Debbie Millman | Audio

Jennifer Morla

Artist and designer Jennifer Morla is President and Creative Director of Morla Design in San Francisco and is the 2010 recipient of graphic design’s most honored award, the AIGA Medal. Her work is part of the permanent collections of MoMA, SFMoMA, the Smithsonian Museum, the Denver Art Museum and the Library of Congress.

Jennifer Morla's clients have included Apple, The New York Times and Levis. In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Morla talks about why she set up shop in San Francisco instead of in her home town of New York, her collaboration with Andy Warhol, and the qualities of effective design.

Posted in: Design Matters

Comments [1]


Design must surprise and inform.

And it must do so in that order. Surprise your audience with the unexpected. Then allow their curiosity to lead them to the message.

When Janet Froelich commissioned Jennifer Morla to design “The Shock of the familiar” 1998 New York Times Magazine cover, Jennifer created an unforgettable design with a surprising twist. First she flipped the New York Times-logo upside down.

The New York Times Magazine cover text reads:
The objects of ordinary life are, as never before, designed to manipulate taste and desire. There is a design explosion under way—and it is forcing us to see everyday things in entirely new ways.

Also note the unexpected word “liar” is contained within “familiar” and is underlined by the placement of the cover text—creating a beautiful tension between the message and the typographic form.

Carl W. Smith

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