New Typographies: A Dictionary of Ideas

Join the Society of Design Arts, AIGA Baltimore, and Stevenson University for this online talk by Ellen Lupton.

What’s the story behind some of the basic design ideas we take for granted today, such as grids, flush left columns, and typesetting in lowercase? This talk looks at core modern design principles from the early and mid-twentieth century. Many of these principles remain fundamental (and often unexamined) today. Organized as a dictionary of ideas, this talk digs into the archeology of our abstract design language by exploring key works by Jan Tschichold, Piet Zwart, E. McKnight Kauffer, El Lissitsky, Varvara Stepanova, Làszlò Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Max Bill, and others.


Ellen Lupton is the Betty Cooke and William O. Steinmetz Design Chair at MICA. She has authored and edited numerous books on design processes, including “Thinking with Type,” “Graphic Design Thinking,” “Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers,” and “Health Design Thinking.” In the works: the third edition of “Thinking with Type.” She curated numerous exhibitions at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, including “Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master,” “Face Values: Understanding Artificial Intelligence,” “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision,” and “Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics.” She is an AIGA Gold Medalist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.


  1. The event will be online using Zoom. Click here to register for free.
  2. Please ensure you download the app for your computer or mobile device prior to the event here on Zoom.
  3. Registered attendees will receive a link and password when they complete their registration. The link and password will also be sent 24 hours and 1 hour before the event. Make sure to check your spam folder for the email.
When & Where
Tue, May 17, 2022 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM