FRED WOODWARD, the Mississippi born, soft spoken yet high energy art director, who helped define the graphic design eclecticism of the late twentieth century, is much more multi-faceted than his title implies. More accurately, as an art connoisseur as well as a graphic designer, typographer, creative director, photographer, strategist, commercial director, branding expert and creator of, that current oft popular behavior, interactive experiences, he has changed the reading habits of millions and the pleasures of paging though magazines. Over the years he’s produced dozens – indeed hundreds –of editorial experiences that have filled the periodicals he’s designed with distinctive personality, compelling character and an exquisite aesthetic. What an eye! What a nose for talent too! He has not simply laid out magazine pages – though he has produced an abundance in many novel and innovative ways – he’s transformed magazines with a mix of grace and power that engage his readers, celebrate his authors and add sparkle to the stories they’ve written. Although many other designers have attempted to “do” Woodward’s design style, only his direct associates – the handful of fortunate mentees – have come close to his authenticity. If Woodward’s feats were somehow reduced to one word – a linguistic challenge indeed – the best would be authentic. Like anyone else, he’s had influences and inspirations but his mature editorial work is entirely his own (no one can say Woodward is like so and so, he’s Woodward!). Receiving the Herb Lubalin Award is long overdue in large part, and more than any publication designer of his generation, he was passed the Lubalin baton, not in the replication of his signature typography but in a spiritual sense – as pioneer and risk-taker Woodward, lays out a page with conceptual conviction. Headlines are not just words and pictures are not just images, together they are a critical mass of fissionable material designed to explode in the readers’ conscious and flood through the subconscious. This SPD honor may be a culmination of one lifetime but is doubtless the continuation of more creative riches. – Steven Heller

 

Immense thanks to the following for their extraordinary contributions for the Herb Lubalin Award:

 

Anton Iouknovets
Debra Bishop
Gail Anderson
Krista Prestek
Thomas Griffin
Mark Seliger
Coco Knudson
Rachel Crowe
Steven Heller

Phillipe Burke
Christoph Niemann
Zohar Lazar
Matt Mahurin
Rami Niemi
Anita Kunz
Tom Alberty
Ken DeLago
Claudia de Almeida

Najeebah Al-Ghadban
Hannah McCaughey
Thomas Griffin
Gail Anderson
Denise Sfraga
Arthur Hochstein
Geraldine Hessler
Joe Levy
George Lois