Meet the Board | Jonathan Silberman, Interactive Web Chair

Jonathan (he/him) an award-winning graphic designer, coder, and author with a passion for leveraging multidisciplinary skills to benefit nonprofits and socially-conscious businesses. With a BA in Graphic Design from American University and nearly 20 years of experience, he specializes in developing marketing, websites, and identity systems that not only win accolades — from the likes of HOW, Print, and Graphic Design USA — but also make a real difference.

What’s your biggest challenge as a designer or creative?

So far my biggest challenge is my current challenge: freelancing full-time. It is scary to be wholly responsible for drumming up business for your own livelihood, but following a layoff from the tech sector I decided to take the plunge and turn my almost 20-year side hustle into my main gig. 

What’s your favorite quote/philosophy?

A stitch in time saves nine. It’s hard to be proactive when life throws stressors your way, but I’ve found that if I keep that in mind, it helps stop the little things from compounding into big things.

What’s your biggest lesson you’ve learned from being a designer?

I love how many ways there are to solve the same problem; it is purely down to the approach, application of skills, and personal aesthetics. For a very long time, I was pursuing the “perfect” solution to a problem I was working on, agonizing over every detail. But, over time, I’ve come to realize that perfection is an illusion. People are messy and complicated, our solutions are never going to be perfect — and sometimes there is a beauty in the imperfection.

What are your top 3 favorite books or movies? (doesn’t have to be design-related)

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (anime tv series)

What’s a ‘dream project’ you’ve always wanted to work on?

I’ve always wanted to work as a designer for a tv series or movie; someone who makes all the ephemera, fake logos, photoshopped family portraits, etc. All those little things that help tell the whole story and enhance the believability of the plot.

What sparks creativity for you?

Museums and books are big sources of inspiration for me. It’s wonderful to experience how artists are materializing their ideas and the way the meaning changes as each viewer imposes their own interpretation onto those same pieces. Additionally, I love getting lost in the world-building of fiction; it disconnects my brain from the real world and lets me immerse myself in a totally different reality.

What are some of your hobbies?

I’m an avid science fiction reader with a bent towards hard-science fiction. I also collect art, force myself to run, and bake.

By Drew Bonsu
Published February 3, 2024