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The Last Ship

KEY ART: Sting's latest album art began as key art designs for the musical currently playing on Broadway. These are proposed designs created during the process. Some words so no widows. 

Designed at SpotCo; Creative Direction: Vinny Sainato

Nothing gold can stay

KEY ART: Proposed key art for the Outsiders musical, based on the S.E. Hinton novel. Words against widows. 

The Nosebleed

KEY ART: Proposed key art for the Nosebleed, a play about a daughter and her father, memory, and reconciliation.  

A welcome friend

KEY ART: Proposed art for MasterVoices concert series

'S Wonderful

LETTERING and ILLUSTRATION for KEY ART: Logotype and Eiffel Tower illustration for the new Broadway musical.

Design by Serino Coyne; Main illustration: Don Oehl; Creative Direction: Vinny Sainato and Michelle Willems

'S Vengeance

KEY ART: Alternate design for The Visit, the latest Broadway staging of Kander & Ebb's musical, starring Chita Rivera.

Designed for Serino Coyne; Creative Direction: Michelle Willems

We Remember Leonard

KEY ART: Alternate design for The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, a fantastic Off-Broadway one-man play.

The Wild Oats Project

LETTERING for BOOK COVER: Self-explanatory, wouldn't you say? Availabe for pre-order.

Design and Direction: Jenny Carrow

The Norton Anthology of Drama

BOOK COVER DESIGN: Final designs for the newest editions of the Norton Anthology of Drama.

Art Direction: Debra Morton-Hoyt

The Norton Anthology of Drama

LETTERING for BOOK COVER: Alternate type designs for the Norton Anthology of Drama.

Salon des Réfusés

KEY ART and TITLES: Mostly alternate title treatments for theater projects.
All type made by me.

Round House Theatre

INSTITUTIONAL KEY ART: In reinventing their brand and welcoming a new Artistic Director, Round House Theatre wanted a bold, eye-catching new look. See the whole 2013-14 season here, and the 2014-15 season here.

Round House Theatre Season

INSTITUTIONAL KEY ART: Alternate designs for the Roundhouse Theatre season.

Love Wins

KEY ART: Poster and New York Times ad for the Broadway musical Rocky. Poster was on Funny Or Die!

Designed at SpotCo; Copy by Sharyn Rothstein; Creative Direction: Vinny Sainato; Photography by Nigel Parry

All the lonely people

KEY ART and TV SPOT: The Broadway revival of the classic Inge play. Collaborated with Craig Shaloiko and Darren Cox on this tv spot based on the chosen key art (left).

Designed at SpotCo; Creative Direction: Vinny Sainato; Photography by Jason Bell

windowcard for Matilda

Trunchbull v. Wormwood

KEY ART: Proposed key art for Matilda, a new musical based on Roald Dahl's book.

Designed at SpotCo (comp on right designed with Paul Jeffrey); Creative Direction: Vinny Sainato

A house divided

KEY ART: Proposed art for MTC's production of Ibsen's political classic about about truth and popular opinion.

Designed at SpotCo; Creative Direction: Vinny Sainato; copy by Sharyn Rothstein; Photography by Henry Leutwyler

windowcard for Peer Gynt at the Guthrie Theater

Peer Gynt

KEY ART: Peer Gynt by Ibsen, performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN and starring Mark Rylance.

Designed at SpotCo with Gail Anderson
Featured in STEP Inside Design, June, 2008 and 365: AIGA Year in Design 29; one the works Ms. Anderson chose to feature in her AIGA profile.

I've had a few...

KEY ART: for a play by Matt Charman for MTC at New York City Center.

Designed at SpotCo with Nicky Lindeman; Creative Direction: Vinny Sainato; Retouching by Rob Kolb; copy by Sharyn Rothstein


LOGOS and IDENTITIES: Various logos for various people, various places, various things.

Dum dum di dum 

Logos: Proposed logo redesigns for The Knot, the indispensible wedding planning resource.

Designed for SJ Associates

Fourth Estate

PUBLICATION: a cover, type art, illustration, and some spreads of work appearing in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Designed at PointFive; Creative Direction: Alissa Levin

The Shannara Chronicles

CALLIGRAPHY: Hand calligraphy of names, documents, labels, and signage for The Shannara Chronicles' debut season press kit. Here is a fun unboxing video for the whole experience.

Design by MTV Brand Creative; Art Direction: Rebecca Simnowitz

Winter come and gone

CALLIGRAPHY: Using walnut ink and a turkey quill, I recreated Robert Baratheon's will as dictated to Ned Starck in Game of Thrones. This was included as a component of the George R. R. Martin limited edition box. The will ended up not really having any significance, huh? Here's an unboxing video.

Calligraphed for M A D E b y X

My Dinner with Moonassi

BOOK DESIGN and LETTERING: I was honored to co-design the 33rd American Illustration annual, featuring the very best illustration of 2014. Features include metallic ink! pink end papers! hand-lettered juror names! hundreds of full color illustrations!

Designed with Len Small; Cover illustration: Daehyun Kim. Photos courtesy of Mark Heflin at AI-AP.


Lettering: Proposed title treatments for a musical called Invincible, a reimagining of Romeo & Juliet featuring the music of Pat Benatar. 

Designed for The Pekoe Group

Not today, Satan

Lettering and Illlustration: Proposed title treatments for The Devil Wears Prada, a new musical

Designed for RPM

A Cavalcade of Stars

INFORMATION GRAPHIC: Created for the 2014 Tony Awards show program.

Designed for SpotCo

Everything in the world

DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD: This double truck in The New York Times was the basis for a series of season ads for the 92Y, a New York cultural institution featuring an eclectic line-up of lectures, concerts, classes, talks, camps, festivals, performances, holidays, etc.

Whiff of Uncertainty: Urban Odor Canopy of Dunkin' Donuts. This is my favorite piece I've ever designed. For Scott Stowell's (awesome) class, Explaining Yourself

The Whiff of Uncertainty

INFORMATION GRAPHIC: During the school semester, a classmate and I would take the same path to the subway home every night, and every night there would be a moment along the way where we caught the distinctive scent of baking at Dunkin’ Donuts. For 11 nights, I recorded the time, location, and duration of the smell and then documented the weather conditions for that time and place, looking for a pattern. Alas, the study was inconclusive.

Featured on First Nerve, Avery Gilbert's blog on the science of smell, and on Mapping Weird Stuff.

Designed as an SVA MFAD class assignment; instructor: Scott Stowell

Selected Clients

Serino Coyne
PointFive Design
Saks Fifth Avenue
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
W. W. Norton & Company
Universal Music Group
The New York Public Library
Union Square Hospitality Group


Available as a pdf (150kb).


Hi, I'm Esther. I'm a graphic designer/art director/letterer/calligrapher from Philadelphia, PA, now based in Brooklyn, NY. I studied Biology at Penn State, then moved to New York to work in a lab. I decided to study graphic design and a little while later received an MFA in Design at SVA. I have lots of experience in design for the arts and culture, from key art to branding to publication design. Hire me for lettering and typography, and any design project you think I can help you with. Thanks for stopping by.


Available for freelance design, lettering, and commercial calligraphy work. Please drop me a line at mail(at)estherwu(dot)com.