John Maeda

John Maeda (born 1966 in Seattle, Washington) is a Japanese-American graphic designer, computer scientist, university professor and author. His work in design and technology explores the area where the two fields merge. He is the current President of the Rhode Island School of Design.

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 Visual Language Workshop. After completing his bachelors and masters degrees at MIT, Maeda studied in Japan at Tsukuba University‘s Institute of Art and Design to complete his Ph.D. in design.

In 1999, he was named one of the 21 most important people in the 21st century by Esquire.[2] In 2001, he received the National Design Award for Communication Design in the United States and Japan’s Mainichi Design Prize.[3] He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council.[4]

In 2006, Maeda published Laws of Simplicity, his best-selling book to date, based on a research project to find ways for people to simplify their life in the face of growing complexity.

Maeda’s work is very graphic and makes an excellent use of various types of design. The typography is used, and when combined with the natural and almost photographic qualities of the leaves, gives a rather unusual appearance. I think it is a powerful design because it includes a green element within the technology sector – and this is not particularly usual for this market. The horizontal blue lines blend well with colors used for the find, and create a symmetry.