Visual Arts Faculty
Laura Coombs is a graphic designer and creative director in New York. She holds a B. Arch from Cornell University and an MFA in Graphic Design from the Yale School of Art, 2017. Since 2017, Coombs has been the head of design at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, designing and producing all museum printed matter, advertisements, exhibition design, artist collaborations, and special ephemeral objects. She is responsible for the design strategy, execution, and re-shaping of the overall institutional identity and also regularly collaborates with New Museum affiliates Rhizome and New Inc to reimagine their program identities online and in print. Coombs is the in-house design director for the environmental wayfinding system within the New Museum’s new OMA-designed building, opening in 2024.
Coombs founded her own design studio in 2017, designing books, publications, identities, and objects, in collaboration with artists, architects, and researchers. Interested in the material technology of books and the politics of publication, she has collaborated with institutions including Harvard GSD and Columbia GSAPP, and with publishers including Columbia University Press, Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, Yale University Press, Damiani, Park Books, and Phaidon. Her books can be found in library collections around the world, including the Werkplaats Typografie, the New York Public Library, New Museum Archive, Southland Institute, Harvard University Library, Yale University Haas Special Collections, and the Cornell University Fine Arts Library. Her work has been recognized with honors from the AIGA, Type Director’s Club, Art Director’s Club, the Center for Book Arts, the Brno Biennial, and the Yale School of Art.
Coombs has lectured, led workshops, and acted as critic at institutions across the country, including the Yale School of Art, Werkplaats Typografie, Cooper Union, Columbia University GSAPP, ArtCenter, Southland Institute, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, California College of the Arts, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, MICA, SUNY Purchase, and USC’s Roski School. She has taught thesis and interactive design at Pratt Institute since 2017. Coombs began teaching at Princeton in 2019.
On January 1, 2020, Coombs formed CSS, Inc.—a collaborative strategic entity—with Laurel Schwulst and Mindy Seu. CSS consults for corporations and institutions and maintains its own internal collaborative research practice within areas of interest including the web, gifts, citation, and publishing.