Ingrid Hess is an assistant professor of graphic design in the Art & Design Department at UMass Lowell. She is also a children’s book writer and illustrator. She received her undergraduate degree at Goshen College and her M.F.A. in graphic design with a concentration in the book arts from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Ingrid has worked in the publishing industry since 1996. After earning her terminal degree she spent 13 years in Chicago working in book design. Her first job was helping with exhibition design at the Chicago Children’s Museum. Later she headed the book division at Kym Abrams Design. While there she designed many of the American Girl books. Her book, "The Care and Keeping of You: A Body Book for Girls" was featured in Time magazine. Finally she worked in the textbook industry for Holt-McDougall. Her academic teaching includes a visiting Assistant Professorship at The University of Notre Dame, starting a Design Program at the College @ Brockport,SUNY, and joining the faculty at UMass Lowell in the fall of 2014.
The simplicity in Hess’s work is heavily influenced by her Amish/Mennonite heritage; the bright colors and patterns are inspired by art from Costa Rica (her childhood home for four years). Her dual passions of design and illustration work well together and help her tell stories through pictures. Her scholarship focuses on Design for the Common Good. In her work Hess has addressed peace, economic justice, diversity, environmental issues, literacy and education. Her work empowers children’s to understand that they can make a difference.
Ingrid is an accomplished children’s book writer and illustrator. Her titles "Sleep in Peace" and "Doodling Dragons" both won national awards. Ingrid also understands how critical it is that all types of children are represented in the books they read. Historically children’s books have not done a good job depicting diversity. This problem is slowly beginning to change. Ingrid is part of this change.