Judy Kirpich and her co-worker in Grafik's first office

Transition Planning

Posted by | Anything + Everything, Grafik Culture, News | No Comments

I am not sure why most firms close when owners decide to retire. It has never made sense to me, after all, the clients are still there, employees still want jobs, and just because the “boss” has decided to transition out, there is no reason that a firm cannot continue on. I have seen dozens of design firms and agencies disappear completely, when owners retire and lock the door and leave. I wanted something different. Read More

Ties that Bind Continuum Fund

Giving Back to our Community

Posted by | Anything + Everything, Events, Grafik Culture, News | No Comments

There are many kinds of communities: some are determined by proximity and location, some are defined by religion, some by shared interests or politics, and some by avocation. Many of these communities are financially held up by their bootstraps through charitable donations, and gifts of time.

I have always been of the opinion that it is Grafik’s moral responsibility to give back to our community. So, every year, we donate hours of pro bono service and donations to members of the greater DC area community and its many deserving nonprofits. Read More

Our partners celebrating our Founder and CEO, Judy Kirpich.

A Night to Remember

Posted by | Events, Grafik Culture, News | One Comment

This past Thursday, Judy’s friends, colleagues, clients, and family members gathered at Grafik to celebrate her tenure here. It was clear from every conversation that during her 36 years at the helm, Judy built a legacy of admiration, respect, and love. A phrase I kept hearing around the room was “it’s the people.” At the end of the day, that really is what is unique about Grafik—the people Judy chose to surround her. She created a community that spread far beyond the immediate Grafik family, one that values respect, talent, dedication, and passion. Together we have achieved greatness for clients, for our community, and for ourselves. Thank you to everyone who joined us to make it such an amazing night for all of us, and especially for Judy.

For more photos of our evening, visit our Facebook page.

Design in Service of Understanding, Dyslexie Font

Design in Service of Understanding

Posted by | Anything + Everything, Design Issues, Digital | No Comments

I’m a graphic designer. I am also dyslexic. The second fact is a lot more common than the first—it’s estimated that about 10% of the world’s population is affected by dyslexia. I can say with certainty that far fewer than one in ten people are art directors or designers.

My initial reaction to Christian Boer’s font dyslexie, designed specifically for easier reading by dyslectics, was heavily influenced by my training and discipline as a designer. In short, I didn’t like it—at all. It’s bottom heavy. Some letters lean a bit. The negative spaces within the forms felt huge and clunky (oh, for the perfect teardrop shape inside the Helvetica “a”). It’s overall quirky. And that is exactly what makes it work. Read More

Grafik's installation that reads "Ties that Bind" to promote our fundraising efforts to give back to the Continuum Fund.

Giving Back To Someone Who’s Given So Much

Posted by | Anything + Everything, Food for thought, Grafik Culture, News | No Comments

The installation that greets every visitor to our office is more than just the nails and string that weave across the lobby wall. It’s an homage to our founder, Judy Kirpich, and the importance of giving back.

Throughout her career, Judy has been an ambassador and mentor for the design community. Judy’s door is always open, and even the most junior designer has benefited (myself included); a massive network of loyal friends and colleagues is proof of her influence. So when Grafik became involved in the 10 for 30 campaign (read Mila’s post), we wanted to proclaim our personal investment to the cause in a way that would make Judy proud. Read More

Practical Wisdom for Young Designers

Practical Wisdom for Young Designers

Posted by | Anything + Everything, Design Issues, Food for thought | One Comment

It’s a sad reality that schools are ill equipped to impart some of the necessary practices that make a truly successful designer—and I don’t mean the kind of success that comes with money. I’m referring to maintaining your sanity and creativity in the face of a relentless onslaught of external pressures and your own internal anxieties. The truth about this industry is that it will eat you alive if you’re not prepared for it—the competition is fierce, the environment fast-paced, and burnout is rampant. However, if you’re a young designer fresh out of school, there are fundamentals you can learn to sustain your creative career. Read More