Sheila Levrant de Bretteville is a graphic designer, artist and educator whose work reflects her belief in the importance of feminist principles, user participation in graphic design, and diverse local community issues. Since 1990 she has been the director of the Yale University Graduate Program in Graphic Design, one of the oldest and most important design programs in the country.
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville created the first Women’s Design program at Cal Arts in 1971 and became the first tenured professor and director of studies in graphic design at Yale University School of Art in 1991. During the two decades between she pioneered a new form of graphic designer-historian on both coasts of the United States and most recently in Russia. Through her deep research into the neighborhoods where her works are sited, her respect for the everyday life and memories of a community, de Bretteville has produced more than a dozen projects that are significant and sustain their local populations. For having authored and designed innovative and feminist print graphics, as well as creating more than a dozen aesthetically rich, metaphoric projects embedding typography and images in the material fabric of public sites—sidewalks, stairways, railings, light fixtures, stairs—her work was featured in the Cooper Hewitt’s 2000 Triennial and she was awarded the golden medal for leadership by The American Institute of Graphic Arts in 2005.