Under a sea of color sits a woman with a passion for graphic design.
Lining a bland wall is the pride and joy of Julie Mader-Meersman’s office: books that range in topics from graphic design to typography to niche specific books.
As for a favorite book, Mader-Meersman finds it near impossible to decide on just one.
“You’re going to ask me to pick favorites? That’s really hard!” Mader-Meersman said. “They’re all my babies.”
When Mader-Meersman first moved into the office in 2003, it didn’t have any shelves and that was one thing that she changed right away.
“I use my library a lot in my classes, bring things frequently from it and it’s one of the main things that I do in my own personal creative work is book design and book making, so I had to have room for my books,” Mader-Meersman said.
In true visual art stereotype, Mader-Meersman’s office is littered with a variety of objects from Day of the Dead skulls hanging in the corner, to posters she designed clinging to the walls and even art work from students scattered about.
Mader-Meersman’s poster collection comes from all corners of the world, from her own designs to one from a company in Texas and even one from Holland that she purchased while teaching a study abroad class.
Hidden between the works of art stand smaller trinkets that Mader-Meersman keeps around for several reasons.
“Being in art and design we’re very conscientious of design culture and I like packaged design, small format design of a variety of designs, even working with phone media makes you conscious of small scale,” Mader-Meersman said. “Some things are gifts, either from my friends or colleagues or things that I want to use and find for show and tell in my classes.”
In an office that clearly drew a lot of inspiration from somewhere, Mader-Meersman says she wanted to create a space that continues to inspire.
“I like to surround myself with what inspires me and that I can share with students,” Mader-Meersman said. “I mean that’s the main thing. How can we have this come through? There’s so much. If I just treated it like a space to put my coat and to have meetings then it’s not really a great learning space.”
Also there for moral support are pictures of Mader-Meersman’s family.
“My family totally inspires and motivates me so they’re around,” Mader-Meersman said. “I don’t go anywhere without their faces.”
While space is an issue in the office, Mader-Meersman says she does her best, using the graphic designer in her to always be thinking of ways to change her office.
“I get a little bored having to be like this. I get antsy for change and I’m always wondering what else I can do,” Mader-Meersman said. “I’ll occasionally change out a few pieces of furniture... but I’m kind of limited because it’s a little bit tight.”