AIGA Medalists

Designed by James Earle Fraser, 1920.

The medal of AIGA—the most distinguished in the field—is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements, services or other contributions to the field of design and visual communication. The contribution may be in the practice of design, teaching, writing or leadership of the profession. The awards may honor designers posthumously.

Medals have been awarded since 1920 to individuals who have set standards of excellence over a lifetime of work or have made individual contributions to innovation within the practice of design.

Individuals who are honored may work in any country, but the contribution for which they are honored should have had a significant impact on the practice of graphic design in the United States.

Meet the 2019 Medalists

  • Alexander Girard, recognized for his effortless ability to move across innumerable surfaces and scales, his life-long innovative and inspirational cross-disciplinary design practice, and his undeniable impact on mid-century modernism in America.
  • Geoff McFetridge, recognized for deftly relating design to time-based considerations (film titles, music videos, envisioning of AI) and vibrant sculptural forms, and welcoming graphically-charged outsider/street subculture into the mainstream conversation.
  • Debbie Millman, recognized for skillfully designing both the form and expression as principal of Sterling Brands, alongside the medium by which the designer's voice can be amplified and understood through her award-winning podcast, Design Matters; for actively designing the pedagogy for the next generation of practitioners at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), Masters in Branding; and for her years of service and commitment to AIGA.

AIGA Awards Ceremony

Celebrate the 2019 AIGA Medalists with us in California. The AIGA Awards presentation will be integrated into the closing ceremony of the AIGA Design Conference in Pasadena on April 6, 2019. After more than 15 years, we are excited to announce its return to the annual conference program, our largest event of the year for creatives across the country to gather, be inspired, and grow. The awards will be presented on the auditorium stage Saturday evening, before the evening reception. Awards Ceremony-only tickets are also available.

Watch this space and follow @AIGAdesign for updates.

Recommend a Medalist

Do you have a colleague or mentor who has made a significant impact on the practice of design in the United States? Nominate him or her for the AIGA Medal!


Aaron Douglas, 2018
Arem Duplessis, 2018
Karin Fong, 2018
Susan Kare, 2018
Victor Moscoso, 2018
Art Chantry, 2017
Emmett McBain, 2017
Rebeca Méndez, 2017
Mark Randall, 2017
Nancy Skolos and Tom Wedell, 2017
Lance Wyman, 2017
Ruth Ansel, 2016
Richard Grefé, 2016
Maira Kalman, 2016
Gere Kavanaugh, 2016
Corita Kent, 2016
Paola Antonelli, 2015
Hillman Curtis, 2015
Emory Douglas, 2015
Dan Friedman, 2015
Marcia Lausen, 2015
Sean Adams, 2014
Noreen Morioka, 2014
Charles S. Anderson, 2014
Dana Arnett, 2014
Kenneth Carbone and Leslie Smolan, 2014
David Carson, 2014
Kyle Cooper, 2014
Michael Cronan, 2014

Richard Danne, 2014
Michael Donovan and Nancye Green, 2014
Stephen Doyle, 2014
Louise Fili
, 2014
Bob Greenberg, 2014
Sylvia Harris, 2014
Cheryl Heller, 2014
Alexander Isley, 2014
Chip Kidd, 2014
Michael Mabry, 2014
Abbott Miller, 2014
Bill Moggridge, 2014
Gael Towey, 2014
Ann Willoughby, 2014
John Bielenberg, 2013
William Drenttel, 2013
Tobias Frere-Jones, 2013
Jessica Helfand, 2013
Jonathan Hoefler, 2013
Stefan Sagmeister, 2013
Lucille Tenazas, 2013
Wolfgang Weingart, 2013
Ralph Caplan, 2011
Elaine Lustig Cohen, 2011
Armin Hofmann, 2011
Robert Vogele, 2011
Steve Frykholm, 2010
John Maeda, 2010
Jennifer Morla, 2010


Pablo Ferro, 2009
Carin Goldberg, 2009
Doyald Young, 2009
Gail Anderson, 2008
Clement Mok, 2008
LeRoy Winbush, 2008
Ed Fella, 2007
Ellen Lupton, 2007
Bruce Mau, 2007
Georg Olden, 2007
Michael Bierut, 2006
Rick Valicenti, 2006
Lorraine Wild, 2006
Bart Crosby, 2005
Meredith Davis, 2005
Steff Geissbuhler, 2005
Joseph Binder, 2004
Charles Coiner, 2004
Richard, Jean and Patrick Coyne, 2004
James Cross, 2004
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, 2004
Jay Doblin, 2004
Joe Duffy, 2004

Martin Fox, 2004
Caroline Warner Hightower
, 2004
Kit Hinrichs, 2004
Walter Landor, 2004
Philip Meggs, 2004
James Miho, 2004
Silas Rhodes, 2004
Jack Stauffacher, 2004
Alex Steinweiss, 2004
Deborah Sussman, 2004
Edward Tufte, 2004
Fred Woodward, 2004
Richard Saul Wurman, 2004
B. Martin Pedersen, 2003
Woody Pirtle, 2003
Robert Brownjohn, 2002
Chris Pullman, 2002
Samuel Antupit, 2001
Paula Scher, 2001
P. Scott Makela and Laurie Haycock Makela, 2000
Fred Seibert, 2000
Michael Vanderbyl, 2000


Tibor Kalman, 1999
Steven Heller, 1999
Katherine McCoy, 1999
Louis Danziger, 1998
April Greiman, 1998
Lucian Bernhard, 1997
Zuzana Licko and Rudy VanderLans, 1997
Cipe Pineles, 1996
George Lois, 1996
Matthew Carter, 1995
Stan Richards, 1995
Ladislav Sutnar, 1995

Muriel Cooper, 1994
John Massey, 1994
Alvin Lustig, 1993
Tomoko Miho, 1993
Rudolph de Harak, 1992
George Nelson, 1992
Lester Beall, 1992
Colin Forbes, 1991
E. McKnight Kauffer, 1991
Alvin Eisenman, 1990
Frank Zachary, 1990


Paul Davis, 1989
Bea Feitler, 1989
William Golden, 1988
George Tscherny, 1988
Alexey Brodovitch, 1987
Gene Federico, 1987
Walter Herdeg, 1986

Seymour Chwast, 1985
Leo Lionni, 1984
Herbert Matter, 1983
Massimo and Lella Vignelli, 1982
Saul Bass, 1981
Herb Lubalin, 1980


Ivan Chermayeff and Thomas Geismar, 1979
Lou Dorfsman, 1978
Charles and Ray Eames, 1977
Henry Wolf, 1976
Jerome Snyder, 1976 
Bradbury Thompson, 1975
Robert Rauschenberg, 1974

Richard Avedon, 1973
Allen Hurlburt, 1973
Philip Johnson, 1973
Milton Glaser, 1972
Will Burtin, 1971
Herbert Bayer, 1970


Dr. Robert R. Leslie, 1969
Dr. Giovanni Mardersteig, 1968
Romana Javitz, 1967
Paul Rand, 1966
Leonard Baskin, 1965

Josef Albers, 1964
Saul Steinberg, 1963
Willem Sandberg, 1962
Paul A. Bennett, 1961
Walter Paepcke, 1960


May Massee, 1959
Ben Shahn, 1958
Dr. M. F. Agha, 1957
Ray Nash, 1956
P. J. Conkwright, 1955
Will Bradley, 1954

Jan Tschichold, 1954
George Macy, 1953
Joseph Blumenthal, 1952
Harry L. Gage, 1951
Earnest Elmo Calkins, 1950
Alfred A. Knopf, 1950


Lawrence C. Wroth, 1948
Elmer Adler, 1947
Stanley Morison, 1946
Frederic G. Melcher, 1945

Edward Epstean, 1944
Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, 1942
Carl Purington Rollins, 1941
Thomas M. Cleland, 1940


William A. Kittredge, 1939
Rudolph Ruzicka, 1935
J. Thompson Willing, 1935
Henry Lewis Bullen, 1934

Porter Garnett, 1932
Dard Hunter, 1931
Henry Watson Kent, 1930


William A. Dwiggins, 1929
Timothy Cole, 1927
Frederic W. Goudy, 1927
Burton Emmett, 1926
Bruce Rogers, 1925

John G. Agar, 1924
Stephen H. Horgan, 1924
Daniel Berkeley Updike, 1922
Norman T. A. Munder, 1920