Jessica Helfand 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); Reinventing the Wheel (2002); the critically acclaimed Scrapbooks: An American History (Yale University Press, 2008) (named that year’s best visual book by the New York Times) and, Design: The Invention of Desire (Yale University Press, 2016). Her next two books—Culture is Not Always Popular: Fifteen Years of Design Observer (co-authored with Michael Bierut) and The Mirror is a Civil War: A Visual History of the Face—will be published in 2018 and 2019, respectively, by MIT Press.
Ms. Helfand was appointed by the Postmaster General to the U.S. Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee in 2006, where she chaired the Design Subcommittee until 2012. She has held artist residencies all over the world, including at the American Academy in Rome and more recently, at Civitella Ranieri, and is a member of both the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. She received the AIGA Medal, the design profession’s highest honor, in 2013.
Jessica Helfand has taught at Yale since 1996 and is currently Senior Critic in Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art, a Lecturer in Yale College, and a faculty affiliate in the History of Science and Medicine. From 2015 to 2018 she was Artist in Residence at Yale's Institute for Network Science. She joined the faculty at SOM in 2016.