John Maeda – Computer Scientist and Graphic Designer (1966, Seattle)
At NARAN-HO Design, specialists in web design in Marbella, we continue to show you our sources of inspiration. This time we will talk about John Maeda, who is the guru of something so important and essential in Graphic Design: simplicity.
John Maeda is an American computer scientist, technology expert, designer, engineer, artist, inventor, author and professor. He studied Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he approached the world of design thanks to his admiration for the work of Paul Rand and Muriel Cooper. After completing his studies at MIT, he moved to Japan, where he studied at the Tsukaba University Institute, obtaining a PhD in Design.
Maeda‘s early work as an artist redefined the use of electronic media as a tool of expression by combining computer programming with traditional art technique. In simple words, he created the foundation for the interactive motion graphics that we see every day on the internet. Maeda has exhibited at his work in London, New York and Paris.
He was a professor at the MIT Media Lab for 12 years (1996 – 2008), where he promoted the Aesthetics + Computation Group, a community of designers who could code and engineers who could design.
The Laws of Simplicity
In 2006 he published his best known book: “The laws of simplicity”, where he addressed the union between the complexity of technologies and visual communication. His contribution was instrumental in building the multimedia world as we know it today. The book focuses on technology and industrial design, but its conclusions apply to just about everything.
Basically, John Maeda argues that everything that does not contribute should be eliminated, without giving up what is truly important. To do this, ask two questions to find the balance
- How much can I simplify what you are doing?
- What level of complexity do you need to get what you want?
“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful”
“My role is to find strategic insights as to where design can have the most business impact. A designer can bring a viewpoint of not just aesthetics, but economics and usage”