Student Awards Judge Ellen Bruss Re: Born

Side Gig Opens New Doors

April 24, 2020


Michigan State University alumni Ellen Bruss is Creative Director at Ellen Bruss Design in Denver, Colorado.  

Ellen will soon be judging our 2020 Student Awards (deadline May 22). One of the more seasoned designers on the jury, Ellen recently took on a personal side gig that helped get her recognized as a "Responsible Designer to Watch", making her a perfect choice to judge the work of a generation unprecedented in their focus on social responsibility. 

Ellen's firm, EBD, specializes in the intersection of real estate and retail, addressing branding, corporate identity, marketing collateral, digital design, environmental design and consumer packaging, with clients like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver. EBD's creative efforts have resulted in national and international recognitions in over 200 publications, including Graphis, Print and HOW.

Ellen was also featured in GDUSA's 2019 Responsible Designers to Watch. The newest addition to their popular industry special reports, this annual recognition of socially and sustainably responsible graphic designers is described by GDUSA as the list of "creative leaders using design principles, talents and skills to make the world a better place as they see it," noting that "And, in 2019, it is especially fascinating since it is all happening against the backdrop of a raw and undeniable hunger for change ..." And at the epicentre of this change? No question: students. 

Ellen's recent side project was developing a hospitality brand, Hotel Born, which opened in Denver, Colorado in the fall of 2017. She was the creative director for the interiors, art collection, branding and signage for the project. Since opening EBD's door in 1990, one of Ellen's goals has always been "to create things that are cherished and get reused." She also encourages her team to follow her lead and "think about their community and the ways in which they give back. " And what better way to live  those words than to be part of the renewal of an historic neighborhood. Take look.


Project: Hotel Born

"The Hotel Born is the latest addition to one of the most exciting urban redevelopment projects in the nation, the $500 million transformation of Denver’s Union Station neighborhood. Everything you could possibly want from a city is just steps away. And of course, Colorado is right outside the door. It truly is where urban meets mountain, so we based everything we did on that theme. We’re especially fond of the library, where we bound old magazines into hardcover books. Little details like that are what makes the hotel feel unique, and a bit more like home."