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Kit Hinrichs is one of the most accomplished and respected graphic designers and illustrators of the last fifty years. A master of corporate communications and a consummate visual storyteller, he has been awarded the highest honor in his field: the AIGA Medal. Formerly a partner in the legendary design firm Pentagram, he is reinventing himself (again) with a new endeavor called Studio Hinrichs. In this Creative Inspirations documentary, Kit shares highlights of recent projects, his renowned collection of American flags and American flag memorabilia, as well as the irrefutable wisdom of one who has stayed at the top of his game for five decades.
(Music playing) Kit Hinrichs: When I left Pentagram, when I decided to leave Pentagram, I thought, "I want to do something that is really more uniquely me," which gave the name of this as Studio Hinrichs, even though I still have a little bit of a hard time picking up the phone and saying that. But as I'm now 68 and for those - for anyone who's wondering about this whole thing about 'well this is only a young man's business,' I'm still a young man inside and this is a business that is continually, intellectually challenging and it does not stop at a certain point and you just repeat yourself. It is something that has no limit to it if you want to continue to engage in it.
Almost everyone who knew Pentagram probably knew half a dozen of the partners by name. It wasn't just a name at the top and there could be a rotating shift of people underneath it. So, we had always been an organization that was certainly personality-driven, to a certain extent, that it was kind of a club of stars, people who had done very well on their own but now, collectively, have even more influence in the world.
And that is certainly true. At the same time, you have a responsibility to all of your partners, a financial responsibility as well as a, I'll call it a design responsibility - in that you don't do things that embarrass yourself or your partners in what you are doing. So, all of that is a little bit part of what Pentagram, not requires of you, but we all feel that responsibility. It's not oppressive.
It's just kind of there. You need to be aware that you're part of this and you need to carry your weight. In going on my own, which is really going back to what I was 40 years ago, when I first kind of had the doors across a pair of saw horses, the simplicity of just having, I'll say, I hate to call it my vision, but an idea of where I'm going, what I'd like to do, to do something new, fresh, maybe something I wanted to do but just haven't done before, that is very exciting to me.
There's no doubt that I can't do it alone. I have a team of people who work with me and within this particular period of time, it's actually like starting over again. It's been very interesting. Everyone I know, clients, design friends, colleagues, have all said, "Isn't this exciting for you?" It's like "Isn't that great for you?" And I have to say, I feel that way. I feel this is something that I can't think of anything better to be doing at this point in my life. And I get excited every morning I come in. And it's wonderful to think about starting over again.
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