The October issue of Print magazine features a shout-out to this year’s SVA Masters Series honoree, Tom Geismar. In the run-up to The Masters Series exhibition, which is on view through October 18 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, associate editor Melissa Mazzoleni asked the venerated designer to share with readers some nuggets of wisdom gleaned over his five decades-long career. Their conversation follows.
Melissa Mazzoleni: As many of our readers are designers in the middle of their career, what advice would you give them to achieving longevity as a designer?
Tom Geismar: Stay curious about the world, interested in the work and those around you, and passionate about what you believe in.
M.M.: For our readers, what would you say is the most important thing to remember when dealing with branding and/or with logos? Or what should be a main focus for the designer?
T.G.: There are many different kinds of design, and many possible approaches to design. The field is broad, and there is no “right” way. For me, an overriding theme has been the idea that “design thinking” can be applied to a varied mix of disciplines and types of issues.
M.M.: Looking back at your work, are there any particular projects that you’d like to highlight? Ones that you’re particularly proud of, ones that presented a unique challenge, or ones you’d do differently?
T.G.: I have always liked a cover I designed for Print back in the 1960’s. It was a comment on graphic design at the time, but it’s still relevant today; only a few design “solutions” hit the bullseye.
T.G.: In the exhibit at the SVA Gallery, I want to show examples of the breadth of the projects that I’ve been involved with over the years, from curating and designing exhibitions to deigning logos for complex organizations, to the full range of print graphics.
To hear more from the Master himself, don’t miss “An Evening with Tom Geismar” on Tuesday, October 7 at 7:00pm at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street. Free and open to the public.