Malcolm Grear 1931–2016
James Malcolm Grear, was born in Wayne County, Kentucky, on June 12, 1931. "As a kid growing up in Kentucky, I thought art was the label on a Cloverene salve tin or a magazine cover by Norman Rockwell," After high school he joined the Navy, where he trained as an aviation metalsmith, a skill that would subsequently gain him entry to the Art Academy of Cincinnati. There, he attended several art and design courses.
Malcolm began his teaching career at the University of Louisville, before moving on to the Rhode Island School of Design’s graphic design faculty in 1960 to 1998, serving as its chairman from 1965 through 1969. He has earned an international reputation as a leader in the field of design education and has received five honorary doctorates. "I don't—indeed can't—teach students to be designers," he says, "but I can and do teach attitudes and strategies that help them become designers."
In 1960, Malcolm Grear Designers was founded as a two-person operation. The studio has grown under the creative vision and leadership of Malcolm Grear and continues to develop and explore new areas of design, application and creative expansion, while seeking to maintain the intimacy of size, the individualized approach to problems, and the personal relationship with clients.