What Would You Do with $1500?

Do you have a pet project you’d love to do if only you had the money to tackle it? As graphic designers, we often get sidetracked from our dreams by client needs and expectations. Many designers feel there’s a more important contribution to be made by their design talents – and more to learn in this classroom of life. Maybe you’d like to communicate something complex to bring understanding. Maybe you want to highlight a wrong and help give a nudge toward positive change.

Part of the mission of AIGA is to enable Design for Good. How to you define that? What would you do if you had the funds to do something important?

AIGA Colorado is now accepting applications for the Robert W. Taylor Professional Grant. Here’s a look at the winners from the last two years and how they chose to make a difference.
Apply or learn more.


Edward Popovitz

Faculty Member at Art Institute of Colorado
Ed took a sabbatical from The Art Institute of Colorado to research the creation of a Center for Philanthropic Design. The goal of the Center is to foster mentorship opportunities in the AIGA CO design community, connecting students, nonprofits, and professional designers to collaborate and achieve working outcomes in the realm of social justice, sustainability, community building, and design for good. His strategy was to interview designers in other Chapters and travel to locations where similar projects have launched.

He studied the models of Firebelly and MICA. The Yampa Valley Design Guild has a program based in Steamboat that is modeled on Firebelly’s Design Camp. While this camp has been effective, the Center would offer a year-round program that could nurture younger designers and create opportunities for struggling nonprofits while teaching valuable lessons about the power of design.

Kathryn McCoy
Marni Myers

During the AIGA100 Celebration on January 21, 2014, AIGA announced the win­ners of the inau­gural Robert W. Taylor Professional Grant. Katherine McCoy and Marni Myers each won the $1,000 award. The win­ning proposals involved Creative Thinking Workshops from Marni Myers and the cre­ation of a book doc­u­ment­ing the his­tory of the International Design Conference in Aspen by Katherine McCoy.

Marni created “Break The Rules: Discover Your Creative Genius,” a program to help busi­nesses, orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als who wish to dis­cover new and dif­fer­ent ways to solve prob­lems and work on strate­gic plan­ning. The pre­sen­ta­tion gives a glimpse of cre­ative think­ing and begins the process of cre­ative prob­lem solving.

About the Aspen International Design Conference
For 54 years, design­ers from across the U.S. migrated to Aspen, Colorado for a week of inspi­ra­tion, net­work­ing, social­iz­ing and
recre­ation. The conference’s speak­ers, top­ics, orga­niz­ers, atten­dees and loca­tion quickly estab­lished it as a focal point of the inter­na­tional design com­mu­nity, focus­ing on an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary
spec­trum from urban design and archi­tec­ture to indus­trial design and graphic design. Social, cul­tural, tech­no­log­i­cal and polit­i­cal con­tent reached far beyond prag­matic and aes­thetic design top­ics. Aspen became an annual pil­grim­age to a mecca of design ideas that marked the begin­ning of every summer.

About Robert W. Taylor

A renowned graphic designer and Colorado native, Robert Taylor attended the Art Institute before moving to L.A. to work for Saul Bass Design from 1964-1969. He returned to Denver in 1970 and formed Robert W. Taylor Design, Inc. in 1975.

Over the next 35 years, Robert and his staff worked on many design projects. Two of the most notable were the 1989 World Alpine Ski Championship logo and and the 1991 Denver International Airport logo. Robert and staff designed the logo for the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and designed their Induction Banquet Program for 16yrs. One of the posters for the Manville Corporation is part of the graphics collection of the Denver Art Museum.

Robert’s work has won local and national awards and he was an active member in both the Art Director’s Club (ADCD), which awarded him the first Legacy Award in 2003. He was honored in 2004 with the first AIGA Colorado Chapter Fellow Award. He died in 2010.


By Leslie Jorgensen
Published January 26, 2016
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