Pentagram partner and co-founder of Design Observer of Michael Bierut will be speaking at WDCD 2014 conference this May in Amsterdam.

‘I found graphic design to be a perfect way to combine art, usefulness and literacy,’ Michael Bierut said in a recent interview. The partner at Pentagram in New York and co-founder of Design Observer didn’t grow up in a particularly cultural environment, but by the age of 15 he was determined to become a graphic designer.

Michael Bierut studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, graduating summa cum laude in 1980. Prior to joining Pentagram in 1990, he spent a decade at Vignelli Associates, ultimately as vice president of graphic design.

His clients at Pentagram have included The New York Times headquarters, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Harley-Davidson, The New York Jets, The William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Morgan Library and Museum.

‘I take a real pleasure in seeing the things I’ve designed out in the world, coming into contact with people who have no idea there was a design process at work behind the scenes, and improving their lives in even the smallest of ways,’ Bierut says. He has won hundreds of design awards and his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Bierut was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale and the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and was awarded the AIGA Medal.

Next to his work at Pentagram, Bierut is a senior critic in graphic design at Yale School of Art, and a senior faculty fellow at Yale School of Management. In 2002 he co-founded Design Observer, the design blog that now has over a million site visits a month. In 2007 he published his book 79 Short Essays on Design.

Top picture: identity for Saks Fifth Avenue