Design Observer Poster Series

Jessica Helfand

A series of four posters for the Design of Business | Business of design conference at MIT.

Images of Design Observer Poster Series

  1. Image 1 — Ethics poster (Design Observer Poster Series)
  2. Image 2 — Enterprise poster copy (Design Observer Poster Series)
  3. Image 3 — Engineering poster (Design Observer Poster Series)
  4. Image 4 — Equity poster (Design Observer Poster Series)

    Jessica Helfand, USA (2010)

    Jessica Helfand is an artist, designer, and writer. She grew up in Paris and New York City, and received her BA and MFA from Yale University where she taught for...

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    • Design Observer Poster Series, 2018

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    A series of four posters for the Design of Business | Business of design conference at MIT.

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    • Design Observer
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    Jessica Helfand, USA (2010)

    Jessica Helfand is an artist, designer, and writer. She grew up in Paris and New York City, and received her BA and MFA from Yale University where she taught for more than two decades. A founding editor of Design Observer, she is the author of numerous books on visual and cultural criticism, and has taught all over the world. The first-ever recipient, in 2010, of the Henry Wolf Residency at the American Academy in Rome, Jessica Helfand has been a Director’s Guest at Civitella Ranieri, a fellow at the Bogliasco Foundation, and the Artist in Residence at Caltech. She lives in New England.



    Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture


    • Jessica Helfand

    Princeton Architectural Press

    A speculative roadmap on what was then termed “new” media, this compilation brings together essays from the earlier publications along with more than twenty others on a variety of topics including avatars, "the cult of the scratchy," television, sex on the screen, and more. Designers, students, educators, visual literati, and everyone looking for an entertaining and insightful guide to the world of design today will not find a better or more approachable book on the subject.

    Reinventing the Wheel


    • Jessica Helfand

    Princeton Architectural Press

    As inventive as instructive, information wheels—also known as volvelles—have been used since the fourteenth century to measure, record, predict, and calculate everything form time and space to military history and recipes. From circular mathematical slide rules to nuclear bomb blast calculators to breeding planners, celestial planispheres and Captain Marvel phonetic decoders, Reinventing the Wheel demonstrates the astonishing range and remarkable utility of these ingenious "interactive" tools.

    Scrapbooks: An American History


    • Jessica Helfand

    Yale University Press

    Highly subjective and rich in emotional content, the scrapbook is a unique and often quirky form of expression in which a person gathers and arranges meaningful materials to create a personal narrative. This lavishly illustrated book is the first to focus attention on the history of American scrapbooks—their origins, their makers, their diverse forms, the reasons for their popularity, and their place in American culture.

    Face: A Visual Odyssey


    • Jessica Helfand

    MIT Press

    An elaborately illustrated study of the cultural significance of the face through a critical lens—investigating everything from historical mugshots to Instagram posts—these essays show the face has been perceived and represented over time; how it has been instrumentalized by others; and how we have reclaimed it for our own purposes. Jessica Helfand's new book delivers an intimate yet kaleidoscopic adventure while posing universal questions about identity.

    Culture is Not Always Popular: Fifteen Years of Design Observer


    • Jessica Helfand,
    • Michael Bierut

    MIT Press

    Dedicated to the pursuit of originality, imagination, and close cultural analysis, Design Observer has, since 2003, remained a lively forum for readers in the international design community. Fifteen years, 6,700 articles, 900 authors, and nearly 30,000 comments later, this book is a combination primer, celebration, survey, and salute to a certain moment in online culture.

    Design: The Invention of Desire


    • Jessica Helfand

    Yale University Press

    Advancing a conversation that is unfolding around the globe, and illustrated with her own paintings based on histological tissue specimens— Helfand offers an eye-opening look at how designed things make us feel as well as how—and why—they motivate our behavior



    • Jessica Helfand,
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson


    When Emerson published his most famous essay in 1841, it was in the aftermath of the calamitous financial collapse of 1837. His positive vision for the power of individualism and personal responsibility was issued in a climate filled with panic and uncertainty. Emerson’s text is widely available to read online, but this new, graphically reimagined edition, produced with Design Observer, elevates his wisdom through the printed word and includes twelve contemporary essays by Jessica Helfand.

    Paul Rand : American Modernist


    • Jessica Helfand

    Winterhouse Editions

    This slim volume combines an essay published in The New Republic (“begin at the beginning,” advised the editor, “and tell Americans what graphic design actually is”) with an essay for the Phaidon monograph on Rand, specifically focused on the evolution and enduring impact of Rand's pedagogy at Yale.


    Art Director's Hall of Fame 2010
    AIGA Medal 2013

    Other Professional Activities

    • Henry Wolf Residency, American Academy in Rome

      2010 – 2010

    • Director's Guest, Civitella Ranieri

      2018 – 2018

    • Fellow, Bogliasco Foundation

      2019 – 2019

    • Artist in Residence, California Institute of Technology

      2020 – 2020