AHL&CO Principal Peter Ahlberg curated and organized Please Make This Look Nice: The Graphic Design Process as an Act of Drawing, a simulated studio installed in The Lab gallery at The Drawing Center in New York City (February 19 – March 20, 2016). A  select group of professionals was invited to work on unique and original design assignments and in a variety of formats and media including typography, logos, books, posters, motion, editorial, and more. All work was printed, displayed, and projected for the exhibition audience to view, discuss, and engage with directly. 

The exhibition looked to expand the general and most basic understand of graphic design by turning attention away from finished design solutions—the “what” of graphic design—to consider the “how” and “why,” focusing on the myriad techniques and methodologies involved in the graphic design process, including writing, traditional drawing, photography, prototyping, assemblage, collage, and collecting. Rather than pointing to individual pieces in a specific designer’s archive as examples of “process drawing,” Please Make This Look Nice considered the whole graphic design process itself as an act of drawing. As Milton Glaser explained in an interview from the corresponding book: “Drawing is a feedback mechanism to adjust your thinking. It’s a way of seeing whether what you’re thinking can become manifest.” 

Please Make This Look Nice: The Graphic Design Process as an Act of Drawing wants to travel! Contact us to see how you can engage your own local design community.


Anthony Carhuayo
Erik Carter
Delcan & Company [Pablo Delcan + Jocelyn Tsaih]
Claudine Eriksson
Carin Goldberg
Minkoo Kang
Ian Keliher
Eric Ku
Margot Laborde
Sue Lee
AJ Mapes
Darcy Moore
Alex Merto
Joe Newton
Small Stuff [Dinah Fried, Joe Marianek + Brenda Wu]
Alex Stikeleather
Sally Thurer
Zipeng Zhu
ZutAlors! [Frank DeRose + Brendan Griffiths]

Recognition + Press

BookAuthority.org / 100 Best Graphic Design Books of All Time
AIGA / Eye on Design
Adobe Create