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Helen Armstrong

Associate Professor of Graphic Design


Throughout her academic and professional life, Armstrong has moved between the written word and the graphic image. After Ph.D. coursework in English literature, Armstrong gravitated to the world of art and design. She earned an M.A. in Publication Design from the University of Baltimore and launched a career as a graphic designer. Her design work—for such clients as Sage College of Albany, USInternetworking, and New College of Florida—has won regional and international awards. Her projects have been included in numerous publications in the US and the UK, including the How International Design Annual, The Complete Typographer, The Typography Workbook and Design Elements.

After ten years as a graphic designer, she returned to her passion for theory, research, and teaching. At the Maryland Institute College of Art she earned an M.F.A. in Graphic Design while teaching in the Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism. Prior to coming to North Carolina State University, Armstrong was an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Graduate Director of Experience Design at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She currently serves as a member of the AIGA Board of Directors and is on the editorial board of Design and Culture. In addition, she is a past co-chair of the AIGA Design Educators Community Steering Committee.

Armstrong authored Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009) and co-authored Participate: Designing with User-Generated Content (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) with Zvezdana Stojmirovic. Her new book Digital Design Theory: Readings from the Field explores works by both designers and programmers, examining the two threads of discourse—design and computation—that have rapidly merged to define contemporary graphic design.

Currently, Armstrong is combining her knowledge of participatory practice with computational thinking to explore the potential of intelligent interfaces to address the needs of individuals with disabilities. 

Link to Website:

Area(s) of Expertise

graphic design history and theory; participatory design; design and computation, inclusive design.

Twitter: @Armstrong_Helen