The Independent Group


The Independent Group (US) is a multidisciplinary design practice that collaborates with a diverse group of individuals, groups, organizations, and commercial clients to create distinctive work that establishes meaningful, lasting connections with their audiences. We are dedicated to forward-thinking initiatives that promote education, sustainability, and positive social impact.


Isaac Gertman is designer, writer, educator, and typography enthusiast, with a keen interest in the overlapping social, cultural, and infrastructural systems found in cities. He has experience in the strategic planning, design, and production of editorial and brand identity systems, websites, publications, printed ephemera, motion graphics, wayfinding systems, and exhibitions. In addition to providing creative and design direction to the clients of The Independent Group, he is Design Director of Terreform, an urban research and advocacy center that investigates the forms, policies, technologies, and practices that will yield equitable, sustainable, and beautiful cities for our urbanizing planet.

As a faculty member of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), he teaches advanced courses in Graphic Design, Typography, Branding, and Publication Design. In 2014, he won the prestigious MICA Trustees Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching. He previously taught at Parsons, the New School for Design; City College of New York, in the Graduate Department of Landscape Architecture; and Rhode Island School of Design.

His work has been recognized by the Advertising Age, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Center for Architecture, Society of Publication Designers, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and has been featured in numerous books and blogs. His writing has appeared in Print magazine, Step magazine, DesignBureau, and the design blog SpeakUp. Isaac has a BFA in graphic design and an MPS in user experience design from Maryland Institute College of Art, and an MFA in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design.

The Name

The Independent Group (UK) consisted of artists, architects, writers, and critics that met and collaborated informally in London from 1952–55. Together they explored a range of concerns, including questioning dominant Modernist thought and the role of waste in popular culture. Their approach was inclusive and multi-disciplinary, and the influences they drew upon were diverse. It is this spirit that guides our approach: We are invested in making collaborative work that is innovative, timely, and has a lasting impact.


Phone +1 347 628 2636

Email info@theindependentgroup.us

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Selected Clients

  • Bonobos
  • Center for Court Innovation
  • City College Spitzer School of Architecture
  • ClimatePlan
  • Design Trust for Public Space
  • Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
  • Metropolis Magazine
  • MillionTreesNYC
  • A More Just NYC
  • Natural Areas Conservancy
  • New York Criminal Justice Agency
  • New York City Dept. Parks and Recreation
  • New York Philharmonic
  • NextCity
  • Pilobolus Dance Company
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • The New School, Milano School for Public Management
  • United States Forest Service
  • Urban Think-Tank
  • Van Alen Institute
  • Wassaic Project

Recognition and Awards

  • Advertising Age
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Center for Architecture
  • Center for Urban Pedagogy, Public Access Design Fellowship
  • Society of Publication Designers