Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy is a much-admired creative director and an expert in branding and design. When he started Duffy Design in 1984, in association with creative advertising agency Fallon Worldwide, he broke new ground for the collaborative integration of branding and design with advertising.

Duffy & Partners is a branding and design firm that was founded in 1984 by Creative Director, Joe Duffy. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Duffy & Partners’ work spans many media and design disciplines including corporate and brand identity, packaging design, marketing communications, digital experiences and branded environments.

Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy founded the firm on the premise of collaboration and the power of creativity. Duffy was a pioneer in forging the integration of design and advertising when he partnered with creative advertising agency Fallon Worldwide.

Duffy was one of the first design firms to work in partnership with an advertising agency, originally as a subsidiary of Fallon McElligott Rice.

Package and Design Magazine wrote, “Duffy holds a strong belief that great people working in a great environment can do great things. They employ a business approach that is transparent and simple: look and listen with curiosity, be honest, work smart. With every project, they strive to do the right things the right way. And they believe the process of design should be fun and inspiring for everyone involved.” 

Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy

In 2004, Joe Duffy was recognized as a medalist by the American Institute of Graphic Arts which recognizes “exceptional achievements, services or other contributions to the field of design and visual communication.”  For the award, John C. Jay, Co-Executive Creative Director, Wieden + Kennedy, Tokyo, wrote: “Duffy Design has withstood the winds of fashion, the elitism of the design industry, the economic recession, the creative recession and the consolidation of what was an industry of individuality. Today, Duffy remains a premiere problem-solver for brands with a future.”

In 2006, Joe Duffy was ranked 7th among the 50 most influential people in the future of business by Fast Company (magazine). In January, 2010, Joe Duffy was named one of 20 “People to Watch” in the design industry in 2010 by Graphic Design USA Magazine, described as “one of the most respected and sought after creative directors and thought leaders on branding and design.”

In January 2011, Joe Duffy was interviewed by How Design Magazine which featured tips for bridging the communication gap between designers and clients. Duffy explains, “We have clients who are bold, brash and opinionated, while others are meek, mild and couldn’t be nicer – and everything in between. The best designers learn to communicate in that particular person’s language.” 

Joe Duffy

In April 2011, Joe Duffy was named a “Design Icon” by Computer Arts Magazine. In the feature article celebrating Duffy’s work, Duffy explains his push for the democratization of design, saying “We’ve reached a point in popular culture where everyone is a designer to a certain extent. People have the ability today to design their own stationary and their own logo and they can do what graphic designers do...But for me, I think if people are gaining a better understanding of design, they’re therefore gaining a greater appreciation for the people who do it at the highest level.”

Over the years, Duffy & Partners has worked under various names including The Duffy Design Group (1984), Joe Duffy Design (1990), Duffy (1998) and Duffy & Partners (2004).

2017 History of Graphic Design

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