Thomas Starr is Professor of graphic and information design in the Department of Art + Design at Northeastern University. Professor Starr’s work focuses on visual communication that engages civic, social and political discourse, challenging the public perception of issues such as gun violence, domestic violence, reproductive rights and climate change. He strives to expose this aspect of design—occurring at the intersection of graphic design and freedom of speech—to students, designers, academics and to a broad public. His work takes many forms—designing, writing and curating.
Through a longstanding relationship with Yale University Press, Professor Starr forwards the academic mission of the university through his book jacket designs that expand dissemination of scholarly texts to the lay public. Underlying his visual work, his research into the typography, printing and dissemination of the Declaration of Independence links the responsibility of design to the fundamentals of democracy.
His design work has been published in the US, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland and Japan and honored by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society for Environmental Graphic Design, the Association of American University Presses, the Art Directors Club of New York, the International Biennale of Graphic Design in Brno, the International Poster Biennale in Warsaw, the International Poster Festival in Chaumont, and the Federal Design Council. His designs are in the collections of the Zurich Design Museum and the Library of Congress.
Professor Starr earned an MFA in graphic design from Yale School of Art and a BFA in industrial design from Parsons School of Design. Before coming to Northeastern, he founded a graphic design firm in New York City and taught at RISD and MassArt.