Ellen Lupton gave a talk on type and design for Refresh DC last Thursday at the CDIA, and it was great fun and education all around. Ellen has published several design books — I have Thinking With Type — and directs the MFA Graphic Design Program at MICA. I didn’t have classes under her, but she was a frequent sight on campus and gave several talks, and Amy had her for Type 1 class.
Ellen delivers her lectures in a free-flowing stream of consciousness, punctuated by witty images drawn, painted, or photographed by herself and projected on a large screen. A good chunk of the talk was devoted to her upcoming book, Design For Life, a collaboration with her twin sister on design concepts intersecting with day-to-day living. (Hence the bras.) After the Q&A I beat the crowd to say hi to her, and pleasantly enough, she remembered me from MICA.
So if you’re in graphic design, Ellen is the go-to author and instructor for contemporary, sensible, readable information and opinion on typography. I recommend her books, and of course her MFA program at MICA. She’s my design superhero.