Eric Heiman

Creative Director, Educator, Designer

Eric Heiman is a principal and creative director of Volume Inc., a multidisciplinary studio he co-founded in 2001. Volume’s clients have included Bloomberg, Adobe, SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and McSweeney’s/826 Valencia, and their work honored by the Cooper Hewitt  Design Museum, Communication Arts, Graphis, ID, Étapes, the Type Directors Club, AIGA, and the Western Art Director’s Club, among others. Eric teaches at California College of the Arts, where he manages TBD*, a student-staffed design studio that does work for local Bay Area nonprofits and civic institutions. Read more about Eric’s work below.

Education, Imagination, Contemplation: Design as a Deep Breath

Friday October 25 | 8:30 am & 3:30 pm | 90 Minutes | Oxford Hotel, Minnesota Ballroom

As designers, we strive to create work that is clever, fresh, and grabs one’s attention. Work that fosters precision, clarity, and convenience in the experiences of our intended audiences. Good design is something new. Good design solves problems. Good design is good business. 

Yeah, yeah, that’s true and great and all that. But what about design that delights simply for delight’s sake? That makes us stop to question our perspective on the world? That creates “white space” in our lives instead of on the page or screen? 

In this workshop, Eric Heiman will share his experiences of creating such work—for clients, himself, and everyone in between—and then engage the audience in a brief exercise to create their own such work and then seed it at the conference. Why wait until you get home?

SPACE IS LIMITED IN THE 8:30 SESSION. There is plenty of room in the  3:30 session.

More about the speaker

Eric Heiman grew up in the backwoods of western Pennsylvania and attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where he completed a Bachelor of Architecture in 1992. His winding, post-graduate path finally led him to the Bay Area where he studied graphic design at the California College of the Arts (CCA) and then later co-founded (with Adam Brodsley) the multidisciplinary studio Volume Inc. in 2001.

Volume has created branding, identity programs, environments, exhibits, interactive media, films, and publishing-related projects for a range of commercial, cultural, and social entities including the California Academy of Sciences, the Boy Scouts of America, Bloomberg, Adobe Systems, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Heath Ceramics, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Rizzoli Books, Google, and McSweeney’s / 826 Valencia.

Volume’s work has been exhibited, honored, and published in the Cooper Hewitt  Design Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, the Denver Art Museum, the International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno, Communication Arts, Eye, Graphis, ID, Step Inside Design, Print, How, Exhibitor, Coupe, Étapes, the Type Directors Club, AIGA, the Western Art Director’s Club, the German Design Council, and the 2003, 2005, and 2007 California Design Biennials at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. In 2013, the Western Gallery in Bellingham, Washington exhibited a solo show of Volume’s work as part of their ongoing Masters of Design series. The University of Kentucky will be hosting another solo exhibition of Volume’s work in early 2020.

Eric has taught at CCA since 1999 and was awarded the college-wide Excellence in Teaching award in 2003. At CCA, he currently manages TBD*, a student-staffed design studio that does work for local Bay Area nonprofits and civic institutions. His writing on design has been published in Design Observer, Eye, and Emigré, and he was a founding writer for SFMOMA’s Open Space online publication. Eric has judged competitions for AIGA, AIGA San Francisco, Communication Arts, and Mohawk Papers. He has delivered lectures for the AIGA, Type Director’s Club (TDC), CCA, SEGD, and at a variety of universities across the country. He has moderated panels for AIGA San Francisco and SFMOMA, programmed the Re:Design Conference in Portland and the Concept Lecture Series at CCA in San Francisco, and even curated one film festival for AIA San Francisco’s annual “Architecture In the City” event.

He continues to indulge his interest in LP sleeve art, spending way too much money on record covers designed by Reid Miles, Vaughan Oliver, Peter Saville, and Barney Bubbles, among others. He does actually listen to the records, too.

More information about Eric and Volume may be found at