Geotypografika Interview 003: Jerrold Maddox

Professor of Art, Photographer, Web Designer


Jerrold Maddox
Professor of Art, Photographer, Web Designer
State College, PA Estados Unidos

001 Site Design Examples: FrontRowPhotos, Center for Well Being
002 Course Sites: One, Two
003 Personal Work: One, Two, Three
004 Typographic Work: here


Above: Umbrellas.

Geotypo Interview 003 Jerrold Maddox
What developments are you following in the world of graphic design/typography today?
JM The design of extended text on the web in multiple languages.

What new developments are occurring specific to your location?
JM None that I know of.

Given the astronomical growth (both current and especially projected) of the Indian and Chinese middle class/economies, how long before contemporary graphic design and typography finally recede from “Western” domination, and we see a new global vernacular arising? Or will we witness an inversion, where the dominant Eastern economies impose their visual vernacular?
It already has in many ways as these two articles show in different ways:
from NYTimes, and arts technia.

How do you see yourself (or your work) involved in the global state of graphic design? Do you try and address this, for example, by searching for a contemporary voice in your work?
JM I think it is self-defeating to search for an appropriate voice – that puts you always behind – just look for what stories you have to tell.

What avenues for research/global discussion do you regularly visit, online or otherwise?
JM I haunt museums in whatever country I am in to see what has happen and takes my breath away from anywhere in the world and try to learn from it. That seems to me to be where the fresh ideas are more often than on the web or in current print.

Are you optimistic about the future?
JM Have no idea.

What are the most important elements/abilities for a young designer to master in today’s ultra-competitive world?
JM Master the crafts of design, especially accessible and usable web design.

Is teaching typography and graphic design even possible at a truly global scale? How to account for an audience of this scale beyond the model of the International Style, etc.?
JM Learn to be agile with with different systems and be sure you really understand Unicode.

Are you witnessing a migration of talent to the developing markets in the East?
JM Don’t have any experience in that area.

Your ideas/issues/concerns here:
JM Trying to work against provincialism, professional arrogance and the “narrow stall” of design education.

Do you feel a sense of an obligation to/concern for a growing global audience for your work in these times of international immediacy (i.e. The WWW)?
JM Yes.

If so, how do you approach this problem?
JM I do it all the time – my students can use their language of choice to design their web sites. And try to get them in contact with other who use the same language (Hakka speakers, for instance.) The lack of very good support on the web for south Asian languages – especially South Indian language – is a big problem.

Herzlichen Dank, Jerry.

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