John Meada is a graphic designer and computer scientist who has been a highly influential artist in technology and designing with a specific interest in the way where those two fields merge and intersect.
He was a Professor at the MIT Media Lab for 12 years, and then became the President of the Rhode Island School of Design from 2008 to 2013. He is currently Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where he advises startups on the business impact of design. He also serves on the Board of Directors of consumer electronics company Sonos and global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy.
Maeda was originally a software engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, when he became fascinated with the work of Paul Rand and Muriel Cooper. Cooper was a director of MIT’s Visible Language Workshop. After completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MIT, Maeda studied in Japan at Tsukuba University’s Institute of Art and Design to complete his Ph.D. in design.
Meada’s work lay the groundwork for the interactive motion graphics that are taken for granted on the web today. He has exhibited in one-man shows in London, New York and Paris. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Cartier Foundation in Paris.
Meada’s early work is a combination of code and design aesthetics – a combination that redefined the use of code and electronic media as a tool for visual communication.
In his very famous work “The 10 Morisawa Posters” he focuses on digital design using technology, the set demonstrates a digital typography experiment to improve the legibility and quality of typographic documents. He used the method Design by Numbers (DBN) it was a programming language designed and created by Meada in 1999 as a part of his aesthetics.
The goals of the project were to introduce code as a way of creating design for the screen and to provide useful tool for a visually literate community. The language provided a unified interface for writing and running simple programs using a grid 100×100 pixels and limited set of set of commands and functions.
The associated DBN is beautiful and it’s as much of a discussion of the concepts of code as it is an instruction manual for the language. Although the programming language is no longer in use, the project proved to be highly influencing on the development of the processing programming language.
John Meada – The 10 Morisawa Posters
Aside from designing Meada is a brilliant writer, he wrote many books about graphic design and coding and the laws of simplicity. He keeps inspiring designers now and generations to come.
“A designer is someone who constructs while he thinks, someone for whom planning and making go together.”
-John Meada’s TED talks
-Data-driven Graphic Design: Creative Coding for visual communication
(new promising book that discusses coding from a graphic design prespective, can’t wait to own it)