A native Pennsylvanian, Keith Cummings entered the field of graphic design education following several years’ work in the corporate divisions of companies that include Citibank N.A., Assessment Systems Inc. in New York City, and Paramount Pictures Corporation in Hollywood. Cummings attended Otis/Parsons in Los Angeles and completed his BFA in 1990 in Communication Design. He received his master’s degree in Visual Communication and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1996. Upon graduating, his first teaching position was at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He joined the faculty at Penn State in 1997, and served as Professor-in-Charge from 2012 until 2016.
The majority of Cummings' administrative duties involve the management of the undergraduate program and curriculum, but in addition he works on the continuing integration of the graphic design program into the Stuckeman School by way of collaborative projects and joint events. He recently completed the reactivation of the MFA degree in graphic design, which is administered through the School of Visual Arts.
Cummings' current teaching assignment includes typography and the history of graphic design. Likewise, he focuses his research energy on the topic of graphic design history and its position in today’s design curriculum, and has presented several papers on the topic at national conventions. Cummings creative research includes the writing and production of limited-edition books which have been exhibited internationally.