RIT design professor retires after 57 years

Messenger Post Media
R. Roger Remington.

R. Roger Remington, 83, of Pittsford, recently retired after 57 years at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Remington is the longest-serving faculty member at RIT. He is credited with building the graphic design program in RIT’s College of Art and Design, as well as transforming the university into an international archival resource for design.

“Roger Remington has been a titan in the field of design both at RIT — through his efforts that established design as a pillar at our university — and in the broader world of design, where he is known as a world-class historian, scholar and designer, at large,” said Todd Jokl, dean of the College of Art and Design. “The impact Roger has had on the College of Art and Design, as well as the field of design overall, cannot be overstated.”

Remington graduated from RIT in 1958. He studied printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and worked in packaging design for three years before teaching design at Montana State University. Then, he was asked to teach at RIT.

Remington helped establish RIT’s Cary Graphic Design Archive, which features 45 collections of modernist American graphic design pioneers such as Lester Beall, Will Burtin, William Golden, Alvin Lustig and Cipe Pineles.

The Vignelli Center for Design Studies houses the archive of designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli. Students have access to original source materials and examples of the late couple’s work.

“Roger was the driving force at bringing the Vignelli archive to RIT, establishing and growing the world-class collection now housed in the Vignelli Center and in realizing the remarkable building that now houses this astounding archive,” Jokl said. “Due in large part to Roger’s tireless work, the Vignelli Center for Design Studies now serves as an invaluable resource to our students, our faculty and design scholars around the globe.”

Remington said his ambition since opening the center was to make it even more valuable. He expanded educational programming, including workshops and lecture series presented by modern-day design leaders.

“It has been my major goal to help students achieve the highest possible level of visual aesthetics in their work,” Remington said. “Developing the Cary Graphic Design Archive and the Vignelli Center for Design Studies has been a major contribution to students, to RIT and to the profession.

“It doesn’t feel at all like I’m closing the door and walking away, because I don’t intend to. I’m planning to stay around and be as much help as I can to my successor and to others involved in the Vignelli Center for Design Studies and the college.”