I’m Alexshe/they, a graphic designer, artist, and educator in Chicago.



I specialize in editorial design, brand identities, and illustration for print, digital, and built spaces. Parallel to my independent practice, I lead the publishing imprint of a contemporary art gallery. (What can I say? I love what I do.)

Design is a process of discovery. Research and collaborative conversations drive my approach to client projects. Synthesizing germane perspectives and ideas, I build out playful, expressive concepts. The result is design that is as diligently crafted as it is empathetic and insightful.

I consider design a map to other viewpoints, other worlds. I’m especially drawn to projects that tell a meaningful story, and I constantly investigate story as a tactile experience that opens eyes, bridges people, and fosters understanding.

My self-initiated projects explore intersections of design, poetry, and comics.

tenderly, is the moniker of my self-publishing practice.

Using poetic and reimagined text and image, visual structures of comics, and conceptually driven forms, I tell pared-down stories that point to the personal and the primordial. Their sparse content asks for interlinear reading—for the reader to navigate the liminal space between figurative and abstract, and between express and unspoken.

Like knots, my books resist unravelling, complicating how we understand the self, with its hidden parts and possibilities; our connections with others; and the tensions in our relationship with various realities. Along these themes, I’ve explored myth-making, the role of language in intimacy and magic, types of distance, absence, and identity.

My work been in several fairs and group exhibitions, including the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, LA Art Book Fair, and Chicago Art Book Fair, and is collected in the Joan Flasch Artist’s Book Collection, Chicago Zine Collection at the University of Chicago Library, Zine & Comics Collection at the MassArt Library, Decker Library at MICA, and National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, among others.

My teaching focuses on storytelling through conceptually driven design.

I teach courses on design fundamentals and narrative at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I received an MFA in Visual Communication Design. Really, I’ve always loved stories—I have a BA in English literature from the University of Chicago. I emphasize the critical consideration of subject matter, themes, motifs, and language, their translation into visual elements and nuanced design, and ways that readers interact with content.

My areas of interest include graphic design as a type of magic, design-like creative writing methodologies, and the special relationship of materiality, structure, and content in artist’s books. I’m fascinated, too, by immersive narratives and participatory reading experiences.

I’m happy to give talks and workshops, especially on design and comics. Just write me and share your ideas.




Good things begin with a message.


Contact

For all inquiries and opportunities, please tell me about yourself and what you have in mind, including a rough timeline (if you have one).

I’ll get back to you soon.

  ︎

Output

Publications
Branding & Identity
Illustration
Print Design
Website Design
Advertising
Placemaking & Signage
Editing


Experience

Over the past decade+, folks I’ve worked with include
Atlanta University Center-wide Symphony Orchestra
Clark Atlanta University Art Museum
Flaten Art Museum
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
Zuckerman Museum of Art
Iceberg Projects
Filter Photo Festival
Third Coast International Festival
D-lux Denim Brand
Ninja Monk
Varca, a Bridal Atelier
Featherproof Books
Rescue Press
Chicago Tribune
Quiltfolk
University of Chicago Society of Fellows in the Humanities
and artists, creatives, independent consultants, and writers

Further Work

tenderly,




Thank you for reading.
︎