About Ellen Lupton

Ellen Lupton is the curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and director of the graphic design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art.

The Oscars of Type

Assaulted with ceaseless buzz about the Academy Awards, I can’t help wishing that a well-wrought typeface could attract as much attention as a 90-minute film. Various type blogs and font foundries released their own best-of lists at the end of …

Before Design Thinking

  First published in 1972, The Universal Traveler is a mad masterpiece of D.I.Y. hippie culture that deserves its place in history next to the Last Whole Earth Catalog. This quirky guide to the design process was created long before …

Typography on the Web: Questions for Jeffrey Zeldman—Part 2

 This is the second in a two-part interview [part 1 is here] with Jeffrey Zeldman.   The basic conundrum for web typography revolves around the seemingly contradictory needs of users and designers. Users need the ability to re-size text on …

Typography in the 1990s

How quickly “now” becomes “then.” A few weeks ago, I was looking for examples of experimental typography to show to my MFA students at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). I pulled a book off the shelf called Typography …

Type Hunger

I’ve been noticing that many of the images that get tagged or labeled “type” on design-watch web sites such as welovetypography.com and sharesomecandy.com are actually some form of lettering. Many of these works are exquisitely crafted alphabetic confections, while others …