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Muriel Cooper (1925 – May 26, 1994) was an innovative book designer, digital designer, researcher, and educator.She was the first design director of the MIT Press, instilling a Bauhaus-influenced design style into its many publications. She moved on to become founder of MIT's Visible Language Workshop, and later became a co-founder of the MIT Media Lab. In 2007, a New York Times article called her "the design heroine you've probably never heard of".
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The swirling formations of type were likely devised using the “The Rotation System,” which Cooper conceived of as an exercise for the VLW’s influential first course, “Messages and Means.” The technique involved running square sheets of paper through the press four times, rotating the paper and changing the inks with every pass. From time to time Cooper would create typographic compositions in this way—as in her famous “Message and Means” course poster—or use a similar technique on abstract shapes.