Residence: A Recap – Residence.weblog

December 14, 2017


Earlier this week, Michael Bierut, Sonia Williams, and I spent an hour on the telephone collectively. Michael is an influential graphic designer based mostly in New York, Sonia is a high school student in Paintsville, Kentucky, and I’m a designer at Automattic, residing exterior of Boston.

Sonia got here ready with a terrific set of questions. She prompted Michael to inform us about his profession, and to take us by a few of his favourite initiatives. We talked about designing this web site. Michael described how he got here to make use of a photograph of the earth to signify house: he’d aimed to indicate essentially the most common illustration of a house. All of us stay drastically totally different lives, in drastically totally different homes, however this gigantic, fragile planet is our shared house.

On the finish of the decision, Sonia went to her subsequent class. I set to work on WordPress.com and Longreads, and Michael turned his consideration to his work at Pentagram.

Michael, Sonia, and I are all totally different ages, at totally different phases of our careers, and in numerous components of the nation, however we took outing of our days to share tales and work collectively. Our conversations felt pure, and we discovered so much from one another. I used to be struck by simply how highly effective — but seemingly regular — an expertise this challenge was.


Once I was Sonia’s age, I attended a incredible highschool: The Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. I used to be an artwork main there, which meant that I had two durations of artwork day by day, along with my regular coursework. I took intensive lessons in portray, sculpture, pottery,  pictures, artwork historical past, and extra. I cherished artwork, and I knew I needed to contain it in my future by some means, however I didn’t know any specifics past that.

Sooner or later throughout my senior yr, certainly one of our lecturers organized to have a graphic designer go to her classroom. He confirmed us an advert marketing campaign for a neighborhood artwork museum that he’d labored on. It concerned billboards, printed materials, and an internet site. I bear in mind being actually interested by his presentation, and chatting with him for a couple of minutes afterwards. Till that time, I don’t suppose I had a terrific thought of what precisely graphic design was. I knew a bit about designing particular person issues — an advert in {a magazine}, a single web site, and many others. — however that was my first actual publicity to the thought of (and challenges round) designing an id that spans throughout many single functions.

A number of months later, I took my artwork portfolio to a school portfolio overview day in Syracuse, New York. I utilized to various schools, and ended up in Brooklyn, learning graphic design at Pratt Institute. In my design historical past class, we discovered about Michael Bierut.

I’ve been working within the subject for over a decade now. I’ve labored on branding, advert campaigns, web sites, t-shirts, and extra. I presently do all this whereas working from house. Highschool me didn’t know this form of job existed till I met that graphic designer.


When John Maeda invited me to participate on this challenge, I believed again to the time I met that designer in highschool, and acknowledged the influence it had on my future. Sharing what we do with the following era is a key accountability of all of us. Simply as I’ve discovered from Michael Bierut’s work all through my profession, it’s my hope that Sonia and her classmates come away from this expertise with a greater understanding of artwork and design themselves.

Because of John Maeda for organizing, because of Michael Bierut to your art work, perception, and perspective, and thanks to Sonia for all of the preparation and energy you set into this challenge.



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