Heather Corcoran is a graphic designer and a writer whose work explores data, place, and belonging. She makes maps, posters, and books using written text, numerical data, and multiple forms of image. Corcoran’s essays examine isolation and connection through the lens of the visual landscape. She integrates personal and collective history with accumulations of text, color, and image.
Corcoran has been part of exhibitions at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Northeastern University, and COCA (St. Louis). She has given talks for the AIGA (the professional association for design), Eyeo, the Industrial Designer Society of America, LearnX, and the University College Design Association. Her clients have included Princeton Architectural Press, the Saint Louis Zoo, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and the Yale University Press. Her work has been recognized by the International Institute for Information Design, Communication Arts, Print magazine, and AIGA St. Louis. As an information designer, she has been part of grant projects for National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Her visual essay “First Deployment” was published in the AIGA’s journal, Dialogue, in 2023.
Corcoran teaches courses across WashU about visualizing diverse voices in literature, finding personal voice through designing creative non-fiction, and data visualization. Corcoran served as director of the College of Art from 2014–2019 and interim dean of University College 2019–2021. She holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University and an MFA in graphic design from Yale University. She is married, with three teenagers.