Mike Essl, A’96

Running for:

Nominating Committee

Campaign Statement

I’m a founding member of the Committee To Save Cooper Union. I was a petitioner in the recent lawsuit against the board of trustees. I’ve taught in the Cooper Union School of Art for 15 years. I have a tattoo of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building on my chest. I am true believer in the free Cooper Union and will always fight to return us to free.


Mike Essl is a graphic designer, educator, and Mr. T memorabilia collector. He is an Associate Professor of Art at The Cooper Union where he leads the Graphic Design program. For over a decade Mike has designed books for Abrams Comic Arts, Chronicle Books, DC Comics, and Rizzoli. As director of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, Mike curated Chip Kidd: Book One, Music/Man: Niklaus Troxler, and Lubalin Now. In 2008, Mike co­authored Watching the Watchmen with Chip Kidd and Dave Gibbons. In 2003 his work was featured in Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Triennial. Essl’s work with Area/Code was included in the 2011 MoMA exhibition Talk to Me.