Ellen Lupton

Curator; Writer; Lecturer; Designer; Educator / Graphic Design / United States / Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Maryland Institute College of Art

Ellen Lupton is a writer, curator, and graphic designer. She is director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, where she also serves as director of the Center for Design Thinking. As curator of contemporary design at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum since 1992, she has produced numerous exhibitions, accompanied by catalogues, including “Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office” (1993), “Mixing Messages: Graphic Design and Contemporary Culture” (1996), “Letters from the Avant-Garde” (1996), and “Skin: Surface, Substance, and Design” (2002), as well as the National Design Triennial series (2000, 2003, 2006, 2010).

Her book Thinking with Type (2004, revised and expanded 2010) is used by students, designers, and educators worldwide. D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (2006), co-authored with her graduate students at MICA, explains design processes to a general audience. D.I.Y. Kids (2007), co-authored with her twin sister, Julia Lupton, is a design book for children illustrated with children’s art. The Lupton twins’ latest book is Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009).

Other books include Graphic Design: The New Basics (with Jennifer Cole Phillips, 2008) and Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book (2008). She is the co-author with J. Abbott Miller of several books, including The Bathroom, the Kitchen, and the Aesthetics of Waste (1992), Design Writing Research (1996), and Swarm (2005). Her most recent book is Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming (2011).

Ellen Lupton is a 2007 recipient of the AIGA Gold Medal, one of the highest honors given to a graphic designer or design educator in the U.S. She is a member of the Skillshare teaching community and offers a free class called “Typography That Works: Redesign Your Business Card” for those who want to “understand how to recognize and exploit the features of a great typeface and how to create intriguing, seaworthy compositions.”

She has contributed to various publications, including Print, Eye, I.D., and Metropolis, and has published essays and illustrations in the New York Times. A frequent lecturer around the U.S. and around the world, Lupton will speak about design to anyone who will listen.


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