Design Inspirations: Reynold Ruffins

This is a gentleman who is steeped in rich design history. I had always read design books that touted the famous design studio, Push Pin, as being founded by Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast and Ed Sorel. I nearly crapped in my pants finding out that Push Pin had a fourth founder and he was this distinguished black man named Reynold Ruffins. With all the praise that Push Pin and its founders were given, why can’t I find out more on Reynold Ruffins? I haven’t come across much information about Mr. Ruffins but below is what his biography states.

The stylistic invention and fresh quality of Reynold Ruffins’ illustrations and designs have occupied a very special niche in the graphic art world since his graduation in 1951. He was one of the founding members of the famed Push Pin Studio, worked for advertising agencies and then started his own design studio with Sims Taback A’53. Some of his clients have been Young and Rubicam, BBDO, McCann-Erickson, IBM, AT&T, Coca Cola, The New York Times, CBS, Scribner’s, Random House, Time-Life, Fortune, Gourmet and the US Postal Service. Ruffin’s work has won awards from the Art Directors Club of New York, New Jersey, Dayton Ohio and Des Moines Iowa; AIGA; Type Directors Club, Society of Illustrators ­(Silver Medal, Advertising Category); Society of Publication Designers; Mead Library; Printing Industries of NY and The One Show (Advertising Club of NY). His designs and illustrations have been internationally recognized in group show exhibitions at the Louvre, Paris, Milan, Tokyo and at the Society of Illustrators Annual Shows, AIGA shows, Art Directors Club of New York and many corporate shows. He has also designed and illustrated fifteen childrens’ books; work from these books has been shown at the Bologna Childrens’ Book Fair in Italy and was awarded “Best Illustrated” by the New York Times Book Review.

Since 1967, Ruffins has spread his enthusiasm and knowledge of illustration as a teacher at the School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, as a Visiting Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University emeritus. Currently he is a professor at Queens College, CUNY and was Visiting Distinguished Professor (1989-90). Ruffins received The Youth Friends Award from the School Art League, NYC in 1991 for outstanding achievements, integrity, and commitment to excellence in education. The Cooper Union Presidential Citation was presented to Ruffins in 1972 for his work and prominence in his profession and he has participated on a volunteer basis in many activities of the school, attending career nights for junior and senior art students and served on the Alumni Council. In 1997, Ruffins received the Coretta Scott King award for “Running the Road to ABC”.

— PDF release of Reynold Ruffins, 1993 Augustus St. Gaudens Award.

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One thought on “Design Inspirations: Reynold Ruffins”

  1. Really like the look on the blog,nice design!I knew about Mr.Ruffins having graduated from design school in the 70’s.It has always amazed me the many afram designers + illustrators at the top rungs of design and advertising who go unsung.

    I could never generate enough energy to do a book celebrating these pioneers but with current technology it’s possible to publish an ebook or one through Blurb.com
    to use as a give away or for sale? I might just get around to it!

    Great post!

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