Doyald Young, 1926–2011

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Doyald Young

It is with deep sadness that we report of the passing of Doyald Young, beloved teacher, lettering and logotype designer, friend and mentor. Young passed away today due to complications following a recent heart operation. He graduated from Art Center with a degree in Advertising in 1955.

Art Center received the following message the morning of March 1, 2011 from Jim Whitney, Doyald’s life partner.

Doyald Young, Teacher and Friend:

Doyald knew going into the heart operation that he was not the ideal candidate for several reasons:

  • During WWII he tried to join the army and was rejected due to asthma
  • He was a heavy smoker up until age 50, and the combination of these left him with irreparable lung damage and difficulty breathing
  • Several silent heart attacks over the last few years left him with a damaged mitral valve and six stints
  • Stomach bleeding problems also prevented him from using Plavix (the normal anti-clotting agent used to prevent plaque buildup on the stints).

At any rate, Doyald decided to go ahead with the operation to repair the valve along with a quadruple bypass, because he had so little breath that some nights he literally could not sleep due to the effort required to consciously focus on breathing.

Unfortunately, the gamble did not pay off as we all hoped it would. Doyald passed away today due to complications of the operation, primarily due to liver damage, but also complete failure of the kidneys complicated the recovery process.

His wishes were to be cremated. There will be a memorial service planned for a later date. I will send details as soon as plans are finalized.

Doyald would want all of you to know how much he appreciated your love and support in this difficult time. We all feel the tremendous loss of a brilliant and wonderful human being.

Doyald’s life and work touched designers around the world, including AIGA Minnesota members who saw Doyald speak at Design Camp® in 2010 and Luncheons in 2004. His legacy and inspiration will live forever.

Responses to Doyald Young, 1926–2011

  1. A great designer and man has left our community. May great type be with you always.

    Thank you for your legacy.

  2. I feel very grateful that AIGA Minnesota brought Doyald Young to Design Camp last fall giving me the opportunity to meet him. What a wonderful experience to sit at the feet of a master typographer and just listen.

    I will always cherish the books he wrote and the type he designed.

    Jill Woodruff-Gerold

    March 17th, 2011 at 10:45 pm

  3. As a past president of AIGA Minnesota and as a board member of the organization for the first AIGA Minnesota Design Camp™ in 1980, I was honored to attend the 2010 President’s dinner at the AIGA Minnesota Design Camp™ 30th Anniversary last Fall. I was fortunate to share a table with Doyald Young (along with a few notable others) at this dinner. I am 61. This is my 45th year since beginning work in the field. An active, enthusiastic, practicing professional member of AIGA, with my white/silver hair and white/silver beard, I am often one of the eldest members of various committees. I am often one of the eldest attending various AIGA Minnesota events. Yet Doyald Young, with a definite vitality in his 80s, was more than 20 years older than me. Not long ago, while teaching as an adjunct in the department of art and design’s graphic design program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, “Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University”, Menomonie, Wisconsin, I required my students to find a book of their choice from the art, design, and graphic arts sections of the collection at the UW-Stout Library, which, by the way, has a fine selection of graphic art and design-related books. One of these young students selected Doyald Young’s “Fonts & logos: font analysis, logotype design, typography, type comparison, and history” introduction by Hermann Zapf, by Doyald Young (Sherman Oaks, California: Delphi Press, c1999). Doyald Young was impressed when I mentioned this to him over dinner. I believe it is important to continue to learn from the wisdom, perspective, and experience of those who are older than we are. I am a founding member of AIGA Minnesota’s “Veteran Designer” committee, for designers who have been practicing in the field for 15 or more years. May we continue to learn from Doyald Young through his books and through his students.

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