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

Pencil to Pixel, Exhibit by Monotype

Relive the Beauty of Pencil to Pixel

Did you miss “Pencil to Pixel,” a one-week popup exhibit of artifacts representing more than 100 years of typeface design? Check out these fabulous photos.

Formal Design Education Is Necessary for Practicing Designers. Yay or Nay?

It was the third Designer’s Debate Club event. The Parsons Tishman Auditorium on West 12th Street was packed last Wednesday with people eager to hear what well-known designers and design educators would have to say about the necessity of formal design education. Co-sponsored by AIGA/NY and organized by Designer’s Debate Club founders Jon Troutman,...

“Things that Appeal to Me on a Personal Level”: A Visit to the E/AB

When some people visit New York City, they head to Dylan’s Candy Bar, a store that groups its offerings in such categories as chocolate, gummy candy, jelly beans, and nostalgic candy. For me, visiting the E/AB Fair (Editions/Artists Books) was like being in the best candy store of all: An inspirational store that could...

“The Happy Show” Goes International

On January 8, Stefan Sagmeister’s “The Happy Show” opened at the Design Exchange in Toronto, where it will be on display until March 3. Toronto is the second venue for this exhibition, which The New York Times called “a virtual funhouse of didactic interactive displays.” It drew large crowds at the Institute for Contemporary...

To CertifyD, or Not to CertifyD? That Is the Question

“Is the title ‘designer’ meaningful or meaningless?” asks Esteban Pérez-Hemminger, an MS in Communication Design candidate at Pratt Institute. In his thesis project, CertifyD, which calls for an open dialogue leading to the professional certification of graphic designers, Pérez-Hemminger suggests that the title “designer” has become almost meaningless. And he wants that to change. His...

Le Corbusier: Architecture Meets Fine Art Meets Graphic Design

“In his lifetime, Le Corbusier made 7,000 works on paper and 450 oil paintings.” So explained Eric Mouchet of Galerie Zlotowski, a Parisian art gallery that specializes in early-20th-century art, especially Cubism, with a special focus on Le Corbusier. The conversation took place two weekends ago at The Salon: Art+Design at New York City’s Park...

Ten (or More) Things You Didn’t Know About Herb Lubalin

1. His name was pronounced Loo-ball-in, with the accent on the loo. 2. He was color-blind and ambidextrous. 3. Although he ultimately rejected advertising in favor of graphic design, as an agency art director at Sudler & Hennessey he was a key figure in advertising in the 1960s, introducing expressive typography into print advertising....

The Rejection Connection

Several years ago I worked with the marketing director of a technology startup that characterized itself as a company of quick, young, nimble problem-solvers. The marketing director told me that she had sole responsibility for design decisions (how wrong they often are about this). “These are great!” she said upon previewing our presentation boards...

Turnip Patch Meets Type Technology

“Technology will change everything we know about type.” So predicts David Jonathan Ross, one of six full-time type designers for Font Bureau, the Boston-based digital type studio Roger Black and David Berlow founded in 1989 to create custom fonts for newspaper and magazine publishers. “Technology will change the way we draw fonts, we sell...

The Handwriting Is on the Wall

“I love typography!” That’s the way Chavelli Tsui answers the question, “What brought you here? Tsui is a graphic designer born and raised in Hong Kong who recently received her BFA in communication design from Carnegie-Mellon University. With 28 cohorts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Singapore,...