Portrait by Mark Andresen.

I am author of Volume: Writings on Graphic Design, Music, Art, and Culture, published by Princeton Architectural Press, and had texts appear in Emigre, Print, Eye, Étapes, and Idea magazines; the books The designer as…author, producer, activist, entrepreneur, curator and collaborator: new models for communicating, The Graphic Design Reader, Graphic Design and Reading, Thought Experiments in Graphic Design Education, and The Education of a Graphic Designer volume 2; plus the online journals Design Observer, Voice: AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, and Speak Up. I wrote the forward for Stefan Sagmeister’s ggg Books monograph, the official bio for the British music group Cornershop, was a guest on Design Matters with Debbie Millman, and been a visiting critic for Cranbrook Academy’s 2D Design program, the School of Visual Arts Masters in Branding, and the Vermont College for the Arts’ MFA program in Design. The News of the Whirled, my novel in the form of 4-issue limited-edition magazine, received awards for excellence from the American Center for Design and AIGA, and is in the collection of Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota. I’ve been curator of Adversary: an exhibition (of) contesting graphic design, Emigre in Norfolk, Stefan Sagmeister: a graphic designer (with Jiwon Lee), and Repurposes (with Garland Kirkpatrick). I’m also a member of the founding Editorial Board of the academic journal Dialectic, and the Steering Committee of the AIGA Design Educators Community.

Work history
Bingo game de-installer
Grocery bagger
Grocery stockperson
Shoe-heel factory worker
Wool mill carding machine operator
Ceramics work-study
Paste-up artist
Museum docent
National historic site building manager
Temp worker
Telephone pollster
Department store display assistant
Freelance graphic designer
Data entry
Data/LAN manager
Adjunct art school faculty
Freelance writer
College professor

MFA 1996: Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Design
BFA 1983: Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Ceramics


• “Design and the Creation of Value,” book review, Dialectic, vol. 1, no. 2

• “Beauty/Entropy,” catalog essay for exhibition Vaughan Oliver: walking backwards, Leslie University
• “Learning by numbers: eleven lessons taught only in design school,” Design Observer
• “Singing the surface,” Print magazine, Winter

• “Laura Rossi Garcia: dialectic designer,” AIGA Design Educators Community journal
• “Turn over,” AIGA Design Educators Community journal

• “Thinking about teaching,” AIGA Design Educators Community journal
• “Fuck All,” Modes of criticism 1: critical, uncritical, post-critical, Modes of criticism
• “The team player,” AIGA Design Educators Community journal

• “Yourselves: declaring ourselves,” Design Observer
• “Chaos theories and uncertainty principles,” Thought experiments in graphic design education, Books from the future
• “The great third grade juice pouch riot,” AIGA Design Educators Community journal

• “12 views of 120 posters,” Graphic advocacy: international posters for the digital age 2001–2012, Massachusetts College of Art Foundation

• “All music to all (good) people: Cornershop masters time and space,” YouTube video by Cornershop music group featuring essay text

• “I believe in design,” Faith is trust: trust design publication 3, Premsela, Netherlands Institute of Design and Fashion

• Volume: writings on graphic design, music, art, and culture, Princeton Architectural Press

• “Skilling saws and absorbent catalogs, ” “The last wave,” “What culture wants,” Emigre no.70: the look back issue: celebrating 25 years in graphic design, Gingko Press
• “Design’s just dessert,” Voice: AIGA Journal of Design
• “I believe in design,” Design Observer

• “Pesky illustrator,” Eye, issue 67

• “Josef Müller-Brockmann,” Eye, issue 64
• “Visual culture reader,” IDEA, issue 322
• “The resistance,” Voice: AIGA Journal of Design

• “Useless things,” Redaction, issue one
• “What I don’t know about the world,” Outside in: an international poster exhibition, exhibition catalog, Visualingual
• “Seeing and reading,” “I come to bury graphic design, not to praise it,” IDEA, issue 314

• “An instructor of concern,” The education of a graphic designer, volume 2, Allworth Press
• “The end,” Emigre, no. 69
• “A viewer’s guide to periodic literature,” The Norfolk index, ODU gallery exhibition catalog for Emigre in Norfolk
• “Salvager,” Stefan Sagmeister, monograph, ggg Books
• “Martin Venezky’s beautiful melancholy,” Design Observer
• “An instructor of concern,” Voice: AIGA Journal of Design

• “Buzz kill,” Emigre, no. 67
• “File under nowhere,” Various types, catalog, Emigre, Inc.
• “I come to bury graphic design not to praise it,” Emigre, no. 66

• “The total artist,” Port Folio Weekly, 23 September
Form\inform, catalog of works: The Goldstein Museum of Design, Minneapolis Minnesota
• Design for communication: conceptual graphic design basics, (two class projects), John Wiley & Sons
• “Quietude,” Emigre, no. 64

• “What culture wants,” Emigre, no. 62
• (Letter to the editor), Eye, issue 42

• “The last wave,” Emigre, no. 54
• “Seen and not seen,” Graphic design and reading, Allworth Press


• “Song cycle revisited,” Palm desert, book/CD on the music of Van Dyke Parks, Emigre Graphics

• “Skilling saws and absorbent catalogs,” Emigre, no. 48
• “Fanfare for the common hack,” Eye, issue 27
• (Letter to the editor), Critique, issue 9

• “Fuel full pull poll pool cool cook book,” Emigre, no. 44
• “On Creem magazine: 1970–1976,” Emigre, no. 41

• “The angel is my floating-point!” Emigre, no. 39
• (Letter to the editor), Eye, issue 23
• (Letter to the editor), Emigre, no. 38

• Guffey, Elizabeth. “Volume: writings on graphic design, music, art, and culture,” Design and culture: The journal of the design studies forum, 5.3, November
• Shaughnessy, Adrian. “Down in the trenches with Kenneth FitzGerald,” Design Observer, 25 January
• Poynor, Rick. “Books Recommended,” Design Observer

• Cox, James A., ed. “California Bookwatch/The Art Shelf,” Midwest Book Review, 10 October

• Shaughnessy, Adrian. “Emigre 64: Rant,” Eye, issue 48

• Dorsey, Catherine. “Adversarial art,” Port Folio Weekly, 30 July

• Anderson, Tim. “Whirled views,” The Ripsaw News, 11 July
• Thompson, Chris. “The path of most resistance: para-graphic design at Zero Station,” The Portland Phoenix, 3–10 May

• Hutchins, Jennifer. “Art vs. Commerce,” Mainebiz, 30 April
• Gannon, Victoria. “Graphic design as ‘Adversary,’” Casco Bay Weekly, 3 May

• Klefstad, Ann. “Adversary,” The Duluth News-Tribune, 17 January

• Nemser, Rebecca. “Lines to live by,” The Boston Phoenix, 20 September
• Temin, Christine. “A strong somber show of drawings,” The Boston Globe, 6 September
• Schecter, Ann. “Unique visions from 9 artists at DeCordova,” The Lowell Sun, 18 August

• Carlock, Marty. “9 artists/9 visions,” The Lincoln Journal, 1 August
• Nemser, Rebecca. “Dead reckoning,” The Boston Phoenix, 5 July
• Temin, Christine. “9 artists/9 visions,” The Boston Globe, 28 June
• Sherman, Mary. “‘Nine’ reflects pros, cons of contemporary art,” The Boston Herald, 28 June

• Temin, Christine. “Drawing on the current scene,” The Boston Globe, June
• Bonetti, David. “Drawing cards,” The Boston Phoenix, 30 June

• Sherman, Mary. “The 10th annual Boston drawing show,” Art New England, September

• Temin, Christine. “Perspectives,” The Boston Globe, 24 July

Other press
• Millman, Debbie. “Advice from Kenneth FitzGerald,” RockPaperInk/Brand Bible Blogumentary, 16 September

• “Specs,” HOW, January/February

• Carlock, Marty. “Haverhill art students get down to business,” The Boston Globe, 20 March

•Scratching the surface, podcast by Jarrett Fuller, May

• Perpetual beta: the VCFA MFA in graphic design program blog, “Huh? #29,” March

• The designer as…author, producer, activist, entrepreneur, curator and collaborator: new models for communicating, BIS Publishers

étapes: design and visual culture, issue 200, “Q & A”

Design Matters with Debbie Millman, podcast, March

Lectures, papers, and presentations
• The Shape of Design: AIGA National Design Conference, Las Vegas NV: round-table session leader and Education Symposium presentation, “Music for metaphors,” October
• Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Graphic Design program, Montpelier VT: Spring Residency week Guest Designer in Residence: lecture, workshop, lead thesis critic, April
• College Art Association Annual Conference, Washington DC, session chair, “Designers as Writers, Authors, and Makers,” February

• Revival: AIGA National Design Conference, New Orleans LA: round-table session leader, “Veteran Educators,” and “About the Design Educators Community,” October
• Kookmin University, Seoul, Korea, Department of Visual Communication Design: Visiting artist lecture, September
• University of Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu, Japan, Faculty Exchange program: Week-long course, “Way Out West: American Graphic Design 1776–now,” August
• Spaces of Learning: AIGA Design Education Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada: co-round-table leader: “For Future Administrators: the Business of Design Advocacy on University Campuses,” February

• Central Michigan University Art Department, Mount Pleasant MI: lecture and design criticism workshop, November
• Head, Heart, Hand: AIGA National Design Conference, Minneapolis MN: round-table leader, “Academic journals,” October

• Here and Now Design Conference, Phoenix Design Week, Phoenix AZ: keynote presentation

• College Art Association Annual Conference, New York NY, panel, “What’s art got to do with it? design writing in the twenty-first century,”: paper, “Implosure”

• Maryland Institute College of Art, Graphic Design MFA Program, thesis critic
• New Contexts / New Practices, AIGA Design Educators Conference/AIGA-Raleigh, North Carolina State University: co-author, “Social economies: enterprise and a new cultural geography”
• Designing Designing: Examining how we do what we do, UCDA Design Education Summit, University of Kansas, Lawrence Kansas : paper, “First, Class”
• Design, community, and the rhetoric of authenticity, North Carolina State University College of Design biennial graduate symposium: panelist, “New kids, sell outs, and celebrity suicides”

• UCDA Design Educators Summit, Northern Illinois University: panelist, “Gettin’ R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the academy: what constitutes graphic design research”

• Intent/Content: AIGA design education conference, Nashville TN: paper, “The graphic equalizer”

• University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign: visiting artist for art and design program

• Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills MI: visiting artist/critic for 2D design program
• College Art Association Annual Conference, Seattle WA, panel, “Not-design, not-art: crafting and naming an interdisciplinary curriculum”: paper, “Indiscipline”

• Design: Refining our knowledge: International graphic design education conference, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN: paper, “Professional suicide”
• Montserrat College of Art, Beverly MA: visiting artist/critic

• Voice: AIGA National Design Conference, Washington DC: exhibitor, “Adversary”
• College Art Association Annual Conference, panel, “Fine design: can art be design and design be art?” Philadelphia PA: paper, “Dissolve/reveal”

• Montserrat College of Art: visiting artist/instructor in design

• Massachusetts College of Art: Visiting Artist, graduate seminar

• DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln MA: children’s workshop leader

• Art Focus Corporate Art Lecture and Exhibition Series: artist/lecturer

• Haverhill Alternative School, Haverhill MA: visiting artist/exhibitor

Exhibitions (curating and organizing)
Mount: Baron & Ellin Gordon Art Galleries, Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA: curator

Repurposes: Baron & Ellin Gordon Art Galleries, Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA: co-curator with Garland Kirkpatrick

Stefan Sagmeister: a graphic designer: Baron & Ellin Gordon Art Galleries, Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA: co-curator with Jiwon Lee

Emigre in Norfolk, Old Dominion University Gallery, Norfolk VA: curator

Adversary: an exhibition (of) contesting graphic design, touring exhibition: curator
Loyola University, Colins C. Diboll Gallery, New Orleans, LA (March 2004)
University of Iowa Design Gallery, Iowa City, IA (October 2003)
Montserrat College of Art, Beverly MA (November 2002)
Old Dominion University Gallery (August 2002)
AIGA National Design Conference, Washington D.C. (March 2002)
Zero Station, Portland, ME (May 2001)
Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth (April 2001)

LWD: MassArt alumni/æ in 3D fine arts, Main Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art: organizer

MASSART’S MASSARTS: MassArt alumni/æ in communication and industrial design, North Hall Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art: co-organizer

Exhibitions (participating)
Yards Work!, Bolívar Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
• Fresh Produced: Exploring the Craft of Hand-Painted Signage, Chicago Design Museum, Chicago, IL

I WANT TO BELIEVE: Bolivar Cafe and Gallery, Santa Monica CA
The Kenneth FitzGerald album »extended play« (solo exhibition): Baron & Ellin Gordon Art Galleries, Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA

NOT FOR PROFIT: Designers responding to social issues: Laband Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles CA

Outside in: 301 Gallery, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA; Red Door Gallery,
Detroit MI

Outside in: HallSpace Gallery, Boston MA
Form\inform: The Goldstein Museum of Design, Minneapolis MN

Selections from 22nd annual “100 Show,” American Center for Design, Chicago IL (touring)

Take cover/take over: Dietrich von Bueler Gallery, Boston MA
All system go: University of Minnesota Duluth art & design faculty exhibition: Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth MN

Aerosol (solo exhibition): Tweed Museum of Art
Y2K?: Robert Clements Gallery, Portland ME

The 1998 UMD art faculty biennial exhibition: Tweed Museum of Art
Tools and toys: University Art Gallery, Central Michigan University,
Mt. Pleasant MI

One-eleven: Huntington Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art

Midway: Huntington Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art

Transformers: Alumni•æ Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art

SELF-aMUSEd: the contemporary artist as observer & observed: Fitchburg Art
Museum, Fitchburg MA

Inventory (solo exhibition): Laura Knott Gallery, Bradford College, Bradford MA
9 artists/9 visions: DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln MA
The twelfth annual Boston drawing show: Boston Center for the Arts
Mark Cooper & Kenneth FitzGerald: New England Biolabs, Beverly MA

Read the sky for signs of snow: Alchemie Gallery, Boston
A multicultural valentine: Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center
Kenneth FitzGerald & Judy Ryan: ADD, Cambridge MA

Artificeeditionissue (solo exhibition): Atlanta College of Art Library, Atlanta GA
The tenth annual Boston drawing show: Boston Center for the Arts

A homebody’s home (solo exhibition): The Young Artist’s Gallery, Haverhill MA
Vernon Street at Brickbottom: Brickbottom Gallery, Somerville MA

I don’t know much about art but I know what I like (with Marcella Stasa & Boris Bally): Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge MA

The Seventh Annual Boston Drawing Show: Boston Center for the Arts, Boston MA

Elements of Landscape: Boston University Art Gallery, Boston MA

• The Goldstein Museum of Design, Minneapolis Minnesota
• The Museum of Modern Art/Franklin Furnace/Artist Book Collection
• Atlanta College of Art Library
• Massachusetts College of Art Foundation
• New England Biolabs
• Charrette Corporation
• private collections in Minnesota, New England and New York