Ken Kendrick (1949-1992) was an acclaimed graphic designer and a former art director of The New York Times Magazine. Born in Hemingway, S.C., Ken spent much of his youth in Georgia – attending high school in Metter, Ga. and the University of Georgia in Athens before moving to the Big Apple to study at Pratt Institute in New York City. In 1971, he graduated from the Atlanta College of Art. Little did he or we know that he would become one of the most influential and distinctive graphic designers of his generation, notwithstanding his short life of just 43 years.
His hand and eye would shape public health campaigns, corporate brands and design, journalism and photojournalism, and public understanding of many of the key issues of his times. Ken became associate art director of New York magazine and design director of the National Spanish Television Network. In 1982, he was named assistant art director of The New York Times Magazine, and two years later he was promoted to art director. In late 1986, Ken resigned from the magazine to freelance again. He supervised the redesign of Self magazine and designed the logo and poster for Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No public service campaign against drug abuse. Closer to his heart and life, he also designed the acclaimed “Heart Strings” logo and posters for the influential and early AIDS education campaign of the same name. He had a defining impact on one of the world’s most iconic brands – the redesign of Coca-Cola‘s signage and logos. He became an accomplished food and travel photographer for the NY Times and several other major publications. He even had a hand in designing his parents home and designing a magnificent flower garden at his own L.I. home.
Over his career, Ken’s versatility and talent were highly acclaimed, receiving awards for corporate and personal logo, letterhead design and graphics, including gold medals from the New York Art Directors Club,the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Publication Design, the Society of Newspaper Design and numerous international organizations as well.
Art Lives captures some of these chapters of Ken’s creative life, and shows that his exceptional talent was never eclipsed by ego or ambition; rather it was infused with a humane, warm yet incisive perceptiveness and creative sensibility.