Muriel Cooper (1925–1994) was the pioneering designer who created the iconic MIT Press colophon (or logo)—seven bars that represent the lowercase letters “mitp” as abstracted books on a shelf. She designed a modernist monument, the encyclopedic volume The Bauhaus (1969), and the graphically dazzling and controversial first edition of Learning from Las Vegas (1972). She used an offset press as an artistic tool, worked with a large-format Polaroid camera, and had an early vision of e-books. More than two decades after her career came to a premature end, Muriel Cooper’s legacy is still unfolding. This beautiful slip-cased volume, designed by Yasuyo Iguchi, looks back at a body of work that is as contemporary now as it was when Cooper was experimenting with IBM Selectric typewriters. She designed design’s future.
Join Prem Krishnamurthy and authors David Reinfurt and Robert Wiesenberger in a discussion of Cooper's iconic output and legacy.
David Reinfurt, a graphic designer, is cofounder of Dexter Sinister and The Serving Library, an online and print publishing project, and a Lecturer at Princeton University. His work is in the permanent collections of Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Robert Wiesenberger is Critic at the Yale School of Art, where he teaches the history of graphic design, and a PhD candidate in art history at Columbia University. As the 2014–2016 Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow at the Harvard Art Museums, he was responsible for the museums’ Bauhaus collections.
Prem Krishnamurthy works between design, curating, writing, and teaching. His experimental, interactive monograph/memoir/manifesto, P!DF, was published by O-R-G in September 2017.