Paul Zender

Paul M Zender


Aronoff Center


DAAP School of Design - 0016

6481 Aronoff Center

Professional Summary

Mike Zender is Professor of Design at the University of Cincinnati. Professor Zender received his MFA (terminal degree) in 1977 from Yale University where he was the Carl Purrington Rollins Fellow. In 2004 he was a Medical Informatics Course Fellow at the Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.
A third generation typesetter and designer, Mike founded and operated the design practice Zender + Associates, Inc. for thirty years while teaching part time. Professor Zender’s work and that of his associates was published regularly and exhibited broadly. Professor Zender is a past president of Cincinnati AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) and in 2009 was named a National Fellow of the AIGA for his contributions to design and design education. Professor Zender has written two books on design, more than 25 journal articles, and in 2013 became editor of the 48 year-old communication design research journal Visible Language.
Professor Zender’s research on communication through simple symbols such as icons and pictograms, specifically in the medical domain, and the application and testing of these in global cross-cultural communication, is uncovering principles for communication design and design research.


M.F.A, Yale University 1977 (Graphic Design)

Research Support

Grant: #DCA-Future Trends Investigators:Vogel, Craig; Zender, Paul 07-01-2008 -12-31-2009 KnowledgeWorks Foundation Web Visualization for Map of Future Trends Role:Collaborator $36,692.00 Closed Level:Private Non-Profit

Grant: #LWC - P&G 09A Investigators:Sanders, Michael; Vogel, Craig; Welsh, Martha Ann; Zender, Paul 08-01-2009 -03-30-2010 Live Well Collaborative, Inc. P&G Oral Care 50+ 09A Role:Collaborator $38,221.00 Closed Level:Private Non-Profit


Peer Reviewed Publications

Zender, Mike (2006. )Icon Systems for Global Non Verbal Communication .Visible Language, ,40 (2 ),177-206

Zender, Mike (2007. )Basic Design Research: Parameters Of Visual Form .Visible Language, ,40 (2 ),177-206

Zender, Mike; Crutcher, Keith A. (2007. )Collaborative Design Research: The Visualization of Medical Concepts .Visible Language, ,41 (1 ),23-48

Zender, Mike; Crutcher, Keith A. (2007. )Visual Language for the Expression of Scientific Concepts .Visible Language, ,41 (1 ),23-48

Zender, Mike (2008. )A New Look at Ancient representation: Icon Systems .Visible Language, ,40 (2 ),177-206

Zender, Mike; Early, Adream (2008. )User Interface Principles for Interaction Design .Design Issues, ,24 (3 ),177-206

Zender, Mike; Pestian, John; Glauser, Tracy (2010. )Visual language system for representing medical concepts .Information Design Journal, ,18 (3 ),184-197

Zender, Mike; Brinkman, William; Hartl, Jennifer; Rawe, Lauren; Carpenter-Fearing, Maren; Shi, Gaoyan; Stuckey, Rachel; Pang, Feifei; Han, Bing (2011. )DESIGN COLLABORATION IN MEDICAL RESEARCH DESIGNING DOCTOR-PATIENT INTERACTION .Visible Language, ,1 (2 ),1 - 10

Zender, Mike; Han, Bing; Fernández, Oscar (2011. )DID IT WORK? EVALUATIVE RESEARCH METHODS FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN .Design Issues, ,24 (3 ),in press

Zender, Mike (2011. )Visual Innovation through Findings in Perception .Visible Language, ,1 (2 ),342 - 351

Zender, Mike; Mejia, G. Mauricio (2013. )Improving Icon Design: through focus on the role of individual symbols in the construction of meaning .Visible Language, ,47 (1 ),66-89

Research and Practice Interests

Strategy: Analysis and Creative Concept Development Design: Visualization of Content for Communication Vision: Wisdom in Development of Plans and Directions for Future Activity Systems: Skill in Developing Complex Interactive Visual Programs

Contact Information

6481 Aronoff Center