Celebrating 50 years of SEGD with President Kathy Fry

As President of the Society for Experiental Graphic Design (SEGD), Mayer/Reed principal, Kathy Fry, reflects on the organization’s 50th anniversary in her letter originally published on the SEGD website.

Dear SEGD Community,

I’m honored to serve my second and final term as SEGD President in our 50th year as an organization! I invite you to join us this year in “looking both ways” to recognize the evolution of SEGD – we’ll mark the 50th anniversary by joyously celebrating the present moment by equal parts honoring the legacy of the profession and looking forward to all that is to come. 

When I meet members, I love to ask how they found their way to a career in experience design. This often prompts a story of discovery with a few twists and turns that was driven by a curiosity and an impression left by an experience design project they encountered. I, myself, grew up taking family vacations in an RV, visiting national parks. We stopped at countless viewpoints and visitor centers, devouring every interpretive panel to gain some understanding of the beautiful place we were visiting. I fell in love with park identity signs, but my first wayfinding love was on the ski slopes when I learned that green circle, blue square, black diamond coded every trail — giving me the information I needed to navigate. What are the experiences and projects that made an early impression on you? How have they changed over the years? How might these experiences evolve in the future? 


When I started my career, I looked to SEGD to understand the breadth and history of my field, something that was not easily found in college courses at the time. SEGD helped me see a career path, gave me access to education specific to what I was doing, and I slowly built a network of friends facing the same challenges and joys. Our organization has incredible influence on the next generation of designers, and I believe we have an obligation to foster a field that strives for design excellence and socially responsible practices. I serve on the board and my firm, Mayer/Reed is committed to donating to SEGD because we believe in the value of service and giving back. I hope you connect with us during this milestone year and commit to the future of experience design. There are many ways to be involved! 

– Donate to our $50 for 50 drive!
– Join the 50th Foundation – 50 individuals or organizations committed to sustaining SEGD
– Join us for our 50th Anniversary Celebration Annual Conference in Washington D.C. in August
– Submit your projects to the 2023 SEGD Global Design Awards
– Submit a nomination for the 2023 Achievement Awards
– Connect with a SEGD Chapter to volunteer or attend an event

I am thrilled to support SEGD CEO, Cybelle Jones and SEGD staff in these endeavors.  This will be my last year as President of the Board of Directors and serving on the executive team with Traci Sym of Plus & Greater Than (Vice President), Mike McCarthy from DCL (Treasurer) and Anna Crider of Entro (Past President). In addition to returning board members, this year we welcome Darlene van Uden serving as Chapter Chair Liaison to the board, and new board members Genell Hoechstetter, Kirsten Southwell, and Masha Pyshkina.

I am looking forward to connecting with you all this year and celebrating our SEGD community’s 50th milestone in Washington D.C. August 24-26, 2023!

Posted: Jan 27, 2023
Written by: Kathy Fry
Posted January 27, 2023
Written by: Kathy Fry
Categories: PUBLISHED 

AFO Dine & Design at the OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building

On August 18th Mayer/Reed and SRG Partnership (SRG) hosted an Architecture Foundation of Oregon (AFO) Dine & Design event on the Mayer/Reed-designed outdoor terrace of the LEED platinum, state-of-the-art OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building. The AFO series brings people together to experience exceptional designed spaces and raises money to support AFO’s programs, including Architects in Schools.

We had a wonderful evening, gathering for happy hour and dinner in the 6th floor “intellectual lounge” and its connecting terrace with stunning views of the east from the South Waterfront. A panel discussion hosted by Laurie Canup (SRG) and Mayer/Reed Principal Jeramie Shane included OHSU leadership and researchers who shared how the building design supports their work to cure cancer.

The key to the building’s success is space organization for efficient workflows, but we also heard that there is magic in the social “eddies” where interactions are less linear. “It’s the coffee” and “lunch with a view” that make it happen. Casual yet important interactions on the rooftop terrace and in the kitchen during a coffee break or meal are the moments of cross-pollination which spark meaningful collaboration. This is a universal idea so many of us can relate to. As we all find our way back into our respective offices, these moments of spontaneous connection can bring intangible value. It is a good reminder of the importance of our work to support well-being and serve as a catalyst for things far beyond our imagination.

We are grateful for OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s commitment to cure cancer and for their generosity to share their time and observations. Taking the time to learn from those who inhabit our projects is a gift to the future of design.

Celebrating Libraries

We celebrate National Library Week with a look back at Mayer/Reed projects that have become vital resources in their communities—providing access to programs, safe gathering and learning spaces and sense of connection from early learners to seniors. Wayfinding, placemaking and collections signage helps create a welcoming, accessible and inclusive library.  

Numerous local libraries are currently expanding their services with new and improved facilities. Mayer/Reed is designing visual communications for over 25 libraries including the Multnomah County Library system, Deschutes Public Library system, Washington State Library and Archives and the Gladstone and Concord Libraries in Clackamas County, OR. It is impressive to see an investment of this scale in our communities! 

Top: Vancouver Community Library
Middle: Odegaard Undergraduate Library, University of Washington
Bottom: Oregon City Library

Happy Holidays!

This year’s holiday greeting is inspired by traditions old and new. In Mayer/Reed’s early years, we created a series of holiday cards by photographing an object, manipulating the image and overlaying a message. The process, tuned to the tools of the day, was driven by our interest in object, form and the process of making.For 2017 we revisited this approach and took delight in light and shadow studies created by twinkle lights illuminating a scale model of a new M/R holiday tradition – a festive lobby art installation.

Wishing you a magical holiday season filled with your own traditions – old and new.

Posted December 22, 2017
Written by: Kathy Fry
Categories: IN THE STUDIO