Graphis Magazine, The International Journal of Visual Communication, was designed and published by Walter Herdeg from 1944 through 1985. It originally presented work from Fine Artists such as Picasso, Vasarely, Munch, and many more; later, it presented the evolution of Graphic Design as we know it today, followed by Illustration, Photography, and eventually Advertising. Herdeg also initiated Graphis Annual (Design integrated with Illustration) in 1952, followed by Photographis (Design integrated with Photography) in 1966, and Graphis Posters in 1973. He also published books on a variety of topics such as comics, diagrams, ephemera, and television graphics. Herdeg’s high expectations for quality in everything he created made him a legend in the design community, and he was admitted into AGI in 1952.
In 1985, Herdeg retired and sold Graphis to B. Martin Pedersen, who redefined the Annuals by separating them into Design, Photography, Advertising, and New Talent for student work. He also began publishing non-Annuals in Typography, Branding, Brochures, Annual Reports, and Logo & Letterhead. Pedersen continued with the Magazine until 2005 when it ceased due to economic decline. In 2008 his distributor, Watson-Guptill, unexpectedly folded, and with it the AIGA and Art Directors Club Annuals ceased publication. Pedersen was caught between two decisions: to also fold or to continue by selling directly. Having chosen the latter, he needed to build a customer base to help him survive the printing of the books, which required a considerable investment from his end.
Herdeg related to Pedersen that he did not invest in writers because in his experience, the Design community generally did not take the time to read. In 19--, however, B. Martin Pedersen hired Martin C. Pedersen (not a relative), who had just lost his job with Newsday, as an Editor with the responsibility of improving the editorial. Both agreed that it would be beneficial to invest in great writers to bring some dignity to the community of talent being presented. From 1997-2000, (issues 307-323), they commissioned great writers such as Tom Wolfe (interviewed Milton Glaser in issue 331), Truman Capote (wrote about Richard Avedon’s portraits in issue 86), Pete Hamill (wrote about “The Public and Private Art of David Levine” in issue 321 and Milton Glaser in issue 324), and Paola Antonelli (wrote about Pierluigi Cerri in issue 286, Italo Lupi in issue 276, and Achille Castiglioni in issue 285), among many others. These articles may have been read; however, there was no response on the editorial, nor was there an increase in subscribers. Herdeg was unfortunately right; however, unwilling to accept this, Pedersen is now relaunching the Magazine as Graphis Journal, which will continue to present quality editorial about the talent behind the extraordinary artwork in the industry.
For your reference, all of the creatives and writers presented are listed below in alphabetical order by last name. If you become a Professional Member, you can gain access to over 60 years of Graphis Magazine from 1944 to 2005. These 355 issues give rare insight into the historical emergence of our professions from a start in Fine Art to the development of Graphic Design (or commercial art) and Advertising as we know them today.
I sincerely believe that much of the Platinum and Gold Award-winning work we have been receiving over the years qualifies as fine art. —B. Martin Pedersen
When you find a name below, access it with the search tool.
- Xu, Wang, Graphic Designer