Lowell and Leah together attending a Milken Educator Awards banquet in 2009.
A luncheon with faculty members of the Graphic Design department at Art Center College of Design.
Art Center professor Gloria Kondrup and professor Leah Hoffmitz Milken, distinguished colleagues and beloved friends.
Art Center College of Design professors Ramone Munoz, Leah Hoffmitz Milken and Stan Kong accepting an honor from Art Center's Legacy Circle alumni network.
Leah Hoffmitz Milken at a London museum in front of an antique printing press.
Leah Hoffmitz Milken was a multi-award winning graphic designer renown for her letterform expertise. As a consultant to the top design firms in America, she contributed to, and helped evolve, some of the most recognizable logotypes and identities seen today. Throughout her career, she specialized in the creation of unique logotypes and typefaces for multiple industries and media. Corporate brands benefiting from her expert typographic eye include FedEx, Nokia, United Airlines and Disney.
As a dedicated design educator for three decades, Hoffmitz left her mark on students through her skilled tutelage in typography and visual problem-solving, inspiring future generations of “thinking designers.” While a full-time professor at Art Center College of Design, she was in demand as a guest lecturer at numerous universities across the U.S. and Canada. Since joining the faculty in 1992, Leah influenced a generation of graduates, many of whom have become internationally recognized experts in graphic design and typography. Notable former students include Mike Abbink, senior creative director at the Museum of Modern Art, and designer of the typefaces Kievet and Brando; Bryce Shawcross, graphic designer at Tesla Motors; Hansen Smith, art director at Magento, owned by eBay Inc.; and Josh Finklea, designer of the typeface Post Grotesque.
Leah’s profound dedication to teaching and desire to give back to her students was recognized in 2008 when she was presented with an Honorary Alumna designation from Art Center. She was also active in the College’s Legacy Circle, an alumni-led volunteer group raising support for student scholarships. In 2013, Professor Hoffmitz was awarded the Art Center College of Design Distinguished Achievement Award for her commitment to design, typography and education. She is an honors graduate of Ontario College of Art in Toronto and pursued her graduate studies at the prestigious Allgemeine Gewerbeschule School of Design in Basel, Switzerland. Awards and citations from organizations of note include the American Institute of Graphic Arts [AIGA], Graphis, Type Directors Club, Association Typographique Internationale [ATypI], and The Library of Congress.
In 2013, Leah received the College’s Distinguished Achievement Award in recognition of excellence in teaching, professional accomplishment and institutional service. Tributes at the ceremony hailed her extraordinary devotion to her students, whom she challenged and shaped, even as she respected their process of discovery. Former student and professional typographer Joshua Finklea shared that Leah "was the perfect representation of what an Art Center Instructor should be: passionate, stern, intense, but perfectly balanced with a lighter side." Her legendary high standards guide the mission of the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography.
"Leah was really critical to my growth as a designer, but I know it wasn't just me. She helped every single student who found themselves in her a seat at one of her classes. . . there are some teachers who teach you more than just the subject, who teach you about life, responsibility and focus, and Leah was one of them."
~Art Center Graduate Eric Hu
"I still have trouble believing she's gone, and it's impossible to imagine setting foot on that campus and knowing no one will ever hear the clicking of heels and the roll of plastic wheels on varnished concrete...I owe a lot of who I am as an artist, a professional, and probably a person, to Leah."
~Art Center Graduate Tyler Hamilton
"Almost all of the work I do on a daily basis is directly attributed to the skills Leah taught me. It is amazing to think that the skills she gave me have allowed me to live and work as a design. Everytime I sit down to work I think of her."
~Art Center Graduate Joshua Finklea