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As the print and digital world draw closer together, we are beginning to see a new kind of artist emerge.  One example of an artist who has transformed the graphic design community is John Maeda.

Truly a legend in his own time, Maeda has revolutionized the concept of programmatic design, growing what has traditionally been considered a science into an art form.

On the surface, Maeda’s work seems regressive, a collection of glorified, high tech finger paintings. However, Maeda — unlike many artists — give us the opportunity to view his artistic progress and not just the results of his labor. His art, which combines knowledge of graphic design, programming, fine art and information architecture, might be characterized as more of an experiment than a masterpiece.

Ultimately, Maeda’s work is a proving ground for combining the technologist and the conceptualist into a hybrid robo-artist, armed with an understanding of engineering and design. According to Maeda, with a pure understanding of the computer environment, designers are no longer limited by a set of visually expressive styles, but have the full command of technology to communicate their messages.

While still in its infancy, Maeda’s work is visionary and inspirational. His concept of “time and reactive graphics” has extended the playing field beyond the static medium of print into a truly interactive world.

(Excerpted from my Graphic Design: USA Magazine editorial)

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