R. Roger Remington is the Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design, the first endowed chair in RIT’s School of Design. He also is the Director of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies.
Remington has been on the faculty at RIT since 1963. During his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, he was inspired by his internationally renowned printmaking teacher Dean Meeker to begin making serigraphs (fine art silk screen prints.) Subsequently, between 1959 to 1965, in addition to his teaching of graphic design, Remington was an active printmaker exhibiting nationally in more than 120 competitive exhibitions. His serigraphs brought him awards and honors, including membership in the Western Serigraph Institute along with his teacher Dean Meeker. As part of this group, he was represented by Oscar Salzer of Salzer Gallery in Los Angeles. This exhibit, Remington’s first at RIT, represents the body of prints accomplished during this phase of his emerging career.
Serigraphs are fine art prints made by the silk screen process. Basically a stencil process, silk screen is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. Various toxic ink systems are used such as flat poster inks, ethyl cellulose or gloss enamels. In this exhibit many of the prints represent Remington’s creative use of color, especially transparency and overprinting. The paper or substrate on which the ink sits can also be an important component. Serigraphs are made in limited editions with each print exactly like the others. Ultimately the artist will sign each print, usually with title, print number/number in edition and then the signature. The term Serigraph distinguished the fine art printmaking process from the commercial application called silk screen or screen printing.
The forms of Remington’s imagery evidence a journey from representation to abstraction. He was drawn to Serigraphy because the flat, bright colors are familiar from his graphic design education and practice.
In the 1960s his interests and energies found new directions upon his return to RIT to teach, engage in scholarly work in graphic design history and practice graphic design in Rochester.
Remington is an experienced educator with critical interests in graphic design history, research and writing. His teaching at RIT has been commended by the institution in 1978, with the Eisenhart Annual Award for Outstanding Teaching, RIT’s highest recognition of teaching excellence, and in 2014, with the Trustee’s Lifetime Achievement Award for scholarship in Graphic Design. He has also gained notable recognition by the design community: in 2008, he was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and in 2013, he became a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). Most recently, in 2015, he received the prestigious Ladislav Sutnar Prize.
Since 1982, he has been seriously engaged in the research, interpretation and preservation of the history of graphic design. He has co-chaired two major symposia on graphic design history: Coming of Age in 1983 and 80’s Style in 1985. He has also written four books: Nine Pioneers in American Graphic Design (1989), Lester Beall: Trailblazer of American Graphic Design (1996), American Modernism Graphic Design 1920-1960 (2003), and Design and Science-The Life and Work of Will Burtin (2007). Currently he has two new books about Burtin in production with Unit Editions Publishers in London. They are Journey to Understanding-Will Burtin, Pioneer of Information Design and The Collected Writings of Will Burtin.
His deep commitment to design history and preservation has led him to bring the archives of designers of the American Modernist generation to RIT. The Cary Graphic Design Archive contains more than 45 collections, including those of Lester Beall, Will Burtin, and many others. In 2010, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, which houses the career archive of designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli along with 15 additional contemporary designers.