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Kelsey Elder

Assistant Professor

Kelsey Elder is a designer and artist whose studio practice investigates the overlaps of car culture, signage, and strip mall landscapes as space making practices and perpetuators of contemporary conditions in American graphic design. 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. Aiding in a compulsive habit to document signage worldwide, Elder runs a lifestyle and clothing company, Lowered Values, and spends summers traveling the country to sponsor car shows with LV’s pop-up shop and a variety of custom cars/motorcycles LV has built… Founded in 2013, Lowered Values has grown to include two garage/retail spaces located in Minneapolis and outside of Chicago… And has been internationally recognized for builds–with features most recently published in Performance VW Magazine, SpeedHunters, and Canibeat. 

In addition to running his business, Elder’s practice includes lettering, typeface design, large-scale vinyl signage installations, branding, and publication design. His client list includes Rhymesayers Entertainment, Fifth Element, Cranbrook Art Museum, and Open Road Tuning, and he has been recognized in various publications and and shown work in various galleries including the Cranbrook Art Museum, and Reverb Gallery. Most recently, he was named ‘Designer-To-Watch’ by GD USA, and ‘Fresh Blood’ by AIGA. He has lectured at The New School, Mercedes-Benz, University of Texas, Boston University, and for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts. In addition to teaching, he enjoys hosting lettering and type workshops for community groups, and most recently hosted a Pink Elephant Session on lettering sponsored by the AIGA in Richmond, Virginia.