Jessica Helfand By Yasemin Pars

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Jessica Helfand is a Connecticut based graphic designer and she was born in 1960. She received both her BA in graphic design and architectural theory and her MFA in graphic design in 1989 from Yale University.


In addition to being a remarkable graphic designer, Jessica Helfand has played an important role in the design world with her writings and contributions. She has written numerous books on design and cultural criticism


She sees graphic design as more than simply a tool to convey creativity. She thinks it as a way to bring together the elements like light and color with the aim of creating a message. Helfand creates concepts that challenge both mind and eye that the viewers have to get involved in, so they can understand.


Helfand’s design of the NASA logo is very impressive, she mixed together simplicity and complexity in creating a symbol that can represent the organization. Some people believe that it is very simple, others consider that it is a great idea and that is the way to use historic events to emphasize the company’s significance is intended to raise awareness.


Helfand does not want to emphasize only the arrangement of elements in her designs or the way she uses colors. She wants to go beyond people liking her work and she wants people to actually feel that they have to focus on her works from a philosophical point of view. It is basically about combining graphic design and philosophy together in her designs.



Helfand’s design of labels for the Winterhouse Maple Syrup company again has the simplicity that the designer usually uses in her works. We see her dogs on maple syrup bottles, the feeling she wanted to create is very interesting. She combined different elements together. Even with the fact that some people would see no connection between two elements, in this case the connection is visible. Whether it is because of the typical color of a viszla dog or whether it is because the darker type of syrup has a dog face on a black background while the lighter version has a dog face on a white background, it would be difficult to say what exactly it is that makes it possible for people to connect between the two elements.


The cover to Stephan Jay Gould’s “On Evolution” is also another work by Helfand that succeeded very well. The animals on the cover and the diffuse environment surrounding relate to the book’s content, there is a controversial idea behind.



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