Simon Griffee · Design · Photography · Writing · Illustration

What: art

The Core 100 Logotype Design

Columbia University’s Centennial Celebration of its Core Curriculum has begun and you might spot a strange logo here and there around the campus. Having designed the logotype, I wanted to give a visual overview of the work involved in making it.

Notebook page with Core 100 logotype design notes.


Remembering Leonardo da Vinci 500 Years After His Death

A deluge drawing by Leonardo made on the end of his life.
A deluge, c.1517–18, by Leonardo da Vinci. Black chalk, pen and ink, wash. 16.2 × 20.3 cm (sheet of paper). RCIN 912380. Larger version at Wikimedia.

Taking a moment from current life flux to note that Leonardo da Vinci, a great human being, died 500 years ago on 1519 May 2nd.


Resisting, Reclaiming, Reframing Poster, 2019

One version of a poster for the upcoming Resisting, Reclaiming, Reframing Indigenous Communities and Art Museum Collections 2019 March 8 event at the Italian Academy organized by Elizabeth Hutchinson (Barnard College, Columbia University) with the Italian Academy’s International Observatory for Cultural Heritage. Co-sponsored by Columbia’s Department of Art History and Archaeology, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, and University Seminar in Indigenous Studies.


Introducing a little project called imgtlk where people write about an image, or piece of art that can be represented visually (music, math, sculpture, literature, architecture, computer games, and so on), that was important to them, or inspired them somehow. It can be something they made themselves, or a piece created by someone else.



Prehistoric cave paintings at Lascaux. I like play that slowly builds tension and then releases it with intensity and consequences. Maps. Sounds of nature. Long distances. The passage of time. Night and day cycles. Changing light. Clouds. Weather. Wind, foliage, animals, dust, fog, rain, lightning storms. A simple way to experience play is fiction. Games, books, music and films that tell us, a species of storytellers, stories, and help bring us closer, for art is a medium for creativity, a multiplier, which improves everything else needed for life.


Centennial Celebration Logotype for Columbia University’s Core Curriculum

The Core 100 logotype in the corner of the frame of a detail of Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People.

A glimpse of the logotype design for Columbia University’s Centennial Celebration of the Core Curriculum.

The background image in this test is a detail of Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People.

It has been a pleasure to work with Columbia College on this project.

Art Makes Society Kinder #
We tested the hypothesis that engagement in the arts may act as a catalyst that promotes prosocial cooperation. Using “Understanding Society” data (a nationally representative longitudinal sample of 30,476 people in the UK), we find that beyond major personality traits, demographic variables, wealth, education, and engagement in other social activity (sports), people’s greater engagement with the arts predicts greater prosociality (volunteering and charitable giving) over a period of 2 years. …continue
Advice to Artists #
Stephen Bliss in an interview with Keisha Raines at Unrated: During your career there’s probably going to be many times when you think your work is awful and you’ll want to give up. That’s the Universe’s way of saying, “Ok, you’ve done a bit of good work, you’ve enjoyed a few days of thinking you’re a genius, now it’s time to get better… Take your despondency, survive it, work out why you think your work is shit, how can you make your work better? …continue
Trivium Art History Project #

The humanities are losing funding in academia, and people don’t see art history as relevant to their lives. Trivium’s goal is to bring art history back to culture.

Pope John Paul II Lying on the Ground After Being Struck by a Meteorite #

I like this one better than the golden toilet.


Science, technology, engineering, math + art & design = STEAM. Coincidentally, Steam is also the leading computer games digital distribution platform.

Milton and Sue, New York City, December 2015

Margaret, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 2015