Carnegie Mellon University

Bonnie Siegler

Where do we go from here?

Fine arts alumna answers a single question in two new books

There is one question that Carnegie Mellon alumna Bonnie Siegler (A 1985) asks in her two new books for two very different audiences: Where do we go from here?

Siegler, who graduated from the College of Fine Arts with a degree in design, released two books, “Dear Client, This Book Will Teach You How to Get What You Want From Creative People. Sincerely, Bonnie Siegler” and “Signs of Resistance: a Visual History of Protest in America,” in February, both published by Artisan Books.

“Whenever designers get together, they complain about clients,” laughs Siegler. “It hurts both client and designer when you’re not communicating effectively.

Book cover: Dear Client by Bonnie SieglerWith bold colors and easy-to-digest advice, “Dear Client” teaches those who hire creative teams how to communicate with those teams in ways that are effective, efficient and get their desired results.

Siegler, who is an award-winning graphic designer with decades of experience and founder of two New York-based multidisciplinary design studios, Number 17 and Eight and a Half, launched a service with a Texas bookstore where designers can send the book to clients anonymously.

“Some people may not know they need it,” she says.

She was voted one of the 50 most influential designers working today by Graphic Design USA. Her studio’s work is in the permanent archives of AIGA, the professional association for design, and she has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Yale, the School of Visual Arts and the University of Hartford. Her clients have included Participant Media, “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” HBO, “Saturday Night Live,” Brooklyn Public Library, The Criterion Collection and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation — just to name a few.

Signs of Resistance by Bonnie Siegler book cover Siegler’s second book, “Signs of Resistance,” speaks to her other passion — politics.

This book evolved from a presentation that Siegler did at the Adobe MAX conference in 2017. In the book, she explores Americans’ history of speaking out against the government.

“Following the election, all I could think about was the resistance and how unclear the future was,” says Siegler.

Each chapter of the book addresses a different period of political upheaval in America, such as the Civil Rights and suffragette movements and the war in Vietnam.

While the release of both books nearly simultaneously was a coincidence, Sieger says that together they show off the “two sides of her brain.”

Her interdisciplinary nature was something that drew her to Carnegie Mellon over other more singularly focused art schools. In fact, it was the only school to which she applied.

“I learned everything in college,” she says. “I feel so lucky that I get to work in design. I never considered anything else.”