“When I was head of the design program at CalArts, I was suffering from bad criticism in the U.S., being called an airhead, and “let’s see if she’s in business in five years,” that kind of stuff. This was “the end of design.” My work was too personal. My “Does It Make Sense” piece for Design Quarterly arose from my own internal chatter and imaginations. I was at a crossroads in my early career. My work in the late ’70s and early ’80s was both infamous and highly acknowledged, contributing to a sort of early fame. At the same time, there was this backlash from the established New York male graphic design community, who were saying it wasn’t graphic design at all, it was fine art. So the chatter—the dialogue, that conversation in my own head—had to do with them saying my work was personal and not real, serious design.

I was going back and forth on what’s personal and what’s public, or what’s a personal agenda versus a client’s agenda. The title, “Does It Make Sense?” was me trying to reconcile with my abilities, my thinking, my skill sets. Did things have to make sense along the rigid line that was being drawn by that predominantly East Coast male community of designers who were twice my age? And in fact, was there a line?”

— April Greiman (via)