Vignelli Center
for Design Studies
Rochester Institute of Technology

Kimberly Elam

Author, educator and designer Kimberly Elam presented “Grids, Non-Grids, Broken Rules,

and Passion in Design” at Rochester Institute of Technology.


Kimberly Elam

Kimberly Elam is a writer, educator, and graphic designer. She is currently on the faculty of the Graphic Design Department at the Ringling College of Art + Design, Sarasota, Florida. During her time at Ringling College of Art and Design, she has written three best-selling books for Princeton Architectural Press Design Briefs series: Geometry of Design, Grid Systems, and Typographic Systems. She has also self-published short subjects in both ebook and print venues. Over 100,000 of her books are in print in seven languages, and are used as essential texts in college design and architecture programs. These books feature her educational research and methodology and prominently feature the innovative work of her design students. She feels that by bringing her research into the classroom the teaching experience is transformed from a process of conveying information to a collaborative partnership of creating knowledge. She has also been a contributing author to books by Steven Heller, Ilene Strizver, and Willam Lidwell as well as the new Phadion Compendium of Graphic Design.


Throughout the past ten years Kim has given presentations, led panels, and conducted workshops at over twenty different professional and educational venues throughout the United States and abroad. She has been a recipient of the Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Robert O. Barkley Distinguished Educator Award, and is a Teaching Fellow at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.