Designer Profile: Jason Santa Maria

Jason Santa Maria is a graphic designer living in Brooklyn, New York. He recently co-founded Editorially, a collaborative writing application that “fully respects the actual writing process.” He is the co-founder of A Book Apart that “publishes highly detailed and meticulously edited examinations of single topics.” He’s also responsible for all of its beautiful book design. He’s the founder of Typedia, “a shared encyclopedia of typefaces online,” and a former creative director for Typekit, “the easiest way to use real fonts on the web.”

Jason is one of those few designers who could walk the line between print and web. Even though his design sensibilities are drawn from print design and a deep love for typography, he applies his vast knowledge of type equally well on both printed materials and web interfaces and his style strikes a balance between usability and readability.

In the previous version of his blog, he experimented with online art direction. He wrote:

Professionally, I’ve recently become a bit disillusioned with my design work because it feels static. I design a site, and regardless of the content, it’s usually dropped into a template, reducing the design to more a bit player rather than a worthy partner to that content. In other media, the design adapts to support different kinds of content and themes in order to play a supportive role. So when I decided I wanted a change, instead of designing one look for a site, I designed a system.

Jason proved that with CSS and HTML skills, web designers could break out of the static template and create a unique reading experience. In addition to his work, he also shares his knowledge on web typography. I can’t wait to cop a copy of his upcoming book for A Book Apart. In the meantime, his speaks at An Event Apart and Build Conference are must watch.

Learn more about Jason and his work at Jasonsantamaria.com and a great interview at The Great Discontent.

This is a preparation for my graduate seminar presentation on a designer I admired.

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