WASHINGTON, D.C. — Award-winning graphic designer John Lutz, partner in the Chicago office of Selbert Perkins Design, will lead the global community of experiential graphic designers as president of SEGD, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design.
Lutz leads a dynamic creative community galvanized by the rapid integration of digital technology and the impact of access to information in public spaces.
“The role and impact of Experiential Graphic Design in our world continues to grow as digital technology blurs the lines between physical and virtual (information-based) experiences and dramatically reshapes public spaces,” says Lutz, whose work includes branding, placemaking and wayfinding projects for corporate and public clients worldwide.
“As we move toward Smart Cities enabled by the Internet of Things and public spaces that are increasingly more interactive, Experiential Graphic Designers are stepping forward as the natural leaders in creating spaces that are easy to understand, user-centric, functional and beautiful,” he adds.
Lutz leads a professional association that is helping to evolve the discipline formerly known as environmental graphic design. SEGD initiatives in recent years have focused on expanding the community to include digital technology providers, content and experience designers and creative technologists. In addition, SEGD has put major emphasis on attracting youth members.
“We hear more and more from the established members of our community that they are struggling to find good designers with strong foundational skills and digital experience,” notes Lutz. “On the other hand, we hear from students and younger designers that they want to work for firms that are developing their digital competencies, as there is a lot more scope and potential for them there.”
In the past two years, SEGD has made membership and educational events free for student members and is also attracting record numbers of practitioners from the worlds of experience design and digital technology. It is also increasing participation by these two groups on its board of directors.
Formerly the Society for Environmental Graphic Design, SEGD changed its name and mission in 2013 to embrace not only the traditional elements of environmental graphic design—signage and wayfinding, public information design, exhibition and interpretive design and placemaking/identity design—but also user experiences that combine media and digital technology to connect people to place.
SEGD has been transitioning its offering of membership benefits from a traditional non-profit association model—print publications, workshops, events and awards—to include a web-based model that provides membership value from the exponentially growing levels of Internet traffic and engagement via its content-rich website, SEGD.org.
In the past two years, SEGD has broken all-time records in membership, chapter activity, educational offerings, youth/student participation and all website metrics. The Washington, D.C.-based non-profit has 1,800 members in 24 chapters worldwide, including chapters in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
As SEGD president for 2016-2017, Lutz succeeds immediate past president Jill Ayers AIRSPACE (New York) and past president Amy Lukas, Infinite Scale (Salt Lake City). Bryan Meszaros, founder/president of digital experience company OpenEye Global, is vice president of the SEGD board of directors and will succeed Lutz as president in 2018-2019. In 2016, SEGD also welcomed two new members to its board: Anna Sharp of Two Twelve (New York) and Kathy Fry of Mayer/Reed (Portland, Ore.).
Lutz is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and a long-time member of SEGD. In more than 20 years with Selbert Perkins Design, Lutz has led branding, placemaking and wayfinding projects for a wide range of clients, from transportation hubs such as McCarran International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles to sports venues including the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, entertainment districts such as Ballpark Village in St. Louis and Kansas City Power & Light District and retail/corporate environments such as City Creek Center in Salt Lake City and the Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter, Las Vegas.