April Greiman

April Greiman

April Greiman is an influential contemporary American graphic designer. Her innovative ideas and transmedia projects have taken the world by storm. She is considered one of the first designers to see computer in a different light, who realized its potential as a design tool. She is recognized for introducing the ‘New Wave’ design style in the US. Greiman is the director of a design consultancy, Made in Space, based in Los Angeles.

Born on September 10, 1948, April Greiman grew up in the New York City. From 1966–1970, she attended the Kansas City Art Institute and during her undergraduate study in graphic design for the first time. During early 70’s she went to Basel, Switzerland, where she enrolled herself at the Allgemeine Künstgewerberschule Basel (now the Basel School of Design). Under Armin Hofmann and Wolfgang Weingart supervision, Greiman developed interest in the International Style and the style later known as ‘New Wave’. In 1976, she moved to Los Angeles and founded Made in Space, the multi-disciplinary approach that extends into her current practice.

During 1970s, when other designers were afraid of digitalization and that the advancement in computer technology would comprise the International Style, Greiman embraced the idea. Unlike her contemporaries, instead of being repelled she saw beyond the threat the technology posed and exploited the digital tool. She made use of pixelation and other digitization “errors” as integral parts of digital art. She has been instrumental in exploring and spreading the idea of involving advanced technology in the arts and design process. The California Institute of the Arts appointed her the head of the design department, in 1981. In the following years, she lobbied the institute to rename the department as Visual Communications since Graphic Design seemed to limit the scope of the subject. While teaching there, she also examined in greater depth the effects of technology on her own work.

Greiman bought her first Macintosh and later received the Grand Prize in Mac World’s First Macintosh Masters in Art Competition. In 1986, she published an issue for a magazine, notable for its development of graphic design, Design Quarterly. The Walker Art Center published her edition, titled Does it Make Sense. She owns a desert spa retreat, Miracle Manor, with her husband, architect Michael Rotondi. It represents the three-dimensional design of space in natural landscapes which her recent works are based on. To commemorate the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Women’s Voting Rights), the U.S. Postal Service commissioned Greiman to design the stamp for the occasion, which was launched in 1995. Moreover, a one-woman show of her digital photography, entitled Drive-by Shooting, was held by the Pasadena Museum of California Art, in 2006. The following year, she presented her largest ever designed work, a public mural spanning seven stories of two building facades, named Hand Holding a Bowl of Rice. She also participated in a major exhibition Elle@Centre Pompidou, held at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Currently, April Greiman is appointed at the Woodbury University, School of Architecture as an art instructor. She also teaches at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Her invaluable contribution to graphic design had the American Institute of Graphic Arts present her with the Gold Medal for lifetime achievement. Besides, four honorary doctorates were awarded to her by different institutes, including Kansas City Art Institute, Art Center College of Design, The Art Institute of Boston and Academy of Art University.


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