The Fellow award program is an annual 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 in their local AIGA chapter. The areas of education, writing, leadership and reputation, as well as the practice of design are given equal consideration in measuring significant contribution. Below are the AIGA Detroit Fellow award recipients:

2010 – Dave Buffington

Dave Buffington has more than 37 years of experience in print media design and has won numerous awards for his work in advertising, merchandising, publishing and direct marketing. Dave is well respected in the design community for his creative solutions and quality standards.

After studying at St. Clair County Community College and the Art School Society of Arts and Crafts (now the College for Creative Studies), Dave began his professional design career in 1973 at Pfaff/McCoy Design in Bloomfield Hills. He went on to work at a couple of independent studios before moving to Campbell-Ewald, the Aegis Group and the Quarton Group before establishing his own firm in 1995. In 2001, Dave made a key career move when he, along with T. Jon Worden, founded Group [eX], a consortium of creative enterprises, in downtown Royal Oak.

Dave’s clients have included such well-known brands as Owens-Illinois, Chrysler, Chrysler Financial, Daimler Financial, Eastern Airlines, Chevrolet, GMAC, Allied Automotive, PGA of America, Carnation, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Harley Davidson, PPG Industries, Four Winns and NBA Properties. The design of numerous corporate-sponsored magazines and publications were established under Dave’s creative direction.

Dave is committed to promoting the Metro Detroit design community. He served for 13 years on the AIGA Detroit board of directors as president and education chair. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at CCS for more than 25 years and is currently teaching a course in Business and Professional Practices.

2008 – Doug Kisor

Doug Kisor studied design at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University. His graduate work included study in Switzerland and Italy, each experience having a transforming influence on his work—in particular, one amazing afternoon spent with Max Huber and Achille Castiglioni. In 1997, Kisor accepted a position at the College for Creative Studies, a private art and design college located in Detroit, where he is professor and chair of the Graphic Design department. The unique nature of this professional program offered Kisor an opportunity to develop a curriculum that builds on tradition and embraces new methods and channels of communication.

Kisor is a founding member and the first president of AIGA Detroit, where he has also served in the capacity of education chair, programming chair and co-chair of “Design Re:view” in 2004, AIGA Detroit’s first juried exhibition. He has been a board member for the Graphic Design Education Association and chaired the GDEA conference “Ethics and Values in Design Education.” In 2003, Kisor and senior student Nina Bianchi were invited to present CCS’s four-year design program experience at the Icograda Visualogue conference in Nagoya, Japan, as one of 11 programs globally representing new directions in design education. His recent presentations include papers at “Schools of Thought II” and “Schools of Thought III,” in 2005 and 2007, respectively. His work has been published in the AIGA annual, American Center for Design’s 100 Show annual, Print regional annual, Soul Design exhibition book, Typographics 2, Typography Now Two and other regional and national publications.

Kisor coordinates an annual international summer graphic design study program based in Den Haag, the Netherlands. The program has created an opportunity for hundreds of students and professionals to work with and within one of the world’s most innovative design cultures. The program, titled “De Program,” is studio-based, working with teams of innovative design thinkers and practitioners.

2005 – Steve Frykholm

After teaching in Nigeria with the U.S. Peace Corps in the 1960s, Steve Frykholm received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 1970, furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, Inc., hired him as its first internal graphic designer.

For 40 years he has been largely responsible for Herman Miller’s graphic identity, working as a designer, creative director and advisor. Now creative director and vice president of Herman Miller, Frykholm produces award-winning annual reports, product brochures, posters, catalogs, publications, ads, websites and videos.

In 1986 Frykholm received Herman Miller’s highest recognition for an employee, The Carl F. Frost Award, and he has also received broad recognition from professional peers. His work has been widely published and exhibited, and he has received gold and silver medals and certificates of excellence from AIGA, Art Directors Club, American Center for Design, Mead Annual Report Show, Communication Arts, Graphis, Creativityand Print. He is an AIGA Fellow, a Lifetime Achievement Silver Medalist from the Ad Club of West Michigan, and has been called an “annual report legend” in Graphis and an “American Design icon” in the 50th-anniversary issue of Communication Arts.

Frykholm and his wife, Nancy Phillips, an interior architectural designer and equestrian, live in rural Michigan, where she rides dressage and he spreads manure and photographs wildflowers.

If you would like to see other fellows and AIGA medalists, you can find them here.