Kelsey Elder is an educator and typographer whose practice investigates letterforms as sites of significance, and whose research argues for these sites as culturally important epicenters for queerness, subversion, and dissent. Hailing from the true North (Detroit by way of Minneapolis), he grew up grazing cold knuckles while wrenching away in the garage on cars and motorcycles. He is an avid petrol head and owner of a small lifestyle company and custom car garage called Lowered Values.
He is currently an Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Carnegie Mellon University, and has taught prior at the Rhode Island School of Design, Purchase College of the State University of New York, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Cranbrook Summer Art Institute. His research has been presented and published through various venues including at Herb Lubalin Lecture Series 2022, TypeCon 2019, the Geffen Contemporary, The New School, Mercedes-Benz, Boston University, and the University of Texas. He loves collaborating with clients and community partners on freelance projects. He has most recently worked on creating custom OpenType features for Spatial Labs, a logotype for Coterie, an identity for Dinner With Strangers, and with CrossFit on developing numerous competition identities and experiences for their gym affiliates owners and members.
Kelsey received his BFA in Graphic Design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, his MFA in 2d-Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and is a graduate of the Typeface Design Intensive at the University of Reading.