Turning 80 is a relative issue Relative because it is not the same for everyone who attains this age. I can remember when I was younger that the Chicago Tribune would run a picture if you celebrated your 50th wedding anniversary, but now it is so common that you have to pay for them to print it. Actuaries predict one will live another 15 years or longer once you reach 80. The big issues are health, mobility and memory. At this time in my life I think of my relationships with family, friends, activities and perhaps most important what oneâ€™s life adds up to - oneâ€™s legacy. I have spent the past five months reviewing my life in terms of what I would like my friends and family to know and remember about me. This little book is an attempt to share something about my life that you might be interested in knowing as I turn 80
Art and design have been calling me all of my life and I would like to believe that Iâ€™ve answered back Design has defined a large part of who I am and has allowed me to have wonderful experiences for which I am very thankful. Sharing Ruthâ€™s and my passion for art + design has given us the opportunity to strengthen our marriage and to develop relationships with others that will be cher ished forever. This has been my reward.
One’s life is governed by many factors The events in the world during your lifetime…one’s family and friends when growing up... the people and experiences one encounters…the events in your spouse’s and children’s lives... wor k oppor t unit ie s…church and community involvement... professional associations and much more...they all form the context for understanding who you are and what the future might hold.
1928 Hoover elected President 1929 Stalin consolidates power in USSR/Stock Market crash 1930 Great Depression begins 1933 FDR inaugurated/Hitler takes over Germany 1934 Mao begins Chinese Revolution 1936 FDR reelected/Dust bowl years begin 1939 World War II begins in Europe/First TV set for sale 1940 FDR reelected to third term/Color TV invented 1941 Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, US enters World War II 1944 D-Day Invasion of France 1945 Harry Truman becomes President/V-E Day, atomic bombs dropped/V-J Day/United Nations formed 1948 State of Israel established by UN 1950 First credit card/Korean Conflict begins 1952 1st hydrogen bomb tested/Eisenhower elected President 1953 Korean War ends/DNA mapped 1957 Intercontinental ballistic missile/Russian Sputnik 1959 Vietnam War begins 1960 Birth control pill/J.F. Kennedy elected President 1962 John Glenn orbits Earth/Cuban missile crisis 1963 JFK assassinated/Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President 1964 LBJâ€™s Civil Rights act passed/Vietnam War escalates
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinated 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon 1974 Nixon resigns/Gerald Ford becomes President 1975 Vietnam War ends 1976 Jimmy Carter elected President 1977 Neutron bomb invented 1980 Ronald Reagan elected President/Iraq invades Iran 1981 AIDS identified/MTV begins 1985 Gorbachev takes over power in Russia 1988 George H. W. Bush elected President 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre/Berlin Wall â€œfallsâ€? 1990 World Wide Web begins 1991 USSR breaks up/Persian Gulf War 1992 Bill Clinton elected President 1993 South African apartheid ends 2000 George W. Bush elected President 2001 Bush inaugurated/World Trade Centers attacked 2002 US military troops deployed to Afghanistan 2003 United States military troops deployed to Iraq 2005 Pope John Paul II dies 2006 Sadddam Hussein executed 2008 Democrats nominate first African American for President
Robert Vogele: Life In Art And Design 1928-Present 1928 Robert Ernest Vogele born at Chicago Lying-in Hospital to Violet and Albert Vogele 1933- Vanderpool Grade School, Chicago 1940 Newspaper Art Editor 1940- Morgan Park High School, Chicago 1946 Art Editor Empehi Yearbook President Student Association (45-46) Salutatorian/National Honor Society 1946- Bachelor of Fine Arts 1950 University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana Major: Advertising and Graphic Design Bronze Tablet/Phi Kappa Phi Co-Art Director Illio Yearbook (1949 and 1950) 1949- Designer and Assistant Art Director, 1952 University of Illinois Press Art Department 1950- Master of Science/University of Illinois School of 1952 Journalism and Communications 1951 â€œThe Miracle of Growthâ€? book designed by Robert Vogele and Hersch Wartik selected for AIGA Fifty Books of the Year Exhibition 1951 Attended First Aspen International Design Conference
19511954 1952 1953 1954 1955 19561958 1957 1958 1961 1962
Korean War served as Assistant Photo Lab Officer, SAC Reconnaissance Technical Squadron, Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico. Rank of Captain upon discharge Married Ruth Gorman from Champaign, IL First child, Thomas Anthony Vogele, born in Puerto Rico Assistant Art Director, University of Illinois Press Mark Robert Vogele born in Champaign/Urbana, IL Moved to Chicago to be Director of Packaging, Graphics and Corporate Identity for Latham, Tyler, Jensen an industrial design firm Moved from Park Forest to Western Springs, IL Created Robert Vogele Design, specializing in Corporate Identity located at 75 East Wacker Drive in Chicago Bruce Michael Vogele born Organized inner city tour with the Chicago City Missionary Society and met Don Benedict, Director. Worked with Don to rename CCMS to Community Renewal Society (CRS). Church Menâ€™s Breakfast Group formed and undertook innercity projects. Moved to 333 N. Michigan Ave. offering corporate identity, package design and industrial advertising Firmâ€™s annual report design featured in GRAPHIS
1962 1963 1963 1964 1964 1965
1970 1970 1974 1974 1975
Designed First Congregational Church of Western Springs symbol and became Member Board of Trustees Nancy Alaine Vogele born Served as member of West Side Christian Parish Board Chairman of Trustees of First Congregational Church Weekly full day volunteer commitment to Community Renewal Society (CRS) Moved to 211 East Chicago Ave. Firm name changed to Robert Vogele, Inc. Leased 92nd floor corporate apartment in John Hancock Building Member of the CRS Board of Directors Moved to One IBM Plaza. Name changed to RVI Corporation Served as Member of Board of Christ Hospital which became Evangelical Hospital System Speaker at STA “Evaluation” Conference at Lake Geneva. Title: “What Is a Designer’s Worth?” Established the Design Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, to promote understanding of the role and value of design in society Assisted in identity change and designed Evangelical Hospital System symbol and program
19761978 1977 1977
19791983 1980 1980
Chairman 1978 ICOGRADA Chicago Conference held at Northwestern University Completed vacation home in Snowmass Village, CO Design Michigan Assembly presenter and published in assembly proceedings. Title: “Design: The Bridge to Humanizing Our Common Environment” Board of Directors of AIGA, New York, NY Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) annual meeting presenter. Article published in the Journal of the Public Relations Society of America, “All Communications are Political: The Presentation of Ideas as Products to be Sold” RVI Corporation featured in major article in Communication Arts Magazine Co-chairman with Joseph Kornick of AIGA National Packaging Show and Exhibition held at Chicago Cultural Center (33,000 attended) President Society of Typographic Arts (STA) Chicago based national communication design society and Member Board of Directors Chairman of STA “Images and Realities” Conference Moderator First Congregational Church
Presenter at Design Management Institute Chicago Conference, “Design as a Function of Management” 1980 Sold accounts of RVI and moved to 711 S. Dearborn 1980 Elected STA Fellow 1981 Innovation Magazine: “The Role and Value of Design” 1981 Art Directors and Designers Society of Sacramento, CA Speaker at “Business of Design Conference” 1982 Minneapolis College of Art and Design Conference speaker “The Sociology of Design” 1982 STA Fall Conference speaker “The Implications of Professional Status on Graphic Design” 1982- Member International Board of Directors ICOGRADA 1984 Received ICOGRADA President’s Award 1982 Formed Communication Design Group, Inc. (CDGI) and opened office at 711 S. Dearborn, Chicago 1983 Bruce Vogele and Ted Stoik became CDGI Partners 1983 Bruce Vogele left to work in Denmark as a designer. Name changed to Vogele Stoik Associates, Inc. 1983 “Selections from the Collection of Ruth and Robert Vogele” exhibition held at NIU in DeKalb, IL 1983- Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois Chicago 1985 School of Art and Design. Course: Professional Practice 1980
1984 19841985 1984 1985 1986 1986 1986 1986
1986 1986 1987 1987
Created and taught “Design Management Workshops” Professor of Art and Design, Northern Illinois University Program Director and Creator of Graduate Study Program on Design Management Donated archives of RVI Corporation to the University of Illinois Library, Design Resource Collection Visiting Professor, Kent State University Blossom Festival Vogele Stoik Associates, Inc. moved to 542 S. Dearborn Distinguished Visiting Professor, California State University at CHICO Co-chairman with Ruth Vogele of Western Springs Centennial Chairman “Design Management and Innovation Conference: The Search for Integration” sponsored by the Design Foundation, Chicago Founding Board Member of AIGA Chicago Editor, STA Journal “Design Management and Innovation” Vogele Stoik Associates, Inc. became VSA Partners, Inc. Roundtable chairman: “Postwar American Design & Its Cultural Ramifications” co-sponsored with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago President, American Center for Design, Chicago
1990 1990 1991 1991 1995 1996 1996 1997
1997 2001 2002
2006 2007 2008
Organizer: American Center for Design Creativity Conference, “Design Strategies in a Changing World” National Board of Advisors, Folk Art Society of America Co-chairman, 1991 and 1995 of Symposiums for the Folk Art Society of America, Chicago and Milwaukee Board of Directors, The Center for Outsider Art, Chicago University of Illinois Distinguished Alumni Exhibition at Ispace Gallery, titled “One Man’s Career in Design” Honored at Mead Paper Annual Report Design Banquet VSA Partners, Inc. moved to 1347 South State Street “Personal Voice: The Ruth and Robert Vogele Collection of Self-Taught Art” held at Ispace Gallery, Krannert Art Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum Board of Directors, Treasurer and Chairman of the Board, International Sculpture Center (ISC) Retirement from VSA Partners, Inc. Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary held at the Milwaukee Art Museum in conjunction with “Fine and Folk: The Ruth and Robert Vogele Gift” exhibition Awarded AIGA Chicago Chapter Fellow Award Completed home in Phoenix, Arizona 80th Birthday Celebration
Bart Crosby comments at the AIGA Chicago Chapter Annual Meeting June 2005 at which Robert Vogele received the AIGA Fellow award The AIGA Fellow award is a means of recognizing mature designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community, as well as their local AIGA chapter. The areas of education, writing, leadership, and reputation, as well as the practice of design shall be given equal consideration in measuring significant contribution.
Bart Crosby President Crosby Associates Chicago Former Executive Vice President of the American Institute of Graphic Arts 2000 Chicago AIGA Fellow AIGA National 2007 Medalist Member AGI Alliance Graphique Internationale
In 1974, Bob Vogele gave a speech at the STA Fall Conference in Lake Geneva that was titled, “What Is a Designers Worth?”. I couldn’t take notes fast enough, and that afternoon helped to change the course of my beliefs in, and my life in, design In 1949, Bob was asked to work for the University of Illinois Press Art Department, which at that time was run by Ralph Eckerstrom, an instructor in product design. In the years that followed, Ralph would go on to become the art director for Container Corporation of America (where he would hire the young John Massey) and then move on to create Unimark International. In the early 1960’s Ralph, and John, and Bob would each create powerful and influential design firms that would establish Chicago as one of the great design communities in the world. In 1956, Bob went from the University Press to the firm of Latham, Tyler and Jensen, one of the nation’s premier industrial design offices, where he became the Director of Graphics, Packaging and Corporate Identity (now remember, this is 1956 and corporate identity was in its infancy!). At LTJ he met his mentor, Dick Latham, who instilled in him the importance of a unified approach to all the visual manifestations of a company. In 1958 Bob opened
his first office, Robert Vogele Design, at 75 East Wacker. By 1960 Bob outgrew his first office and moved to 333 N. Michigan (where, as I still recall, he had an absolutely spectacular view up Michigan Avenue). I worked on the same floor as Bob, but I always thought Bob’s offices were much, much cooler than ours. (But Bob has always had very cool offices.) In 1967, the office grew to 35 people (which was nearly unheard of at that time) and once again, Bob went in search of more space. The three businesses were merged under a single name – Robert Vogele, Inc. – which was soon to become known as RVI Corporation. In 1975, Bob formed “The Design Foundation” as a vehicle for sharing information about Design. And in 1978, The Design Foundation became the co-sponsor of the ICOGRADA Chicago Congress which Bob also chaired. The theme of the Congress was “Design that Works” (and if you know Bob, you’d know that’s a recurring “Vogelian” message). Bob rarely sits down, and when he does he’s still moving. Adjusting his glasses, moving papers, reaching for the telephone, or diagramming overlapping circles that might illustrate the interrelationship of the designer and the client and the audience and the universe. But he’s an exemplary listener, a prolific notetaker, and a “no frills” conversationalist. He always gets things done. And he’s
always evolving. And in 1980 (as was often the case) Bob again wanted to try something “new”. So he sold the accounts of RVI, retained a few consulting clients, and began to rethink his future. And in 1982, together with his son Bruce and Ted Stoik he created Communication Design Group, the firm that eventually became VSA Partners. Wayne Webb, one of Bob’s long-time colleagues, believes that Bob’s greatest strength is his willingness not to be the smartest guy in the room, but to be in the room with the smartest people. Jim Lienhart says of Bob; “He is a planning genius. He’s been indispensable to the groups he’s formed because he’s fearless in making plans and in executing the decisions that bring those plans to life. Bob is also a great manager of creative people”. So tonight we pay tribute to someone who has met all of the qualifications for the AIGA Fellow Award, and who is both timeless and timely.
Computer generated painting by: Peter Ty VSA Partners, Inc. Chicago 2007
The University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign 1946–1952 At the University of Illinois I started as a business major but at the end of my freshman year I left to enroll in the College of Fine Arts program. I tried to join the ROTC in college, as being drafted was a continual threat. The Major who interviewed me said being in art school didn’t seem like the proper training for the military. I joined ATO fraternity, and along with my activities at the Illini Union, I had plenty of opportunities to use my art. I designed covers for University Mother’s and Dad’s Day programs, Homecoming decorations and Spring Carnival events, I was also Co-Art Director along with Hersch Wartik (below left) of The Illio, the University yearbook. Upon graduation, I enrolled in the School of Journalism and Communications to earn my Masters. In 1952 I applied for and received a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force with orders to report to Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico. Upon arrival in Puerto Rico I was assigned to the Photo Lab of the Strategic Air Command, B36 Reconnaissance Technical Squadron. Ruth and I married on September 20, 1952 and moved to Puerto Rico.
My design career began in 1949 during my senior year at the University of Illinois Along with several other seniors, I became a full-time designer for the University of Illinois Press Art Department. The art director was Ralph Eckerstrom who also taught Industrial Design. In 1951, Hersch Wartik and I became assistant art directors. Ralph left to become the Director of Design at Container Corporation of America in Chicago. John Massey, who also worked at the Press followed Eckerstrom some years later to eventually replace Ralph as the Design Director at Container when Ralph left to start Unimark International in 1965. Ralph was a good teacher and he instilled confidence in believing that what we were doing as designers was of real value.
In 1951 “The Miracle of Growth” (below left) designed by Hersch Wartik and me was selected for the AIGA Fifty Books of the Year Exhibition. That same year I attended the International Design Conference in Aspen, CO with Ralph Eckerstrom (photo below right) and Jim Shipley (photo below left) who was head of the U of I Industrial Design Program. The theme of the conference was “Design as a Function of Management”. Needless to say, this conference influenced everything in my life that was to follow.
My next career stop was Latham, Tyler, Jensen (LTJ) in Chicago LTJ grew out of the Raymond Loewy Chicago Office when it closed down in 1954. Dick Latham was my mentor from the start. He was a designer who not only had a vision of what design could be, but most importantly knew how to sell and work with top corporate management to make their vision a reality. Ekco Products was a large client and LTJ was offered all of their retail packaging design and an identity program for a new joint venture company between Ekco and Alcoa. I played the major design role in both programs. I was recommended to LTJ by Lute Wassmann, an LTJ product designer. Lute went on to run his own office with Larry Klein and was a Director of the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).
In 1956, LTJ sent Lute and me, along with our wives, to New York for a week long observation visit to the office of George Nelson Looking back, this was quite an extraordinary opportunity. LTJ and the Nelson office worked together on many projects with General Electric being the primary account. Dick felt it would benefit the relationship, and his young designers training, to observe and report back what we found out about Nelsonâ€™s operating and design philosophy. It was quite amazing. Nothing was kept back from us and we were encouraged to ask about billings, personnel policies and compensation, review client proposals or just ask about the strengths and weaknesses of the office. I treasure that opportunity with George and over the years looked forward to our all too infrequent encounters, most often at the Aspen Design Conference. It was to have been a real homecoming when George agreed to speak at a conference I organized in Chicago in 1986. George died a few months before the event. Those who knew him respected his commitment to design excellence and innovation. His office was on the cutting edge - dealing with new ideas and new relationships. He was a philosopher and talented writer.
Our first office was at 75 East Wacker. From there we moved in 1960 to greatly expanded offices in the 333 North Michigan Avenue Building. The offices were great but again we outgrew them and by 1965 were ready to move. The Ansul Company was a major client utilizing all of the skills of our staff from corporate design to advertising and marketing promotion. The work for Ansul gave us international recognition and opened many doors. Wayne Webb played a major role as did Jim Lienhart, Joe Hutchcroft, Mike Eakin and Bill Smith. Mike and Bill went on to play major roles in Chicago advertising.
Robert Vogele, Inc. (RVI) 1965 Office American Dental Building 211 East Chicago Avenue
Our 1965 move to the new American Dental Building marked a major change in the business and a new name Robert Vogele, Inc. The new offices were very impressive to clients. The design concept was to have an office where clients preferred to meet, rather than our always going to them. Our business strategy was to focus on larger clients who could benefit from our corporate design, packaging and promotion skills. To this end, the offices projected the fact that we were well established, successful and creative. Wayne Webb (left above) was my key associate. It all worked well until the recession of the late 1960â€™s, but luck was with us. Gould became a major client and the One IBM Plaza marketing assignment in late 1969 was the opportunity to test our strategic design capability.
Our assignment was to develop a comprehensive leasing and marketing plan that would have the building 92% leased by the end of 1971 This was a significant business challenge in view of the greatly overbuilt market in downtown Chicago. To our advantage, IBM had not engaged a traditional leasing firm for the task. As a result we were free to develop and manage the implementation of a non-traditional approach. The program was so successful that it was shut down by November of 1971 and a huge party was held for all involved. RVI Corporation moved itâ€™s offices to the One IBM Plaza Building (below) in 1970.
IBM Sales Center Standard Oil Sales Center
The President of the IBM Real Estate Division approved a $750,000 budget based upon our strategic marketing plan. We hired former IBM salesmen who knew how to sell highticket items. We convinced IBM lawyers to find a way that IBM could underwrite tenant buildouts, including all furnishings and amortize them into the lease (an option that at the time was illegal). Once they got approval to do this, the task was easy, and a whole new approach to commercial leasing was established. We created a sales center as a way to get top management to visit the building. If they showed interest, we had a preliminary proposal on their desk within 24 hours. We photographed the directory of every office building in the loop area and had our staff call to determine exactly what firms would be prospects. Our goal was from each 100 pre-qualified leads, to get ten to visit the building, five to request a lease proposal and two to sign a lease.
The exhibition “One Man’s Career in Design” opened at the University of Illinois Ispace Gallery in Chicago in 1995. The exhibition was one in a series to acknowledge the work of design program distinguished alumni of the College of Fine and Applied Arts in Champaign Urbana. It featured work by RVI Corporation as well as VSA Partners. Below is a photo of the RVI portion.
My role as CEO of VSA Partners, which I founded in 1982 and retired from in 2001, was to guide the building of the business and to keep the vision always in clear focus VSA has more than proven up to the challenge and I am proud of having been a part of itâ€™s development as a firm whose creative excellence and knowledge of brand positioning is valued as offering critical strategic management consulting and implementation. Starting in a rented loft space at 711 South Dearborn, the firm soon moved to 542 South Dearborn and eventually occupied a full floor. In 1996 VSA moved to the present two buildings at 1347 South State Street. The primary space was a former car detailing shop (see photos on next spread). In 2001, when I retired, the partners consisted of Dana Arnett, James Koval, Curt Schreiber, Kerry Burda and Jeff Walker. The firm currently has offices in Chicago, New York and Minneapolis and employs 135 professional staff. In 2008 it is one of the largest such firms in the nation. VSA has been engaged for strategic design services by 23 of the Fortune top 100 companies. In 2007 the firm celebrated 25 successful years and is looking forward to many more.
Remarks by Dana Arnett, President of VSA Partners, Inc. I met Bob Vogele and his wife Ruth in 1981 while I was still in college. They had just mounted an exhibit of their fine art collection at Northern Illinois University. Bob and I chatted, he slipped me his business card and I called the next day, which was the smartest business decision I ever made. And so began a long journey, one that most notably includes long-time partners Jamie Koval, Curt Schreiber and Jeff Walker. Being Bob’s partner, as others will attest was never easy, but I suppose that no meaningful pursuit ever is. Together we were coached, disciplined, inspired, sometimes confused, often mystified, but always mentored and led by Bob. I’ll also add that Bob’s influence is far reaching. To this day, its not at all out of the question for my 79-year-old mother to ask the question, “So that’s nice, what does Mr. Vogele think?” Bob’s most profound contribution to design lies in the wisdom and guidance that he has so graciously passed along to others. He loves to mentor and see people succeed.
VSA Partners, Inc. Office Build-out
VSA Partners, Inc., Chicago
Life’s Lessons In 1962, a group of 20 men from The First Congregational Church of Western Springs went on a bus tour sponsored by the Chicago City Missionary Society. We visited the West Side Christian Parish, a team ministry of four storefront, mostly black welfare family churches. At age 34 I was unfamiliar with the problems of the inner city even though I had been born and raised in Chicago. The West Side Christian Parish was based upon a model that had been successful in East Harlem. Most of the ministers were white and they lived together in commune style. We were there to see how suburban men could become involved. By the last church, we were both uplifted and depressed. David Wright was the minister. I asked David a question that had dominated my thoughts at each of the previous churches we had visited. The question was, “How will you know if your inner city ministry has been successful? ” David’s simple answer was, “If you can’t wait 10 years to find out, you shouldn’t start!” I have thought about David’s answer many times over the past 46 years, and realize how true his message has been for me. This has proven true when starting my own business and in any major commitment in my life
The Community Renewal Society (CRS) has a long history in Chicago of working with the poor Formerly the Chicago City Missionary Society, I became familiar with the organization through our inner city bus tour in 1962. When I began to work with CRS, I met John Purdy and Donald Benedict. I realized that here were two men who truly were committed to help the disadvantaged in Chicago. I was not able to make their type of commitment so I volunteered the design services of my office to help. Our first job was to develop a new identity and symbol (see previous spread) which resulted in a redo of all printed materials as well as publishing out of our office the first year or two of the Chicago Reporter. We did creative work for the UCC Illinois Conference (see posters left) and WSO, the West Side Organization. This group was mostly black social justice advocates (some former convicts) who were challenging the City of Chicago to address the difficult issues of unemployment and poverty. This was almost 50 years ago and things have not improved much since. My working with John Purdy, Don Benedict, Chester Robinson of WSO, Father James Morton of the Urban Training Center and Archie Hargraves was humbling. They made a selfless commitment to those most disenfranchised in our society. I will always admire them.
In 1974 Bill Bonnell asked me to be a speaker at the STA Fall Conference titled “Evaluation” Other presenters included Milton Glaser, Ivan Chermayeff, Josef MullerBrockmann, Dr. Heinz Von-Foerster and Yves Zimmermann. Instead of doing a portfolio presentation on RVI, I elected to share my thoughts on what I called “What Is a Designer’s Worth?” In the process of committing my thoughts to paper, I became aware of the need to give back something to this profession that had been so good to me. I decided to try to be a catalyst and facilitator for dialogue about the role and value of design. In 1975 The Design Foundation was created as a 501(c)(3) public education foundation to promote better understanding of design and to provide a forum between designers and businessmen. Early on, The Design Foundation joined forces with the Society of Typographic Arts (STA) headquartered in Chicago. By pooling our resources I felt that together we had a better chance of accomplishing what was a shared goal. Four important programs came out of this association. In 1978 the STA was the host organization and The Design Foundation ran the 1978 Chicago ICOGRADA Conference which I chaired.
The 1978 ICOGRADA (International Council of Graphic Design Associations) Congress theme was â€œDesign That Works: Evaluating Design for the Futureâ€? The Congress attracted over 800 attendees from 37 countries. It was a smashing success. After the Congress I served on the Board of ICOGRADA. Pat Whitney was hired by RVI to assist in organizing the Congress and Jay Doblin agreed to serve as a key member of the organizing committee. With STA encouragement, the AIGA voted to become a truly national graphic design organization with chapters around the country. This left the STA with a goal of re-defining itself in order to play a significant role nationally. Closing Banquet
This award recognizes Bob Vogele for his unusual talent to define and orchestrate the movement toward change and to handle that movement without upheaval or chaos or animosity. When Bob Vogele became President of The Society of Typographic Arts (STA) in 1979, he knew the problem that he believed should be solved, that change was in the near future, and he knew that we would have to adjust to that change, even though the STA had a long and important history. But organizations, like people, tend to resist change even when they know that change is necessary. Bob attacked the change head-on. Many resisted (I was one) because we werenâ€™t ready to emotionally accept change. It is to Bobâ€™s everlasting credit that he understood that kind of feeling and still persisted, not by imposing change but by mediating it. Thus when he became President for the second time in 1989, the organization was ready and the American Center for Design (ACD) was born. -Bruce Beck, June 1992
During my career of over 50 years, I have stressed the concept of “Design Management” Not the management of the project itself but the management of the creative process by which opportunities that exist within companies and within the marketplace can be most effectively evaluated and translated into Strategic Design responses. To achieve the goal, I created and taught a series of “Design Management Workshops” co-sponsored by The Design Foundation and the STA. The response was such that I felt a need to formalize the content by getting University level support. The result was a Masters Degree program sponsored by Northern Illinois University. In the beginning it worked well due to support of the Dean, but after three or four years the Dean changed and support waned. I taught in the program as a Professor of Art. In 1986 I chaired the “Design Management and Innovation: The Search for Integration” conference sponsored by The Design Foundation, Chicago. Over the years this goal has always been present. Today I truly believe that the business environment is right to finally see the concept become reality.
Ruth and I have developed a passion for meeting artists, collecting their art and living with art since we were first married in 1952 Knowing the artist makes every work of art more special. This has been true whether it is contemporary prints, paintings or sculpture, Southwestern pottery and weavings, or self-taught folk art. We also have enjoyed sharing our collection with others, whether it be through an exhibition or a gift to museums or college art collections. We have donated art to the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Intuit Center for Outsider Art, University of Illinois (both Champaign/Urbana and Springfield campuses), The Autrey Western Heritage Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, Kentucky Folk Art Center, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Whitewater campuses, Marquette University, Northern Illinois University, American Folk Art Museum in New York, Benedictine University, Heard Art Museum in Phoenix, Krannert Art Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, University of Nebraska in Omaha, Spertus Museum in Chicago, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, ASU Herberger College of the Arts, Phoenix, Huntington Art Museum and the Chatanooga Outdoor Museum of Sculpture. The photo left shows catalog covers from three exhibitions.
Remarks by Mike Flanagan, longtime friend of Ruth and Bob Early in the 1980â€™s, when I was the gallery director at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, the Department Chairman told me he had met an interesting collector in Chicago and asked me to follow up. I did so and met with Bob for the first time. We decided to put together a show for the gallery at NIU and we made selections from the collection of contemporary American art that he and Ruth had assembled. In the process of doing this, Bob seemed to take an interest in what I was doing, and, no doubt thinking I was a little green, encouraged me to dream a little bigger. We mounted an exciting exhibit and in the process developed a personal friendship. We have maintained our friendship and I like to remind Bob that I am now the age that he was when we first met. Bob encouraged me to develop an interest in self-taught folk art. We took trips together with Ruth and Donna to visit with artists in the backwoods of Kentucky, Georgia and Virginia. Ruth was a good sport even though some of our trips took us to remote locations and exposed us to the realities of marginal living conditions in the isolated hollers in the Kentucky hills.
NIU DeKalb Exhibition 1983
NIU Chicago Gallery 1989
John Henry the steel driving man I just returned from a trip to Chattanooga to visit John Henry, my good friend of 35 years. He was working on the most unique sculpture project of his career to date. By the end of 2008, John will simultaneously install seven major museum exhibitions of his work along with one monumental steel sculpture at each venue (the tallest will be over 100 feet). The project which John conceived is unprecedented. It is called the “Peninsula Project: Drawing in Space”, simultaneously opening in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Naples, Tallahassee, Boca Raton and Sarasota. The shows will feature small sculptures, maquettes of major works and photographs of international works in China, Germany, Korea and the USA. John and I have worked on several important projects together including the formation in the 1970s of CONSTRUCT, a sculptor owned and operated gallery and the restructuring in the 1990s of the ISC, (International Sculpture Center in Hamilton, NJ) which John and I have both had the honor of serving as Chairman of the Board. John’s support for other artists is legendary. He has done more for the field of sculpture than anyone I have known. John and his wife Pamela are special friends.
Phoenix Home Completed 2006 Architect: Bob Whitton
Living with art To create an environment for oneâ€™s art collection is a thrilling and personal design challenge. Our recently completed home in Phoenix was an opportunity for us to do just that. We enjoy each work of art like friends. Many we have known for over 30 years. Every room is a joy to enter as we encounter old friends, new friends and the anticipation of friends yet unmet - art is integral to our lives.
Ruth I met Ruth in 1949 when her sorority and my fraternity were working together on the Spring Carnival at the University of Illinois. We started to date in 1950. In 1952 I proposed to Ruth before I went to Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico. I had no idea Ruth would honor me with four wonderful children and be such an independent spirit who often challenged my self-interest decisions. The little seven-year-old on the left grew up to become a leader in school and community affairs.
Our honeymoon The honeymoon photo left shows Ruth on the lake at Spring Mill in Indiana. Coming home we stayed at the University of Indiana and watched Richard Nixon’s famous “Checkers Speech”. We left a few days later for Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico and spent the rest of our honeymoon at the Caribe Hilton in Old San Juan. Our off base house in Isabella was a shock for Ruth. It had no hot water, two army cots pushed together as a bed and cockroaches in the hundreds. The furniture was a room divider, end table and coffee table I had made at the base. We found out later that the airmen who delivered our furniture had found a 12'' lizard and had put it in the toilet as a joke. Fortunately our landlord found it or Ruth would have been on the next plane home.
We soon became part of the military family and to this day some of our closest friends are from the Air Force service The photo shows us at our first Christmas, by which time we had the house looking quite presentable. In the beginning I drove into the base leaving Ruth alone to talk with the base radio announcer. Once Ruth went in with me, we were able to spend more time with the officers that I worked with, and their wives. We were finally offered base housing just as we were ready to head home for discharge with six-week-old Thomas.
Family plays an important role in allowing one the time to pursue outside activities The design profession itself is very demanding and does not generally allow one to be involved in outside activities even when they are professionally related. If one is married, as Ruth and I have been now for 56 years, it takes a very understanding spouse to put up with one like myself and be the gobetween to the children so that they understand why Dad or Mom is gone so often. Ruth has been instrumental in what I have accomplished and has always played a key role, particularly in our collecting of art. Images on pages 68 and 69 were created from 1966 family photos.
Tom age 13
Mark age 11
Bruce age 5
Nancy age 3
Fishing is a great male bonding experience I fished as a child with my father for bluegills and sunfish on Magician Lake in Michigan. It was not until later that I came to appreciate a fishing trip with friends. It began when my best friend, Lee Enzenberger and I went on trips to Minnesota and Canada with Lee’s father. Later Lee and I took several trips to Campbell’s Fishing Resort on Lac La Croix. When Lee became seriously ill in the late 1980’s, my trips stopped. My trips became more frequent again when Steve Siders, an ATO fraternity brother invited me to join him on a trip to Canadian Haven Fishing Camp on the shore of Lake of the Woods in Canada. For over 25 years I have gone back periodically, either with Steve, other friends or my sons Tom, Mark and Bruce and grandsons. My most recent trip was this past June with my son, Mark and my grandson Ad. We almost always bring back our limit of fish for a fish fry. This does not count the fish caught for those unbelievable shore lunches, which are the most memorable part of each trip. For most of these trips we have had a guide, Ray Shebagegit, an Ojibway Indian who not only knows the lake and prepares the meal, but most important, whose sense of humor adds to the enjoyment of all. The memories of these trips are special to me.
My best friend Lee died in July 1989 From childhood we were close friends Lee went his way and I went mine But we were never far apart. In childhood we shared joys of growing up Our bond was friendship pure and simple I remember not a single childhood fight Only many fun-filled shared experiences. Lee was always friendly and open while I was often judgemental and less social Neitherâ€™s traits diminished our unspoken tie Only death has ended our friendship.
Above Right: Bob and Lee Enzenberger 1942 Vanderpool Grade School Graduation. Below Right: Lee as Best Man at Ruth and Bobâ€™s Wedding, September 20, 1952
Haiku by Robert Vogele The Knowledge in My Gut
What Is a Parent?
Who Defines the Model?
What Is a Life?
What is right and wrong is a question often asked but within I know
No model given except your parents own roles little more than clues
Where does one find it the path that makes life worthwhile listen to your heart
Being alive is when I am in the endzone of creative bliss
We dream of success but seldom find the right key to getting started
Something within me leads me to each aging step and I do not fear
A measure of time A moment in history An event of awe
Emotions are real is real always honest? only God can know
The very act of living requires creative decisions ever yday How we Design our lives…our personal vision…sets in motion a series of events ever-unfolding, ever-challenging, ever-changing. To design a life is to find what you believe in, what you aspire to be and what you want your legacy to be. It is proactive acts we intentionally use to define ourselves in relationships to others. A life in Design
Closing remarks by Ad Vogele My relationship with my grandfather has always been special. I remember as a young boy creating images from scribbles we had made on McDonald’s napkins and thinking to myself, “how can I produce a scribble grandpa won’t be able to use?” Somehow he was always able to find something in my complex nest of black lines and I would be left to think of another way to stump him. I never was able to get anything past him and I think that might have been for the best. Today, we share the same passion for art and design, which was probably brought on by frequent trips to art galleries and to the house of Mr. Imagination. Our relationship as grandfather and grandson has evolved into a friendship and mature respect for each other. I aspire to be like him and I am honored to know the man he is and he always was. Designing this book has been a way for me to strengthen the bond I have with my grandfather and to understand that there is only one kind of woman strong enough to be married to him for 56 years. My beautiful grandmother.
At the core of design is imagination the ability to formulate in the mind a creative image, a concept or an action that is not yet real or in the present. The designer combines a developed intuitive ability with disciplined creative analysis of the client objective and formulates a creative recommendation that is unique, timely and relevant. As human beings, we all have the potential of taking advantage of our untapped creative resources.
Published on Jul 7, 2009