Life By Design

In a series of three table talks, Joseph Michael Essex will share his thoughts, experiences and stories about his 50+ years in design from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, to Oprah Winfrey, to the Design of Everything.

Joseph came to Chicago, from public television in Pittsburgh, in 1973 to work for one of our most iconic design offices, Unimark International. He went on to work at the Center for Communication Planning and the Center for Advanced Research in Design (CARD), subsidiaries of Container Corporation of America.

In 1976 he started the design department in the Chicago office of Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest public relations firms. Over the next 10 years he became the Senior Vice President, Director of Visual Communication Planning for the Offices in the Americas and Corporate Design Director Worldwide.

With his wife and design partner Nancy Denney Essex, they started Essex Two International in 1989, focusing on brand and naming related initiatives.

Visit for more background.


The first in the series of three, "Design is Everything. Everything is Designed" will pertain to the story of Joseph Michael Essex, 50+ years as a designer, designing design. For Joseph’s contemporaries there will be times, stories and people worth remembering. For those early in their careers, this may be an opportunity to see the choices that may be ahead of you, with those choices put into context. For those in mid-career, there may be a bit of both.


Cost + Schedule

$15 per event

6:30pm — Doors Open

6:45pm — Talk begins


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Code of Conduct

By registering to attend this event, you agree to abide by AIGA Chicago Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct may be found here.

When & Where
Thu, May 4, 2023 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM CDT
22 West Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602