Ralph Caplan is a writer and communications design consultant. He is the author of several books on the design process and has written articles on subjects ranging from the behavior of chairs for Psychology Today to post-modern clothing for The New York Times magazine. His book By Design is the basis of curricula in several university design programs.
As a consultant he has collaborated on publications, exhibitions, and strategies with a wide variety of clients, including many design firms.
Former editor-in chief of Industrial Design magazine, he is a director emeritus of the International Design Conference in Aspen, and was co-chairperson of the 1978 and 1983 conferences. He is a former member of the board of directors of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and is an honorary member of the Industrial Designers Society of America.
Ralph Caplan has lectured on design to hundreds of professional, student, museum, community and corporate audiences. He teaches in the Masters program at The School of Visual Arts and was Writer in Residence at the Haystack School of Crafts in Maine. In 2011 Caplan received from the Smithsonian Institution a National Design Award for "Design Mind," and in 2012 was awarded the Medal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
He was a stand-up comic with the United States Marine Corps.