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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: Welcome to San Francisco and welcome to our office. This wonderful space we have, we've been here for about 15 years, a little more space than we need right now. So, when we had three partners here, we needed all the space with what was going on, but now that it's really Studio Hinrichs, it's going to be a little smaller space, so we decided to actually move around the corner and open a new office a little later on.
On the second floor of our space, we have a great library. We have a kitchen. We have all kinds of storage space. So, it really is a very practical thing for us to have. So, we have books organized by the way in which we would use them. So there will be books on typography, books on designers, books on illustrators and then books by country, books by culture that's going on. So, it allows us to pull things pretty easily. So, we've created this wonderful war room, as we call it, that allows the entire staff to come together if they need to.
Because I'm just the collector, I end up having all this stuff that I've collected over forty, fifty years. Some I have had since I was the child. Other pieces I've had for two weeks. So, it's a whole range of stuff that's in here. There's this kind of stimulus that happens when it's around. So, it's really quite wonderful. Then the rest of the space is all open-plan, so that way the project coordinators and the designers can kind of hear each other as they're doing things. They can easily get information from just that kind of communal source that's there all the time.
This backspace is one of the places where the interns work most of the time. We're still putting comps together. No matter what we do on the computer, we still prepare things here. Belle Hau, who's been with me for over 25 years, is a person that always makes me look good. It's just been amazing how she has done this for this period of time and we've gotten to the point to where I can do a rough sketch like this and sure enough, she can turn it into something that just looks absolutely fabulous.
This is Maya, Belle's dog, a wonderful, wonderful husky. He's become kind of the office dog. It's been terrific. As the team has gotten smaller, because it's only me now, there is not a number of partners, I have a smaller team of people. Gloria has been with me for two years now. Gloria: Three years. Kit: Three. They grow up so quickly! And Audie, who's a Project Coordinator here. And so we end up find ourselves working as teams quite comfortably.
Since my computer skills are lacking, I'm dependent on all of these designers who really are much further along than I will ever be. It also allows me to do much more work because I can work with four or five people and get a certain volume of work out. So, it's great. One of the things we've been doing, and have been for many years, is @issue, the magazine, and we're actually doing an online version, a blog of it.
So An has been instrumental in helping us get that going and keep it going, because it's a little bit of a hungry beast that, three to four times a week, we need to feed it with something new. John Schleining has been an integral part of this office for John Schleining: Ten years. Kit: Ten years, my god! Anyway, it's great to - he has really helped build the office and has brought a new kind of level of sophistication to what we do when we go out and pitch work and what we do when we get the work along the way.
So, it's a very important part of the business side of what we're doing. As I enter this third chapter of my career, the idea of taking this 10,000 foot space and keeping to populate that, doesn't make a lot of sense for where I'm doing both financially and what I want to do personally. So, I've found a space, literally around the corner from where I am. I've kept virtually the same smaller team I've kind of put together in the last two years. They will be the core of this new space, but it's just a little more personal in way it's put together.
So, I'm hoping to be able to show you that in its final form, as we get further along with it.
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