The Muriel Cooper Memorial Design Fund

Established in 2017, the Cooper Memorial Design Fund supports the production of titles in precisely these fields, enabling what is often previously unseen or uncovered visual material to be reproduced according to the highest possible standards, and to imbue the other graphic components of a book—its format, paper, typography, binding, and overall tactility—with a similar richness.

We hope the fund will appeal to anyone with a vested interest in—or even just an affinity for—a beautifully designed publication. Our ambition is that the generosity of our donors will extend and reinforce Muriel Cooper’s legacy, and that the book itself continues to be an object that inspires affection and delight.

Remembering Muriel Cooper

Muriel Cooper

Muriel Cooper (1925–1994) was a pioneering graphic designer and a key figure not just in the promotion and absorption of European design into the US, but in the elucidation of a new, wholly modern American design language. She had a longstanding relationship with the MIT Press, working first for our predecessor, the Office of Publications, and later becoming its first design director. In this capacity she was responsible for the graphic design of over 500 separate titles, many of which continue to distinguish the bookcases of the world’s finest art and architectural libraries, and display a simultaneously cutting-edge approach to design while honoring a far older tradition of producing books with artistry and care.

The spine of every MIT Press publication still bears the colophon she designed, a set of seven bars mimicking the vertical strokes of the letters mitp that was recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for their collection of iconic graphic design. And we follow in Cooper's footsteps through the attention given to the design and production of all of the Press’s books and journals—especially those that touch upon the disciplines closest to her own: art, design, architecture, and visual culture.

Cooper also founded the Visible Language Workshop in the ‘70s  to explore the integration of design and production—how giving designers access to the tools of production ultimately affects content. Where, as she said, the content and technology inform each other, and where the author becomes the maker. This legacy continues today in the now burgeoning field of AI design.




Browse recent publications supported by the Cooper Memorial Design Fund:

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, John Tancock, Stephanie H. Tung

February 19, 2019

Muriel Cooper

David Reinfurt, Robert Wiesenberger, Nicholas Negroponte, Lisa Strausfeld

September 22, 2017

Master of the Two Left Feet

Richard Meyer

September 13, 2022


Kat Mustatea, Charlotte Kent, Arielle Saiber

August 22, 2023

Are you interested in directing a major gift to an area of interest, or making a planned gift? Contact MIT Press Director and Publisher Amy Brand, at