Departmental Philosophy
Artist In Residence
Current Student Work





I Too Like David

I too like David chase white whale, with pitch fork and pick axe and sling shot

24"x36" Offset Lithography



Sling Shot Logo



Eye Sling Shot Lions Logo



Investigate the importance of writing in critique, and within the discourse





2D Design Contact Information

Elliott Earls
Designer in Residence 2D Department
39221 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Studio Phone:248.645.3083

Contact Elliott via email...
Go to Elliott's studio web site...


The portrait of Elliott Earls in green pants was taken by 2D Cranbrook graduate student Monica Breen, see more of her work at


Designer in Residence Elliott Earls

Elliott Earls was appointed Designer in Residence and Head of the 2D Design Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in July 2001. Upon g;raduation from Cranbrook in 1993, Earls's experimentation with nonlinear digital video, spoken word poetry, music composition and design led him to form the Apollo Program. The Apollo Program's commercial clients include Elektra Entertainment, Nonesuch Records, Scribner Publishing C., Elemond Casabella (Itlay), The Cartoon Network (U.K.), Imaginary Forces, Polygram Classics and Jazz, The Voyager Company and Janus Films. His commercial work includes two television commercials for the Cartoon Network in the United Kingdom as well as an interactive documentary on the work of Frank Gehry for Casabella in Italy. As a typographer, his original type design is distributed worldwide by Emigre Inc. Earls's posters entitled "The Conversion of Saint Paul", "throwing Apples at the Sun,""The Temptation of Saint Wolfgang" and "She a Capulet" are part of the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Earls's latest enhanced CD/poster package was recently added to the Cooper-Hewitt's research file.

In May of 2002, Earls in association with Emigre Inc. released "Catfish," a 55-minute film on DVD. "Catfish" traces Earls work from the lab to the stage in a highly manipulated digital film incorporating, animation, stop motion photography, drawing, typography and live action into a seamless performance documentary. Earls was profiled in 2002 by Eye, Print and Punk Planet magazines. As a performance artist, Earls was awarded an Emerging Artist grant by Manhattan's prestigous Wooster Group. He was a features performer at the Wooster Group's Performing Garage from July 5-12, 1999. Elliott has performed at the Cretiel Theatre Festival in France, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minesota; The Oak Street Theatre in Portland, Maine; at Experimenta 99, Lisbon, Portugal; Opera Totale in Metrre/Venice; Typo 2000 in Berlin; and Living Surfaces in Park City Utah. Elliott also performed for six months at HERE in Soho , New York City. In addition, he was a feature performer during the 1999 and 2000 Culture Mart Festivals in Soho. On May 16, 1999 "Eye Sling Shot Lions" was also shown at Plazzo Della Triennale di Milano during Tratto di Continnuo; at Nightwave in Rimini, Italy, during the "Remaking History" symposium at The American Center for Design, at Fabrica Treviso, Italy; and at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, California. Earls's first release "Throwing Apples at the Sun" has been reviewed in Emigre, ID Magazine, Urb, Heckler, Creative Review, Creativity, and EYE magazines. It was featured in May 1996 in Venice, Italy, during Digital Zuppe. It also won numerous awards and was included in ID Magazine's 1996 Annual Design Review, The 1996 American Center for Design 100 Show, and the 1996 New York Art Director's Club Show. Earl's work has been featured in the books: The Graphic Edge: Cool Type, Faces on the Edge; Type in the Digital Age; One and Two Color Graphics: and Cutting Edge Typography. Earls's essay, "WD40: A Tool kit in a Can; Or, The Importance of David Holzman's Diary" appeared in Emigre No. 35, And his essay entitled "Bone Fragments and Bits of Teeth" was published in the American Center for Design's Statements.

Earls spent September 2000-May 2001 as a designer in residence at Fabrica, Benetton's studio/research center in Treviso, Italy. He has taught typography, design and multimedia at the State University of New York at Purchase. His serial examination of "spiritual gangsters" has been published by Emigre. Earls also has spent time at numerous American universities, and he has given workshops on design, culture and new media in Europe and America. In 2001, Earls was a finalist for the Chrysler National Design Award in New Media.

In September 2005, Elliott Earls formed the band "The Venomous Sons of Jonah" featuring Mike Paradise on drums, Dave Staub on bass and Benjamin Taegue on Mandolin. Elliott and "The Venomous Sons" went on to record The Sessions at Christ Church Cranbrook. In January 2006, Elliott performed "Bull and Wounded Horse" at Music Hall Detroit with special guests "The Venomous Sons of Jonah."


One of eleven posters for Cranbrook Academy of Art by Elliott Earls - 2008



The Conversion of Saint Paul
The Conversion of Saint Paul
Elliott Earls
24"x36" Offset Lithography


Robotic Drums
Pneumatic Drum Kit #1
from Bull and Wounded Horse
Misc. components, drums


Super Anti-Zero 12
Elliott Earls
18 x 24 x 2.25""
Ebonized Aspen Panel



Continue your research on Elliott Earls

Elliott's studio web site is a comprehensive resource for your research. View by clicking here...

Watch an eight-minute video interview with Elliott Earls and Debbie Millman, produced by Magnet Media and Adobe Systems by clicking here...



Design Matters Live with Debbie Millman, a conversation with Elliott Earls

Debbie Millman


Highly recommended viewing

Design Matters Live is an on-going series based on the Adobe/AIGA live version of Debbie Millman’s highly acclaimed and much listened to internet radio show, Design Matters. In this first episode, Debbie talks to the multimedia artist, Elliot Earls, about his experimental non-linear digital videos, spoken word poetry, music, typography and the inspirational leap he made from commercial graphic artist to teacher, mentor and self-made artist.

Click here or on the image above to watch the video (eight minutes)...




The image above is video. Mouse over the image for video playback controls. The play button is in the lower left corner.

Film clip from The Saranay Motel, a film by Elliott Earls
from The Saranay Motel
Starring Kei Shiraishi
High definition video

More information on The Saranay Motel can be found here...




Blah by Elliott Earls
25"x36" Screen print