An award-winning graphic designer, Jessica Helfand received both her B.A. in graphic design and architectural theory and her MFA in graphic design from Yale University. A partner with William Drenttel in Winterhouse and a founding editor of Design Observer, Helfand has written for many national publications, including the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Aperture, and The New Republic. She is the author of numerous books on design and cultural criticism, including Paul Rand: American Modernist (1998), Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture (2001), and Reinventing the Wheel (2002), which formed the basis for an exhibition in 2004 at the Grolier Club in New York City. Her critically acclaimed Scrapbooks: An American History (2008) was named that year’s best visual gift book by the New York Times.
Helfand was appointed by the Postmaster General to the U.S. Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee in 2006, where she chairs the Design Subcommittee. She is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and a recent inductee into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. In 2010, she and William Drenttel were named the first Henry Wolf Residents in Design at the American Academy in Rome.
A visiting critic at numerous programs in design and art throughout the United States and Europe, Helfand has also lectured at the Netherlands Design Institute, Walker Art Center, Smithsonian Institution, and Annenberg Center for Public Policy, among other venues. She was recently artist-in-residence at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking and has been a visiting artist at The Cooper Union and Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Jessica Helfand has taught for the last decade in the graduate program in graphic design at Yale University, where she is Senior Critic in Graphic Design and a Lecturer at Yale College.