For the third year, See Change: The Power of Visual Communication invited innovators, artists and legends to the University of Minnesota for the two-day conference that celebrates and explores the innovating work being done across the visual spectrum.
The conference, held May 15-16, 2012, began with a keynote from advertising legend George Lois. Most well-known for his groundbreaking covers of Esquire magazine (which were made into a permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in 2008), Lois also created the “I Want My MTV” campaign, helped introduce VH1 to the market and created a new marketing category “gourmet frozen foods” with his name Lean Cuisine. Other clients included Jiffy Lube, Tommy Hilfiger, Xerox, USA Today and ESPN.
Lois, author of Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!), addressed the crowd on the opening evening of See Change to inspire and, of course, to speak openly. Lois, well known for his frank and sometimes vulgar language, told the crowd he didn’t care for the references to popular television show “Mad Men” when describing his career. In his keynote, Lois shared his tips for creative success, including “Think long, write short and great work is 1 percent inspiration, 9 percent perspiration and 90 percent justification.”
The groundbreaking and innovative nature of the program carried through to next day with featured speakers Joe Duffy, creative director and founder of Duffy & Partners; Greg Benson, furniture designer and founder of Loll Designs and Epicurean Cutting Surfaces; data visualizer and founder of Pitch Interactive Wesley Grubbs; photographer Tim Mantoani; Stephanie Pereira of Kickstarter; kinetic artist and Rube Goldberg machine designer Joseph Herscher; Aesthetic Apparatus designers Dan Ibarra and Michael Byzewski; photographer John Midgley; and Austin Kleon, artist and author of Steal Like an Artist. The program was kicked-off by Mark Wheat, a DJ on MPR’s The Current.
The inspiration for the See Change conference began with an endowment from former SJMC faculty member Smitty Schuneman and his wife, Pat. Mary K. Baumann and Brent Stickels were recruited to act as program directors, along with the help of Steve Bickel, Joe Duffy, Michael Hart, Will Hopkins, Daniel Jasper and Steve Niedorf. The 2012 See Change conference would not have been possible without their guidance and the support of SJMC, Jerry Broeckert, the Minnesota Journalism Center, AIGA Minnesota and the College of Design.
Photos by Mark Vancleave