Miriam Ahmed, MFA, PhD

Publications & Research

Minority, Millennial Graphic Designers Say No to the ‘Road to Hell’

2019. Design and Culture 12(1): 31-55


Perspectives On Responsible Design Among Minority, Millennial Graphic Designers

2018. The International Journal of Design in Society 12(4): 29-44


Minority Designers – Leading the Charge Toward Responsible Design

in Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility, 2nd edition, Steve Heller and Véronique Vienne. Allworth Press, 2018.



Dr. Miriam Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of graphic design at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, appointed to the Mason Korea campus for spring-fall 2024. She delivered the Beatrice Warde Memorial Lecture for the St Bride Foundation in 2020, presented at ATypI 2020 and TypeCon 2019, and was an AIGA DC SHINE 2019-20 mentor. She has taught graphic design at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, MICA, Howard University, and at the American University in Dubai, UAE.

She is the author of “Minority, Millennial Graphic Designers Say No to the ‘Road to Hell’” in Design and Culture 12(1): 31-55 (2020), “Perspectives On Responsible Design Among Minority, Millennial Graphic Designers The International Journal of Design in Society12(4): 29-44 (2018), and the essay “Minority Designers – Leading the Charge Toward Responsible Design” in Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility (Second Edition) edited by Steven Heller and Véronique Vienne (2018, Allworth Press with SVA NYC). Dr. Ahmed served as a reviewer on the Broward County Cultural Division Citizen  Review Panel, the Advisory Review Panel for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and also for the International Journal of Communication and Design Principles and Practices. She facilitated the Q&A after Antionette Carroll’s DC Design Week keynote in October 2019 and was a panelist at Howard University's "Incentivizing Responsible Design: What Makes It Worth It?" discussion.

Dr. Ahmed's Sandology series is on exhibit at the Potomac Science Center (April 5 - August 23, 2024). She co-curated the 2020 virtual 3D exhibitions in the Department of Art at Howard University. Her work has been exhibited in the annual Howard University Department of Art Faculty Exhibitions (2014-2020) and as Howard faculty, Dr. Ahmed regularly served on graduate MFA thesis committees. Her courses include Graphic Design, Typography, Professional Print Design, Design for Advertising, Magazine and News Design, Web Development and Interactive Media, Desktop Web Publishing, 2D Design, Color Theory and Computer Graphics.

Dr. Ahmed's award-winning design students have earned national and international acclaim. They've brought home multiple GDUSA graphic design and packaging awards, as well as gold and bronze Indigo design awards for projects completed in her courses. Her students have been featured as GDUSA Students to Watch for consecutive years, interned at Pentagram with Michael Beirut and Eddie Opara, and several have published their own books while in undergrad.

Dr. Ahmed completed Harvard CORe, earned her doctorate in Mass Communications and Media Studies at Howard University, Washington DC, and received her BFA and MFA in Graphic Design at Howard. She was also a Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Rising Star. Her research interests include responsible design, typeface persona, and visual communication in politics. Her dissertation investigated the use of Gotham in Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Dr. Ahmed’s design portfolio encompasses a wide variety of print media ranging from corporate branding, publication design, to event branding and promotion, as well as website design and development. For over six years, Dr. Ahmed served as Webmaster and designer within the largest academic unit of Howard University implementing creative intelligence and best practices into innovative print and web solutions. She was lead designer with several client organizations in the DC area including the Embassy of Jamaica and the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago. Early in her career, as an intern at Lonsdale, Saatchi & Saatchi, she worked on campaigns for Absolut and Hilton. She has recently begun interrogating the heavy indoctrination of modernism within her previous graphic work in favor of exploring and teaching culturally diverse and relevant typography and grid systems.

Her acrylic and mixed media on canvas pieces celebrate and showcase sand from beaches all over the globe. Her recent Sandology series explores juxtaposing the sands from various beaches and what emerges is the ability to see in contrast the breadth of hues and textures and composition of the sands – some dark, some light, some very soft and powdery, and others shelly and rough.

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Ahmed is a globe trotter and values immersion in unfamiliar cultures. She has traveled from Egypt to Europe, Mideast to Japan, Southeast Asia and throughout the US and Caribbean, and hasn’t seen near enough of the world yet.

So is that logo a flower?

Well, no. It's actually a vegetable - a head of lettuce to be exact.
The icon represents layers of fresh, crisp, clean creativity. A head of ideas.