bierut described his development as a graphic artist over throughout his lifetime. The artist even shared a connection he had with the University as a child – Beirut’s Catholic mother had a dream for her son to attend Notre Dame.

“I was excited at the opportunity to actually fulfill my mother’s dream, so coming to Notre Dame seemed very logical,” Bierut said.

Since 1980 Bierut has worked for Pentagram, a prestigious graphic design firm that consists of collaboration between roughly 20 graphic artists. Through Pentagram, Bierut designed for clients such as Walt Disney Company, Godiva Chocolatier, Princeton University, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Harley-Davidson and the Library of Congress.

Some of Bierut’s more famous projects include graphic design for Celebration City, Fla., street signs in downtown Manhattan and the official logo for Citi bank.

Currently, Bierut is collaborating to design the interior of a new building for the New York Times.

Approximately 200 people were in attendance including not only University students, but also graphic design students from Purdue University, Indiana University and Goshen College.