Alicia Cheng

Alicia Cheng is a female Asian American designer, educator, and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She has almost 20 years of experience in her field. Cheng has served as a designer for many well-known establishments. For instance, Method, New York (as a senior designer), the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (as a co-design director), and she currently works as the head of design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. As an educator, Cheng has taught at a variety of renowned schools, such as Yale University, Princeton University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Parsons School of Design, and many others. She currently is an external critic at the Rhode Island School of Design. On top of these accomplishments, she also co-founded the graphic design studio MGMT and wrote the book “This Is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot”.

Alicia Cheng is a talented and professional graphic designer. Many of her works promote sustainability, advocate for equality, and help educate others about historical and social topics. She creates a wide range of products. Some are as complex as whole museum exhibits, while others are as simple as font design. She earned her BA from Barnard College and her MFA from Yale. Cheng is currently in her 50s and spends most of her time in Brooklyn. As stated previously, these days she works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, and MGMT, as well as her own personal projects. Cheng is most known for her book, “This Is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot”.

This book discusses the historical design of ballots and what it can teach us about America’s relationship with voting and democracy. It combines design history with American history and shows how both have changed over time. To go along with this book, Cheng participated in an interview with Jarrett Fuller, on the podcast, “Scratching the Surface”. In this interview, they discuss the research that was used for the book and its implications and relationship with democracy. Additionally, since this book was released before the 2020 election they discuss how the findings in it can be applied to America’s current relationship with voting. This kind of work is a good example of the kinds of topics that Cheng likes to focus on and talk about. A good place to find more of her work like this is the MGMT website.

As previously mentioned, Cheng co-founded MGMT, the graphic design studio based in Brooklyn. The studio features a diverse selection of artists. It is women-owned and creates a wide variety of projects, such as museum exhibitions, branding, data visualization, etc. Although MGMT is a collaborative studio and has many designers, Alicia Cheng’s work has definitely had a large effect on the studio as a whole. Many of the projects the studio works on have similar themes to Cheng’s pieces. For example, they are releasing a book that celebrates one hundred years of women’s suffrage and they have many exhibits that discuss sustainability, equality, and the American government. 

These are just a few examples of the incredible talent and influence of Alicia Cheng. Due to the pandemic both Alicia and MGMT have been struggling to create as much or share their work as much as they used to but both are promising that once things go back to normal that they’ll have many wonderful pieces and exhibitions to share. 


  • “Alicia Cheng.” Alicia Cheng | The,
  • Cheng, Alicia. Mgmt. Design, 2002,
  • Fuller, Jarrett. “165. Alicia Cheng.” Scratching The Surface, 28 Oct. 2020, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.
  • “Typographics 2020 – A Design Festival for People Who Use Type.” Typographics 2020 – This Is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot with Alicia Cheng,