Tomoko Ichikawa is a visual communication designer and educator, currently a Sr. Lecturer of Design at IIT Institute of Design in Chicago. With 20+ years experience in communication simplification and information design, Tomoko’s focus has been on creating visuals that clearly reflect the content structure to effectively communicate.
Her experience spans as a practitioner in design and innovation consultancies as well as an educator at the graduate level. Tomoko has been translating and converting signs all of her life, between three languages (Japanese, English, and Spanish) and between multiple modes of representation (verbal/textual to visual). After receiving her B.A. in interpersonal and intercultural communication at International Christian University in Tokyo, she pursued her interest in the visual world that led her to IIT Institute of Design where she received her M.S. degree. Her interest has focused on the syntax and semantic aspects of the visual language, using appropriate sign systems to match information structure to visual structure. In particular, diagrams and, more recently, the emerging field of computer-generated data visualizations are her area of exploration. She investigates the intersection of visual communication, complexity, and understanding.