Karyn Jimenez-Elliott

Associate Professor

JWU Faculty Since 2008

JWU Associate Professor Karyn Jimenez - Elliott

Contact Info


After receiving a BFA in Graphic Design from Moore College of Art & Design as well as an MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning & Design from University of the Arts, I've spent the last 20+ years actively engaged in the design industry. During that time, I've also served as an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Johnson & Wales University since 2007.

As a freelance designer I take on a variety of clients, from political organizations and international companies to small local clients. I continually donate my design services to numerous domestic and international animal rescue organizations, most recently established my own non-profit, The Greyson Hound Foster Fund. My organization was conceived out of the continual need to help families and organizations fostering rescued sighthounds. We help in providing additional funding for medical needs, or transportation costs to get these hounds to a safe place.

Whether animal welfare or social justice, I’m passionate about design for social impact. I often find myself designing in response to current global events. Some people write and that’s how they flesh out their emotions, design is my version of that, and many of my projects are my personal responses to global and societal issues. I believe it is crucial for people, regardless of their skillset, to strive to be part of something larger than just themselves… and to use their talent to create positive change.


  • M.F.A., University of the Arts
  • B.F.A., Moore College of Art & Design

I really love watching students grow in the program, grow as individuals and grow as designers.

Scholarly Interests

Branding, Book Design, Logotype Design, Museum Exhibition Planning and Design, Typography


Professional Affiliations

'The Gravity of Typography': Exploring Type Across Various Design Mediums
Cognella Academic Publishing 2023



  • "The Gravity of Typography features a refreshing look at the importance of typography as a key element in graphic design. The topics included in the book cover a wide range of areas from branding to digital design. As described by the author, Karyn Jimenez-Elliott, as the “anti-textbook,” the written information contained is concise and complemented by incredible examples of designs created by artists ranging from professional graphic designers to students of design. The hand-written accent notes paired with the imagery allows for targeted references making this text easily navigable. The collection of designers and their designs are exceptional! Jimenez-Elliott’s curation of projects to highlight are a credit to her, not only as a practicing graphic designer but as a design professor. The projects included in this text are for designers of all levels to engage in, whether you are a designer that is just starting out or for designers needing to refresh their own portfolios. The Gravity of Typography stands out among the hum drum standard texts for typography by focusing on basics of type design, but also providing how-to’s that excite the reader and motivate them to want to use type in exciting ways. This book is a must-have for any designer! • Deana Marzocchi, Chair/Associate Professor at Johnson & Wales University, and AIGA Design Educators Committee Member"

Q&A with Karyn

What Is Your Favorite Teaching Moment?

When I witness that exact moment where things just click for the student, and you realize that you've helped them reach their potential. You see the pride they have in themselves and for the work they have created.

What Advice Do You Have For Incoming Freshmen?

1 - Don’t be so hard on yourself. There is a lot we can’t control in the world, but how we treat ourselves is something we do have control over.

2 - Be confident and always be willing to learn.

3 - There will always be someone that is better at what you do. Don’t be discouraged by it, use it as inspiration & motivation. Identify ways you can improve while still being you, and do your best.

4 -Show up! Prepared, passionate, and on-time.

5 -Diversify your portfolio… vary up your color palettes, fonts, aesthetic, deliverables and target audience. Don’t pigeonhole yourself.

6 -Be open to constructive criticism and don’t take it personally.

7 - You will learn more from your perceived failures than your successes. Trust me.

8 - Let go of absolute perfection. Embrace the motto of “imperfectly, perfect.”