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AIGA Seattle History

Since its inception, AIGA Seattle has seen its membership grow from a core group of 19 individuals to nearly 700 members, now the ninth-largest chapter of 65 in the country. When it began, nearly 200 people attended AIGA Seattle’s kick-off event on October 29, 1986, at the Seattle Art Museum, then in Volunteer Park. Speakers were Kit Hinrichs of the AIGA National Executive Board and AIGA Seattle’s Founding President, Pat Hansen. With the commitment of the Chapter’s first Board of Directors, a dedicated group of vendors and design firms raised more than $20,000 in seed money to establish AIGA Seattle, the ninth AIGA Chapter in the nation. Over the years AIGA Seattle has maintained its role as a national mentor to other chapters, and has helped establish our chapter as one of the most active graphic design communities in North America.


AIGA History

The American Institute of Graphic Arts was established in 1914 by a group of 40 people from the National Arts Club in New York City, who met to draft a constitution for a new organization that would serve as “a source of pleasure and intellectual profit” to its members. By 1922, AIGA had adopted bylaws that declared the organization’s desire to stimulate and encourage those who practiced design, foster concerns for standards of design, form a center for the exchange of ideas, and stimulate the public taste. Those objectives remain the organization’s core values, even as the association continuously reinvents itself to meet contemporary needs.

Today, AIGA serves more than 20,000 members throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In the 1980s AIGA began establishing national chapters, which create programs to foster excellence in design and promote a better understanding and respect for the profession.

You can find out more about the history of AIGA here.