Edvin Yegir: In Memoriam
The Graphic Design faculty and entire Art & Art History community are heartbroken at the sudden passing of Professor Edvin Yegir on 11 August 2021. Edvin taught in the Graphic Design program in the Department of Art & Art History for over 20 years and was an instrumental and influential figure in the discipline. Edvin obtained his MFA from Yale University and was a founding principal of the design consultancy, Typotopia Design: Practice. Pedagogy. Activism, that operated from Cambridge and New York City with a cadre of national and international clients in commercial and cultural sectors. Edvin’s work has been widely recognized by many professional organizations and publications, including the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Graphis, Print, Communication Arts, and the American Center for Design. Edvin’s activist design projects have been featured in many exhibitions and publications including at the AIGA National Design Center in New York as part of the design exhibition We The Designers: Reframing Political Issues in the Obama Era.
Edvin was a brilliant designer, a masterful typographer, a gifted educator, and a compassionate activist. He had an impeccable eye and uncompromising standards. To know Edvin was to know his warmth, integrity, honesty, intelligence, kindness, encouragement and comforting smile. He was quick to laugh, constantly reassuring, affirming and trusting. He had a perceptive eye that saw potential where others missed it and he infused whatever room he was in with a quiet energy. Edvin believed in design as a tool for positive change and growth, and used it to forge design committed to promoting social justice. He was dedicated to ideals of peace and equality, and pursued simplicity in all things. His classrooms were collaborations; communities in which students from across the years have commented on how overwhelmingly positive the environment he created was; how he critiqued with the kindest grace. He took great joy in teaching and wrote exceptional briefs that were challenging while remaining interpretive; connecting student's lives and experiences to the larger world; synthesizing ideals with reality, imbuing students with the confidence, skills and belief that they could indeed be a voice for positive change. He frequently concluded his briefs with inspiration “We are spending significant & valuable moments of our lives making design. Let’s make them as brilliant as we can. Enjoy & be passionate about what you think & make.” Students and alumni sent in touching tributes to Edvin, one alumni comment in particular said: "Edvin gave me a lovely new perspective — not only in which to view art & design, but life itself. That's a broad statement, I know. But it's the greatest gift anyone could ever give. And he gave it graciously. His patience was saintly, and his simplicity and clarity were liberating." Professor Yegir's presence and contribution to the field of design and to its pedagogy will be deeply missed.