Alma Hoffmann

Alma Hoffmann

Assistant Professor
Graphic Design


M.F.A., Iowa State University
B.A., University of Puerto Rico

Alma Hoffmann is a bilingual design educator, designer, artist, and author. Her book, Sketching as Design Thinking discusses the history and relevance of sketching in the design process featuring interviews with current designers in a variety of disciplines and exercises. Her work involves combining analog and digital tools to maximize the visual impact and strength of the work she produces. As an avid letterer and calligrapher, her work has garnered her international recognition. Her most recent award included being selected among the Best 100 artworks of 2021 by Creative Quarterly, an international juried publication focusing in fine arts, graphic design, illustration, and photography. Her interest in writing about design has led her to become the editor of the design section at Smashing Magazine. This work has also involved editing design and UX design books published by Smashing Magazine.


• Sketching as Design Thinking (Routledge, 2019)

• Hoffmann, A. (2022). Typographic Hierarchies. Smashing Magazine, 40.
• Hoffmann, A. (2022). The Empowered Program. Message Graphic Communication Design Research, 5(Special C-19 Edition), 20-23.
• Hoffmann, A. (2019). “Alma Hoffmann on passion projects and publishing her book” AIGA Mobile, AL.
• Hoffmann, A. (2017). Left-Handed Brush Lettering: How To Get Started. Smashing Magazine. https://

• Hoffmann, A. (2016). “Imágenes, lenguaje, y símbolos en una mente bilingüe” La Palabra (8).
• Hoffmann, A., (2016). Brush Lettering: It Only Gets Better After Practice (Part 2). Smashing Magazine.
• Hoffmann, A. (2016). Brush Lettering: It Only Gets Better After Practice (Part 1). Smashing Magazine.
• Hoffmann, A. (2015). “Sketching and the mindful designer.” The International Journal of Design Education, CG Publishers.
• Hoffmann, A. (2013). “The City of Ethnos.” The International Journal of Design in Society, CG Publishers.
• Hoffmann, A., (2012). Drawing Pictures All Day. Smashing Magazine.
• Hoffmann, A. (2012) “Culture, society and politics interpreted through a designer’s bilingual filter. The City of Ethnos: my filter” Athens: ATINER’S Conference Paper Series, No: ART2012-0077.
• Hoffmann, A. (2011). “The benefits and perils of working as a subcontracted designer.”
Web log post. WeGraphics. Web. <>.
• Hoffmann, A. (2010). Finding Alternative Sources Of Typographic Layout In Our Surroundings. Smashing Magazine.

• 2023: Alphabet. Literary Arts Review Annual Juried Issue. Seahill Publishers.
• 2023 & 2022: Alphabet, Artistic Excellence, Circle Foundation for the Arts.
• 2022: Micah 4. Liturgical and Sacred Art. Springhill Art Association, Springhill, IL
• 2022: Poster Watch, Wave, Wait, Merit award, iJungle.
• 2022: Type Calendar, Honorable Mention, Creative Quarterly 67
• 2022: Micah 4, Honorable Mention, Creative Quarterly 66
• 2021: 100 Best Artworks, Creative Quarterly.
• 2021: Micah 4 Best of show. Online show: Design and Composition Exhibition. A collection of work.
juried by Rodrick Whetstone, The In Art Gallery, Illinois, US.
• 2022, 2021, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009 & 2008 American Graphic Design Award.
• 2011: Career Education Corporation Teaching Award, Harrington College of Design (Five finalists from
5,000 educators nominated).

Courses taught
• ARS 123 Two Dimensional Design
• ARS 271 Introduction to Graphic Design
• ARS 272 Typography
• ARS 372 Printing Processes
• ARS 374 Publications
• ARS 373 Identity Systems
• ARS 375 Digital Design
• ARS 472 Senior Studio
• ARS 473 Web Design
• ARS 479 Business Practices
• ARS 488 Graphic Design Senior Thesis
• ARS 490/590 Special Topics Lettering
• ARS 496 Graphic Design Internship
• ARS 499 Honors Graphic Design Senior Thesis
• ARS 570 Graduate Studio
• ARS 571 Advanced Typography
• ARS 572 Divergent Research Methods