Author Archives: Ellen Shapiro

About Ellen Shapiro

Print contributing editor Ellen Shapiro is principal of Visual Language LLC in Irvington, NY. She has been designing for her whole life and writing about design for more than 20 years. She blogs about design, gardens, food and travel at dig-it-blog.com

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Keeping the Faith of Graffiti Art

With all its graffiti art, New York City itself is a canvas. A new exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York celebrates this eccentric art form.

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How to Make *#$%* Mistakes on Purpose!

Have trouble being creative under the gun? This workshop helps foster inspiration by teaching designers how to make mistakes on purpose. “Here’s what to do when it’s too late to go walking in the woods, get burrs stuck in your pants and invent Velcro all over again.” So explained Laurie Rosenwald last Thursday evening...

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A Life in Books: A Typography and Design Tour de Force

Warren Lehrer, a founding faculty member of the Designer as Author MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and head of the graphic design program at Purchase College, SUNY, has spent a decade writing and designing a book that is way more than a book. A Life in Books:...

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(Re)mapping the Ancient World

Imagine the world as a neat rectangle or oval, flat, with wavy blue water on all four sides. A river runs through it, horizontally. At the center is the Roman emperor, sitting on his throne. If you’re used to zooming in on any spot on the planet via Google Earth, it’s sobering to imagine...

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Oded Ezer, Mad Typographic Scientist

The iconoclastic Israeli graphic designer, typographer and type designer Oded Ezer is in residence on the East Coast for two months, lecturing and teaching a class called “Type Follows Emotion, Personal Typographic Exploration” at Rhode Island School of Design. Perhaps best known for what he calls his “typographic design fiction projects,” including “Typosperma,” which...

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Revolution Foods Takes on Lunchables with Tasty Packaging Design

A positive news story about graphic design? Was I dreaming? From the 1976 NBC ‘N’ fiasco to the recent brouhaha over the redesigned Yahoo logo, I’m used to seeing stories in the press that divulge how much companies pay for brand updates that are seen as nonfunctional, dumb, and/or despised by the public. On...

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Mastering The Art of Cookbook Illustration

I recently thumbed through some favorite old cookery books and started thinking about cookbook illustrations. Not the decorative splashes of line and color you see today (when  most cookbooks are illustrated with drop-dead color photography), but the kind of didactic, black-and-white line illustrations that show you how to bone a chicken breast, flute a...

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The Mandela Poster Project

Graphic designers in 70 countries created more than 700 posters to celebrate Nelson Mandela's life and legacy for The Mandela Poster Project. 95 selected posters are now on display.

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Looking Back: Working with Herb Lubalin on U&lc

Herb Lubalin was not only a boss, but was a mentor and father-figure to Ellen Shapiro. She, along with Ilene Strizver and Jason Calfo, talk about working with the legendary Herb Lubalin at U&lc.