Phil Hamlett sentenced to #aiga4life


The School of Graphic Design’s own Phil Hamlett, director of graduate studies, is in custody with another stint for AIGA, the professional association for design. On March 28, AIGA San Francisco chapter introduced him as its new president at Continuum 2014, an event billed as “celebrating our past, present and future.” Hamlett’s long association with AIGA, both nationally and in San Francisco, means he fits all three descriptors. A true supporter, he’s the post-office poster child for #aiga4life. Watch the video.

Here’s how the video is billed:

It’s complicated. For reasons that are hard to explain, people make lifelong commitments to an organization that doesn’t even answer to its own acronym. Go figure. #aiga4life

Hamlett reports that the video was first screened at a recent AIGA leadership retreat in Denver. The room was filled with many of those who’ve made lifelong commitments to the organization. The audience members were supplied with temporary tattoos and were invited to take a mugshot of themselves. Search #aiga4life, and you’ll see a squadron of these AIGA all-stars.

The video was produced by San Francisco studio MetaDesign.

The video was produced by San Francisco studio MetaDesign.

“When I remarked to people that I had been invited to run the chapter, pretty much every person made some crack like ‘You must have stepped out of the room,” or ‘You must not have been paying attention,'” Hamlett recalls. “Yet there was no shortage of people at the retreat who had themselves accepted these kind of responsibilities. There are lots of AIGA lifers out there!


“This is an exciting time for the design profession, and the Bay Area is an exciting place for innovative businesses and ideas—all of which need the talents of skilled designers. Presiding over all of this as ‘mayor of designtown’ provided irresistible to me,” Hamlett notes, with tongue in cheek. Back in full serious mode, he adds, “I’m humbled by the confidence placed in me by the AIGA SF board, outgoing chapter President David Asari and Executive Director Dawn Zidonis.”

Hamlett also has praise for those who helped produce the video and tattoos “lighning fast,” in his words:
• Video production, edition, animation and audio by Brady Boyle, Pong Ko and Stan Zienka, all from MetaDesign
• Tattoo art from Astra Sodarsono, production by Tattly
• Student assistants Christine Herrin, Peihua (Zoe) Lee and Chia Wen (Ziv) Tsau
• Video talent Dawn Zidonis and David Asari (voiceover)

In addition to his role as chapter president, Hamlett has served on the AIGA national board, where—among other accomplishments—he was a principal architect of the AIGA Living Principles for sustainable design—one of the defining issues of our time. He previously was Environment chair at AIGA SF, where he founded Compostmodern, an ongoing conference dedicated to helping a national audience explore sustainability in design.

Hamlett’s first official act is to open San Francisco Design Week, a week-long celebration of design produced by AIGA in concert with American Institute of Architects, Industrial Designers Society of America, Interaction Design Association and Society of Experiential Graphic Design.

Posted: Sunday, March 30th, 2014
Filed under: News + Events