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Do you know Johnathon? Yes No

About Me

I am a multi-disciplinary designer and educator creating work that investigates social and cultural systems. I am interested in how messages and intention relate. I see this pursuit as a specific segment of social design that connects graphic design with the human condition through education, advocacy or activism. I believe the designer’s role is to tangibly present messages that may inspire or enact change. Furthermore, I am interested in assemblage as a theory and practice within the bounds of graphic design.

My disciplines and areas of professional expertise include…

Education

  • Northern Illinois University

    • 2016 Master of Fine Arts, Design and Visual Communications
    • 2006 Bachelor of Arts, Design and Visual Communications, History

Honors

  • Invited Designer, Tomorrow Labs

    2012 Tomorrow Partners, Sundance Institute, Skoll Foundation, Berkeley, CA

  • Fellowship, Firebelly University

    2011 Firebelly Design, Chicago, IL

  • Camper, Camp Firebelly

    2010 Firebelly Design, Chicago, IL

  • Assistant & Collaborator, Moving Design

    2009 Thirst, Chicago, IL

Memberships

  • AFT, IFT, University Professionals of Illinois
  • ChiDM, Chicago Design Museum
  • AIGA, The Professional Association for Design
  • STA, Society of Typographic Arts
  • UCDA, University & College Designers Association

Teaching

My teaching approach is rooted in formal practice and vocabulary. I believe that students should have a core understanding of historical idealogy, industry terminology and fundamental principles related to the profession. Students should understand abstract and spatial arrangements as critical to formal presentation and as a conceptual framework to be redefined. Students should understand principles related to typography, grid systems and content organization.

I challenge students to make messages through a rigorous design process. I place an emphasis on contextual research combined with social awareness. I want students to understand that being an effective communicator requires keen observation. To have reliable observations, students must maintain writing skills to document critical analysis; students must translate this analysis into formal directives that measure objectivity; and students must seek out feedback to understand the effectiveness of solutions.

I create assignments to push students beyond the classroom. I encourage students to challenge their notion of what type and images represent in a broad cultural context. I want students to continually question the social constructs that define the meaning of words and images. I want students to present work that connects to people through a shared human condition.

I promote students to take a holistic approach to design solutions. I want students to be resourceful and use any means necessary to craft appropriate responses to given problems. I want students to see every person as a potential collaborator. I want students to engage their peers and invite other disciplines into their study. I want students to explore the means of production, both analog and digital. I want students to possess craft and take pride in all aspects of presentation.

Overall, I prepare students to be curious; value their personal perspective; define problems; respond to cultural issues; think critically; possess a creative process; collaborate with people; and employ formal arrangement for positive change.

Experience

  • Northern Illinois University

    • 8/2012 - Present Adjunct Instructor of Visual Communication
    • 1/2011 - 5/2011 Adjunct Instructor of Visual Communication
    • 1/2010 - 5/2010 Adjunct Instructor of Visual Communication
  • College of DuPage

    • 1/2017 - Present Adjunct Instructor of Graphic Design

Courses Taught

  • ART 490, Independent Research

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 412, Advanced Visual Communication II

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 411, Advanced Visual Communication I

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 405, Professional Practices in Design

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 319, Interaction Design II

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 318, Interaction Design I

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 311, Intermediate Visual Communication I

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTS 215, Fundamentals of Graphic Design

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 212, Type & Image

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 211, Typography

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design

  • ARTD 201, Introduction to Visual Communication

    Undergraduate

    Northern Illinois University, School of Art & Design