For Richard Wilde, chair of the School of Visual Arts Advertising and Graphic Design Department, it is 40 years and counting. In 1969, the Brooklyn-born designer was hired by Bob Giraldi to teach in the advertising department at SVA. Two years later, Silas Rhodes, founder of the school, appointed him, at the age of 27, as chair of the advertising department and art director of the SVA Press. Two years after that, he founded SVA’s undergraduate graphic design department.
During the past 40 years, Richard Wilde has graduated many thousands of students, all of whom run through the gauntlet known as the Visual Literacy class, where their conceptual fortitude is put to the test. Wilde is first and foremost an idea man, and while the tenets of good typography and strong image-making are key to his design pedagogy, it is the concept that is truly king.
To celebrate his impressive contributions to design education, SVA has mounted “The Wilde Years: 40 Years of Shaping Visual Culture,” an exhibition showcasing 130 of Wilde’s most illustrious grads (that’s a lot of grads). While he was planning the show, I asked him to talk about his views on education—how it has changed in the 21st century and what must remain constant—and what he has planned for the next 40 years.
Interview with Print Magazine