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ellen bruss

Ellen Bruss

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ELLEN BRUSS DESIGN
DENVER CO

I was born in Cedarburg WI, a small picturesque town north of Milwaukee. I did virtually every art and craft growing up, including redesigning my cursive, to the puzzlement of my much older brothers and parents. I studied under Joseph Kuszai at Michigan State earning a BFA with an emphasis in Graphic Design. I loved the very Bauhaus program. After graduating from MSU, I moved quickly to Colorado, a state with a milder climate. I worked in design at a natural foods store, and then in rock n' roll for a number of years. I also freelanced for agencies and design firms, large and small. In 1990, I had enough clients to go on my own and hire a designer. My firm, EBD, now has eight employees and specializes in retail; real estate; and cultural work in all aspects of design from naming, brand, collateral, packaging, web, environmental, and some interior and holiday design programs. I am on the advisory board of AIGA Colorado, and am a past board member and current volunteer for the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver.

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THOUGHTS ON THE
STATE OF GRAPHIC DESIGN

I feel optimistic about design. It is becoming mainstream in retail and the consumer has come to expect it. We now want (and can have) both function and beauty. Clients and retailers who support design are being rewarded by broader society so clients are eager to embrace design. There is also a lot more cross-pollination with what design means. We’ve recently done showroom layouts and interiors, which was a unique opportunity to keep the brand consistent. I see more of that happening in the coming years.

Favorite Color?
Prada Blue

Favorite Typeface?
Bodoni

Favorite App?
Slate

Favorite TV Show?
Girls

Favorite Book?
To Kill a Mockingbird

Favorite Movies?
Nebraska, Pulp Fiction, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Favorite Musician or Band?
Iggy Pop, Jack White, Charlotte Gainbourg

Favorite Fine Artist?
I'm a collector, I can't pick just one: Eduardo Sarabia, Gonzalo LeBrija, Federico Solmi, Adam Milner, Stephen Batura, David Zimmer.

Favorite Gadget?
All of them

Bookmarked Websites?
Too many to list

Talent You Wished You Possessed?
Musical

Greatest Strength as a Designer?
Fussiness

Biggest Weakness as a Designer?
Not knowing when to stop being fussy

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