Saturday, September 5, 2009

Have Portfolio Will Travel

Pictured above is the back and front sides of Paul Berkbigler’s portfolio. His pieces are packaged in a vintage hard shell “Samsonite” suitcase. Individual pieces were mounted on black boards. Bob Hankin presented his work as digital slides. While both have certainly found their own design voices—I wanted to ask Paul if he was ever influenced by the work of Charles S. Anderson of Minneapolis. Photographs by Paul Hanaoka © 2009.

The AIGA Student Group at Dordt began the new semester by meeting invited guests Paul Berkbigler, a practicing graphic designer and AIGA Nebraska Education Director from Lincoln, Nebraska and Bob Hankin, President of AIGA Nebraska and chair of the art and graphic design department at Bellevue University. The meeting occurred on Thursday evening September 3 in Studio/Room 1223 of Dordt’s brand new art space.

A witty and entertaining team of authenticity, Paul (on left) and Bob presented their work and discussed being graphic designers in a broader vocational context. The presentation concluded with the benefits of being a member of AIGA and highlighting some of the upcoming AIGA Nebraska Chapter events. They were great representatives for AIGA and the Nebraska Chapter. What particularly resonated with me was that both were strong advocates of giving back something to community, specifically as members of AIGA and being active volunteers. They encouraged students to be pro active practitioners and about the importance of participating in their professional group.

Over twenty students and art department faculty attended to hear and see these inspiring presenters. Student responses were very enthusiastic and positive too. A student declared, “I had a great time last night.” And someone else said, “It was a good experience, I really enjoyed both Paul and Bob’s presentations.” During the session students asked good questions and it was a fine interactive event and exchange.


  1. Howdy y'all :^)

    Greetings from Lincoln and the regular resting spot of that well-traveled Samsonite case shown up above at P.Berkbigler Design & Illustration headquarters in Lincoln.

    Really, really great to make the trip and spend an evening meeting all of you, plus to have an opportunity to share passion for design & Illustration, the design community and how AIGA is a part of both those loves with everybody who gathered in Room 1223.

    Here's one among many of the times when I love what communication technology offers: the chance, as an invited speaker, to have another connecting point after the tangbile talk and the visit are over.

    Sort of like my little gimmicky promo for making shoes of our own (which is a bigger plug for the idea that the means of mass production are so incredibly close to our own fingertips now, we've nothing stopping us from utilizing them besides our own willingness to jump in that pool!), it's great to be given the option of continuing to connect / write via the means of current technology. As designers, we simply need to always think about how these communicative means pose equivalent possibility and opportunity, so long as we know an outstanding reason to engage them as such.

    Per David's question about Charles Spencer Anderson's influence on my life and work, the answer is a resonate: Yah, you betcha' :^)

    CSA was a major influence that hovered over my first employer and was well channeled through my early working experiences in St. Louis.

    Here's a quick run-down of other pivotal squares in my personal creative crazy quilt:

    Aesthetic Apparatus

    The Heads of State

    Dave McKean (particularly his work with Neil Gaiman)

    Robert Bringhurst, in general, but particularly in The Elements of Typographic Style

    Christoph Niemann

    Jim Sherraden and the work of Hatch Show Print

    Yee-Haw Industries

    ...stay tuned for part two...


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