Michael Beirut, American (1957 - )

Michael Bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio and studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Prior to joining Pentagram as a partner in 1990, he was vice president of graphic design at Vignelli Associates.

At Pentagram, Michael is responsible for leading a team of graphic designers who create identity design, environmental graphic design and editorial design solutions. He has won hundreds of design awards and his work is represented in several permanent collections including: the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington, DC; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); the Denver Art Museum; the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany; and the Museum für Gestaltung in Zürich, Switzerland.

Michael has been very active in the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), having served as the president of the New York Chapter from 1988 to 1990 and as the president of AIGA National from 1998 to 2001. He currently serves as a director of the Architectural League of New York and of New Yorkers for Parks. In 1989, Michael was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale, in 2003 he was named to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and in 2006 he received the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in recognition of his distinguished achievements and contributions to the field. In 2008 he received the Design Mind Award in the National Design Awards presented by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Michael is a senior critic in graphic design at the Yale School of Art and is a co-editor of the anthology series Looking Closer: Critical Writings on Graphic Design and a co-founder of the online journal Design Observer. His commentaries about graphic design in everyday life can be heard nationally on the Public Radio International program “Studio 360.” His book Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design was published by Princeton Architectural Press this spring.



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