DK Holland

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DK (Deborah Katherine) Holland (born March 26, 1947, Metuchen, New Jersey) is an American graphic designer, writer and educator who, besides working on independent projects, spends much of her career writing, teaching about graphic design, Design thinking and ethics.

Holland was named Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Kansas in 1995 and taught in the masters program at Syracuse University and was Visiting Professor of Graphic Design at Pratt Institute in 1990 and 2011. She taught Ethics in the MFA Design in Social Innovation program at the School of Visual Arts in 2013. She wrote for Communication Arts Magazine from 1990 - 2013 mainly in a column she named Design Issues.

She was awarded a lifetime achievement from The Graphic Artists Guild for her work in professional practice. She helped create the National Graphic Artists Guild 1979–83 and developed its handbook Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. She is included in Richard Saul Wurman's book Who's Really Who: The 1000 Most Creative Minds in America.

Holland is co-founder and partner with Monica Snellings in Inquiring Minds, a national consultancy which collaborates with K-12 teachers and their students to promote inquiry in the classroom.

Holland lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York where she is a community activist and co-founder of the Greene Hill Food Co-op, a 100% working co-op. She co-founded and ran The Hill, the Journal of Fort Greene Clinton Hill and Wallabout which she published for 25 years and which is archived at the Brooklyn Historical Society. She is an active Quaker and a member of Brooklyn Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Her older sister Cecelia Holland is a historical novelist.


Holland graduated from Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, Connecticut in 1965, Dean Junior College in 1967 and Parsons School of Design/ The New School in 1970.

Books by DK Holland[edit]

Branding for Nonprofits: Developing Identity with Integrity (Allworth Press, 2007)

Design Issues, editor, Writer and Art Director (Rockport/Allworth, 2002)

Marketing By Design, Author and Art Director, with Cheryl Lewin (Rockport/Allworth, 1995)

Graphic Design: New York (Volumes 1 and 2), Organizer and Co-Art Director, with Michael Bierut and William Drenttel (Rockport/Allworth, 1992, 1995)

Graphic Design: America (Volumes 1 and 2), Organizer and Co-Art Director, with Michael Bierut and William Drenttel (Rockport, 1992, 1995)

Looking Closer (Volumes 1 and 2), co-Editor, with Steven Heller, Michael Bierut and William Drenttel (Rockport/Allworth Press, 1992, 1995)

Design in Depth, Co-Organizer and Co-Art Director, with Roger Whitehouse (Rockport/Allworth, 1993)

Great Package Design (Volumes 1 and Volume 2), Author and Art Director, with Cheryl Lewin (Rockport/Allworth, 1991,1993)

Signs and Spaces, Organizer and Co-Art Director, with Roger Whitehouse (Rockport/Allworth, 1992)

Articles by DK Holland[edit]

Designing Women, parts 1 and 2 Communication Arts, 2013

Cooperative, parts 1–3 Communication Arts, 2012

Boogie Men Communication Arts, 2011

Tiny Miracles Communication Arts, 2012

Uncommon Sense Communication Arts, 2012

Learning to be Happy (parts 1 and 2) Communication Arts, 2011

"Tiny Miracles" Communication Arts, 2011

"Boogie Men" Communication Arts, 2011

"Being Human" Communication Arts, 2010

"Thinking in Systems Design and Otherwise, parts 1 and 2 Communication Arts, 2010

"Where Our Wild Things Are, parts 1 and 2" Communication Arts, 2010

"Bringing Hope Back to Design" Communication Arts, 2009

“Knock on Wood" Communication Arts, 2007

“Deceit of Packaging" Communication Arts, 2008

Capture Your Imagination, Communication Arts, 2008

Disobey the Giant: The Post Graffiti Art Movement, Communication Arts, 2007

“Reweaving the Web" written with Ben Whitehouse Communication Arts, 2006

“TED: This is not a Conference” Communication Arts, 2005

“A Blind Man Juggles: A Deaf Woman Plays the Vibes. The 2003 TED Conference: Reasons for Hope” Communication Arts, 2003

“Meme Machine, The Annual Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference Stimulates and Promulgates New Ideas About the World” Communication Arts, 2002

“Paranoia: How to Get Some if You Don’t Have Any Already” Communication Arts, 1997

“Root of the Problem" Communication Arts, 1995

“The Designer and Client Partnership" Communication Arts, 1995

“Anatomy of a Graphic Designer" AIGA Journal, 1994

“Four Contemporary Japanese Designers" Communication Arts, 1994

“Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns: One Designer’s View of the 1993 AIGA National Conference” Communication Arts, 1994

“Speaking Volumes: The Crying Need for Writings on Graphic Design” AIGA Journal, 1993

“The Merchandising Designers” Communication Arts, 1993

“Alternative Toys: Ninja Turtles Go Home!” Print Magazine, 1992

“Graphic Design Education: Struggling Through those Awkward Teenage Years” Communication Arts, 1992

“Think First, Design Later, How Market Research is Affecting the Evolution of Graphic Design" Communication Arts, 1992

“Graphic Design, An Unprotected Frontier of Intellectual Property” Design Management Journal, 1991

“91% of All Americans Lie Regularly" AIGA Journal, 1991

“How Bad is Bad? And How to Make It Better" AIGA Journal, 1990

External links[edit]