Elana Schlenker YG13

  • Current Location: Brooklyn, NY and Pittsburgh, PA
  • Studio: Gratuitous Type

Elana Schlenker is an art director and graphic designer. Through her independent studio practice she creates visual identities, books and publications, interactive projects, and environmental graphics. In 2013, Elana was named to Print magazine’s New Visual Artist list. In 2015, she was selected for the Center for Architecture’s Graphic Design Shortlist. Prior to the establishment of her studio practice, Elana worked as an art director at Condé Nast and senior designer at Princeton Architectural Press. Elana is also the publisher of Gratuitous Type, an occasional pamphlet of typographic smut, and the creator ofLess Than 100, a traveling pop up shop for gender wage parity.

Portfolio Imagery:

  • Project 1 of 4

    Gratuitous Type Issue 4

    Gratuitous Type appropriates conventions of pornography magazines to frame its otherwise innocuous subject matter. Extending this concept to its covers, each installment plays with strategies of censorship. For Issue 4, acetate screenprinted with copper dots overlays the cover image


    Concept, art direction, design, text: Elana Schlenker Photography: Jim Campers, Clayton Cotterell, Lena C. Emery, Stephanie Gonot, Peter Happel Christian, Aapo Huhta, Chris Maggio, Ross Mantle, Daan Paans Publisher: Elana Schlenker

  • Project 2 of 4

    Half Wild

    Peter Happel Christian’s debut monograph borrows its title from a passage in Our National Parks, written in 1909 by John Muir, who contemplated the public’s “growing interest in the care and preservation of forests and wild places in general, and in the half wild parks and gardens of towns.” Drawing influence from Happel Christian’s pictures of nature quietly persevering in the face of man’s attempts to manage and manicure it, images in the book run wild, bleeding over type, margins, and around pages. The book’s form and typography nod to vintage wilderness survival manuals, while synthetic materials reference the tools, tarps, and artificial representations of nature that appear throughout the work.


    Design: Elana Schlenker Picture sequencing: Christina Labey Essay: Liz Sales Publisher: Conveyor Editions

  • Project 3 of 4


    The online home of Gratuitous Type extends the magazine’s ethos to the web, embracing its fluid branding (each issue is completely redesigned): A click of the ‘XXX’ button switches the typeface in use throughout the site. Other elements of the publication, like it’s playful appropriation of pornographic conventions and it’s shifting color scheme are further explored online through ‘censored’ pixelated covers and a series of gradient backgrounds. The site includes a customized online shop and tumblr page.


    Design: Elana Schlenker Front end development: Rich Watts Still life photography: Ross Mantle and Elana Schlenker Typefaces: Grilli Type

  • Project 4 of 4

    Visible Spectrum box set

    Rainbow foil stamped slipcase for Visible Spectrum, a series of nine artist books featuring the work of Penelope Umbrico, Hannah Whitaker, Brea Souders, Andrey Bogush, Robert Canali, Inka & Niclas, Dillon DeWaters, and Nicholas Gottlund. I also designed 9 Collisions, an accompanying essay by Mark Alice Durant included in the box set.


    Slipcase and 9 Collisions design: Elana Schlenker Additional slipcase cover design: Sean Suchara Book covers design: Samantha Haedrich and Conveyor Editions Publisher: Conveyor Editions

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