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Paul M Zender

Title: Professor
Office: 6485 Aronoff Center
Tel: 513-556-1072

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.

Research Information

Research 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

Research Support

  • (Collaborator), Vogel, Craig; Zender, Paul, Web Visualization for Map of Future Trends, KnowledgeWorks Foundation. (DCA-Future Trends), $36,692.00. 07/01/2008 to 12/31/2009. Status: Closed.
  • (Collaborator), Sanders, Michael; Vogel, Craig; Welsh, Martha Ann; Zender, Paul, P&G Oral Care 50+ 09A, Live Well Collaborative, Inc.. (LWC - P&G 09A), $38,221.00. 08/01/2009 to 03/30/2010. Status: Closed.


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, M., & Crutcher, K. A. (2007). Collaborative Design Research: The Visualization of Medical Concepts. Visible Language, 41 (1 ), 23-48.
  • Zender, M., & Crutcher, K. 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, M., & Early, A. (2008). User Interface Principles for Interaction Design. Design Issues, 24 (3 ), 177-206.
  • Zender, M., Pestian, J., & Glauser, T. (2010). Visual language system for representing medical concepts. Information Design Journal, 18 (3 ), 184-197.
  • Zender, M., Brinkman, W., Hartl, J., Rawe, L., Carpenter-Fearing, M., Shi, G., Stuckey, R., Pang, F., & Han, B. (2011). DESIGN COLLABORATION IN MEDICAL RESEARCH DESIGNING DOCTOR-PATIENT INTERACTION. Visible Language, 1 (2 ), 1 - 10.
  • Zender, M., Han, B., & Fernández, O. (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, M., & Mejia, G. M. (2013). Improving Icon Design: through focus on the role of individual symbols in the construction of meaning. Visible Language, 47 (1 ), 66-89.