mission and core values


awards and published recognition


organizational involvement

mission and core values

originalia is the design studio of julie mader-meersman, a practitioner in the field of graphic design since 1991. originalia was founded in 2004 to focus on its mission of creating high-quality design for the public good — specifically, for non-profit, community, and arts-based organizations. originalia takes an inquisitive and informed approach to the design process that banks on tangible research, and invents insightful ideas through visual experimentation and artistic sensibilities. originalia strives to maximize the potential of and create appropriate visual outcomes for each organization and project with whom it works. in its practice, originalia values:

originalitya drive for unique, creative perspectives and authenticity fuel the production of memorable and impactful visual outcomes

professionalismfocused, strategic planning with a personal, collaborative approach that is accompanied by the sophisticated, well-crafted, efficient execution of all projects

passioncommitment, high energy, and love for its work go into every originalia project

responsibility originalia is conscientious of maximizing precious human, natural, financial, and industrial resources

advocacyoriginalia is an advocate for the clients it represents, organizations of social and cultural worth, the practice of fine arts, as well as design through higher education


Julie Mader-Meersman is a graphic designer, visual artist, and design educator. She earned her mfa in Visual Communication Design from the University of Washington School of Art, Seattle in 1996. For four years following, she was the senior designer at Whittington & Company, a marketing and communications firm in Austin, Texas. There, she did design, art direction, and project management encompassing the entire creative process for editorial, informational, and commercial projects including corporate, institutional, and product brochures; magazines; identities; catalogues; annual reports; posters; billboards; newsletters; trade show exhibits; web sites; and self-promotional items.

After moving to Minnesota, she telecommuted for Whittington & Company before becoming Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2000. There she also served as Design and Production Director of New Rivers Press, a non-profit literary small press. A native of Kentucky, in 2003, she began teaching in the visual communication Design program at her undergraduate alma mater, Northern Kentucky University (bfa Graphic Design, 1993), where she is now a full professor. She has extensive freelance experience, having done work for clients spanning entrepreneurs to major corporations, universities to mid-sized companies, and nonprofit organizations.

Her research areas include electronic and traditional forms of publication and book design, artist’s books, design history, design pedagogy, typography, graphic culture, information design, interaction design, sustainable design, visible language systems, and women’s issues. As an extension of her love and interest in typography, publication/book design, creative processes and their impact, in her independent fine art, she produces mixed media works that focus on thoughts and questions on the definition and conveyance of meaning; personal narrative/experience; domestic life; the visual/physical properties of words and books; and the processes of recording, cataloging, mapping and documenting meaning and experience.

Her art, design and research have been presented broadly, including in venues and publications such as the resurrecting the book conference (library of birmingham, birmingham, uk), the carnegie center for visual and performing arts (covington, Ky), the aiga head/heart/hand conference (minneapolis, mn), the riffe gallery of the ohio arts council (columbus, oh), how magazine, the Arts + Literature Laboratory Gallery (New Haven, ct); manifest creative research gallery and drawing center (Cincinnati, oh); Communication Arts Magazine; aiga/Cincinnati Origination Design Competition; Print Magazine; Plains Art Museum (Fargo, nd); the aiga/Minnesota Design Show of Excellence (Minneapolis, mn); the National Design Educator’s Exhibition (Stillwater, ok); the gallery of nbbj (Seattle, wa); Teaching Graphic Design: Course Offerings and Class Projects from the Leading Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, edited by Steven Heller; masters: collage, edited by randel plowman; and in A/B/C: An Exhibition of Altered Books and Experimental Artists’ Books (The Gallery, University of Northampton, Northampton, uk).

Mader-Meersman speaking at 'Resurrecting the Book' Birmingham, UK, November 2013

speaking at resurrecting the book, birmingham, uk, november 2013; photo by Lizzy Pournara

awards, collections, presentations, and published recognition

private collection, sara m. and michelle vance waddell, solidarity sashes: miss piggy and 19 other titles for women who threaten trumpís insecurities original set of 2016 pre-election performance art sashes, feb 2017

nominee, frank sinton milburn outstanding professor award, northern kentucky university, jan 2016 (faculty colleagues, nominators)

winner, Best Food Truck/cart Design, springfield rotary gourmet food truck rally, springfield, ohio, aug 2015

winner, merit award, "graphis typography 3," new york, apr 16, 2015

interview, howdesign.com, “Thoughts on Communication Design and UX Education,” mar 27, 2015 (James Pannafino, writer/editor)

faculty advisor, silver addy award winner: Cincinnati brewery companion (patrick dewenter, designer), feb 2015

feature, communication arts design annual 55, “exhibit,” marty's waffles food truck design, sept/oct2014 (jean coyne, executive editor)

faculty advisor, 2014 above the fold award winners: compleat app design (andrew acree, designer); imagine that! app design (kati best, designer); cairn hiking app (patrick dewenter, designer); Jim's top 5 typefaces, responsive web design and development (James merritt, designer); and quantum 2014 responsive web design and development (kendra hacker, designer), aug 2014 (judges: Patrick McNeil, Brian Miller, Jeffrey Zeldman and Charles Nix)

winner, Best Food Truck/cart Design, springfield rotary gourmet food truck rally, springfield, ohio, aug 16, 2014 (21 roaming judges among 35 food trucks)

citation, mobile cuisine magazine, “branding: creating a food truck logo that matches your brand,” aug 7, 2014 (richard myrick, editor-in-chief)

feature, mobile cuisine magazine, ďfood truck profile: marty's waffles," jun 19, 2014 (hannah ashor, co-founder & contributor)

winner, voted Mobile-Cuisine.com's 2014 Best Food Truck Graphic Design of the Year (june 6, 2014); nominated into the Top 10 of 75 trucks (may 27, 2014)

feature, communication arts,exhibit online,” marty's waffles food truck design, may 28, 2014, (sara breselor, associate editor)

citation, the northerner online, "visual design seniors accredit creativity as the key to their future," Mader-Meersman's fall 2013 senior capstone students, dec 4, 2013 (jessica kopena, staff writer)

poster session author/exhibitor, "what is visual communication design? a visual explanation for students, universities and communities" accepted for the eighth international conference on design principles and practices, vancouver, british columbia, january 2014; and aiga head, heart and hand national design educators' conference, minneapolis, oct 2013

fellowship/grant presentation, "artistís web-books for handheld mobile devices: An Interactive Channel for Design, Art, Authorship and Exhibition," provost's report on faculty development programs, northern kentucky university board of regents meeting, jan 2014

profile, Engaging minds and hearts, office of the dean of the nku college of arts & sciences, nov, 2013

presentation, "Artistís Books for Handheld Mobile Devices: Expanding the Artist Book Genre," resurrecting the book conference, Library of Birmingham, birmingham, England, nov 2013 (dr. caroline archer and dr matthew day, reviewers; johanna drucker, session moderator)

"Carnegie’s art exhibit gets domestic," cincinnati enquirer, campbell county recorder (cincinnati.com), oct 20, 2013 (amy scalf)

Longlist, Data Visualization category, 2013 Kantar Information Is Beautiful Awards, Twentieth Century Design: A Timescape, oct, 2013 (judges: john maeda, Patrick Burgoyne, Eric Rodenbeck & George Oates, david mccandless, aziz cami, Stefanie Posavec, and duncan swain)

"Two NKU students win awards at graphic arts national conference," nku.edu home page photo feature, oct 24, 2013

faculty advisor, Share Her Story Campaign (Sarah Faulkner, designer) and STEM > STEAM promotion (naryb Wasylycia, designer): AIGA 2013 (Re)design Awards, student category winners, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2013 (international); feature case studies on livingprinciples.org (feb 4, 2014 and feb 11, 2014 respectively)

permanent collection, duke university, david m. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, when I became a woman: a collection of personal accounts, oct 2013 (kelly wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian, sallie bingham center for women's history and culture, artists' books collection)

citation, "new on the bookshelf," cbas turns the page, cincinnati book arts society blog, sept 29, 2013

contributor, 500 handmade books, lark books, sept 2013 (julie chen, curator/juror)

panelist, tablets in the classroom ó taking the virtual plunge, meet, greet & grab a seat: a colleague to colleague conference (third annual), northern kentucky university, aug 2013

"New Acquisitions: Artistsí Books by Women," The Devilís Tale: Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Jun 26, 2013 (Sallie Bingham Center for Womenís History and Culture)

permanent collection, duke university, david m. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, skirt book: made in the usa, apr 2013 (kelly wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian, sallie bingham center for women's history and culture, artists' books collection)

faculty advisor, Northern Kentucky University 2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog cover design (Sarah Faulkner, student designer; Cincinnati Ad Federation Silver Award, Cincinnati, Ohio, feb 2013)

invited peer reviewer, the principles and processes of interactive design by jamie steane, january 2013, and basics design 07: grids by gavin Ambrose & paul Harris, nov 2012; bloomsbury (ava publishing), worthing, uk

citation, "Developing a Responsive and Flexible Graphic Design Program: an approach to curricular redesign," Catch 22: Eight Annual UCDA Design Education Summit — Abstracts & Proceedings, May 2012 (Meghan Urban and Jason Dilworth, State university of New York at Fredonia, authors)

"2010 in review: best in the arts," columbus alive, dec 23, 2010 (jackie mantey)

contributor, aeqai: a journal for writing on the visual arts in greater cincinnati, dec 2010 (alton frabetti, founder/editor)

review, “'i of the text' eyes social issues with art," the lantern, jun 1, 2010 (raad shubaily, reviewer)

Contributor, Masters: Collage — major works by leading artists, Sterling Publishers (Lark Books), jun 2010 (Randel Plowman, curator)

review, “provocative prose: wordplay links text-filled pieces by Ohioans," the columbus dispatch, may 16, 2010 (amy davis, reviewer)

Contributor, the image of business cards today, artpower international publishing company, shenzhen, china, nov 2009

Contributor, eco books: inventive projects from the recycling bin, Sterling Publishers (Lark Books), oct 2009 (terry taylor, editor)

permanent collection, university of oregon, architecture and allied arts library, oxytocin good, mar 2009 (cara list, curator, artists' books collection)

Maternal Legends Catalog: A Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Artist Books, 23 Sandy Gallery, Publisher, Portland, Oregon, 2008

Contributor, The Bonefolder: An e-Journal for the Bookbinder and Book Artist, “Bind-o-Rama 2008,” Syracuse, New York, Vol. v, No. 1, pg 40, Fall 2008 (Peter Verheyen, editor)

Contributor, How Magazine: Special Focus – Handmade Design cover story, “A Show of Hand,” Aug 2008 (Tiffany Meyers, author)

citation, big book of design ideas 3 collins design publishing, aug 2008 (David E Carter and Suzanna mw stephens, authors)

citation, best business card designs 8, rockport publishers, Mar 2008 (sibley/peteet design, editors/authors)

citation, how magazine: designer’s good business guide, design & creativity: your creative life feature, “Hey Good Lookin',” dec 2007 (Compiled by Megan Lane Patrick)

How magazine self-promotion design annual, award of merit, designer promotions category, oct 2007

Panelist, “portfoio review,” and paper presentation, "the graphic design admittance review: a report on success," intent/content: aiga education conference 2007, nashville, jun 2007

magnitude 7: 2007, vol. 20 exhibition catalog, manifest creative research gallery and drawing center, publisher, cincinnati, ohio, sum 2007

originalia takes three awards at the aiga origination competition awards ceremony at the 20th century theater in oakley > the studio earned an award of design merit for its letterpress stationery system; an award of design achievement for the cover of the book hill country and other poems; and a coveted award of design excellence for the cover of the book, around the square — that's mason by renée walker, may 2007

review, “Chamber Unveils New Logo, Tagline,” kentucky post, Ap 27, 2006 (Katie Weitkamp, Reporter)

Contributor, “Too Many Grads or Too Few Competencies? The Design School Dilemma,” voice: aiga journal of design and business week, aug 2005 (Steven Heller, author)

review, “Winter Wonderment," cincinnati enquirer weekend, jan 21, 2005 (Sara Pearce, reviewer)

Juror, Horvath Student Exhibition Rike Center Gallery, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, mar 2005

Contributor, teaching graphic design: course offerings and class projects from the leading undergraduate and graduate programs, Allworth Press, oct 2003 (Steven Heller, editor)

citation, communication arts, “Great Ideas on Limited Budgets,” MSUM gallery poster, Volume 45, No. 2, p 48, May/Jun 2003 (Rebecca Bedrossian, editor)

citation, reason: the journal that brings clients and designers together, “AIGA Minnesota 24th annual Design Show of Excellence: Posters,” MSUM gallery poster, issue 1, Volume 1, p 63, 2002-03 (aiga minnesota chapter, editor)

Fargo/Moorhead Ad Federation Silver Award, MSU Moorhead president's report, Fargo, North Dakota, feb 2003

Panelist, “Women in the Visual Arts: Practices & Territories” Red River Valley Women’s Studies Conference, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, fall 2002 (anna arnar, panel leader)

Design Educators’ National Exhibition Best of Show award, Rosedale Ride poster, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, fall 2000

Austin Ad Federation Silver Award, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours newsletter series, Austin, Texas, feb 1999

citation, print's regional design annual 1998, Whittington & Company holiday booklet, Print LII:V, p137, sept/oct 1998

Westin Hotels and Resorts, “Smart Dining” campaign, global food and beverage division competition Winner, Seattle, Washington, 1995



fs17 (and gallery talk), fs16, fs15, fs14, fs13, fs12, inner visions ('09), fs08, fs07, fs06, fs05, fs04 (faculty exhibitions): main gallery, Northern Kentucky University, 2004Ė17

personal effects: artistís books | collage | poetry | objects, solo exhibition of creative activity produced while on sabbatical, carnegie center for performing and visual arts, duveneck gallery, covington, kentucky, october 25Ėdecember 1, 2013

julie mader-meersman: art in a case, malone university, canton, ohio, january — february, 2012 (Clare Murray Adams, curator)

printed poetry, homewood studios, minneapolis, minnesota, october, 2011 (George Roberts, juror)

personal effects: artistís books | collage | poetry | objects, solo exhibition of creative activity produced while on sabbatical, third floor gallery, northern kentucky university, januaryĖfebruary, 2011

Mothers, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, illinois, 2010 (Rachel Epp Buller, curator)

lost and found: the art of collage, an exhibition celebrating the launch of the book, “Masters: Collage — major works by leading artists,” (Lark Books), main galleries, northern kentucky university, august–september, 2010 (Randel Plowman, curator)

the i of the text, the riffe gallery of the ohio arts council, columbus, ohio, May–July, 2010 (liz maugans, curator)

French Paper Sample Room Online Exhibition, November, 2009

maternal legends: A Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Artist Books, 23 sandy gallery, portland, oregon, 2008–09

out of the box: art from the inside out, Forty-Eight Artists' Unique Interpretations of Vintage Jewerly Boxes Transformed Into Works Of Art, Main street gallery, cincinnati, Ohio, curated by paige wideman, 2008–09 (traveling)

modest in scale, abecedarian gallery: artists' books and prints, denver, colorado, 2008

exhibition coordinator, hatch show print: work by the nashville letterpress poster shop, main gallery, Northern Kentucky University, highland heights, kentucky, September 27 – october 26, 2007 (coordinated co-sponsorship of public lecture by jim sherraden with aiga|cincinnati)

curator, on its feet: contemporary letterpress book arts — a national invitational exhibition, third floor gallery, Northern Kentucky University. exhibiting artists: macy chadwick, Julie chen, carrie galbraith, alisa golden, susan king, ellen knudson, emily martin, drew matott, jeff morin, michael skjei, and jessica spring, September 27 – october 26, 2007

visions from voices: Art Inspired by Kentucky Poetry, Prose and Songwriting, kentucky museum of art + craft, louisville, kentucky, July 7 – october 6, 2007 (brion clinkingbeard, curator/juror)

Magnitude 7, manifest creative research gallery and drawing center, cincinnati, ohio, june 6 – july 3, 2007 (jason franz and jeffrey salter, co-curators) (reviews: citybeat and the cincinnati.com art blog)

AIGA Origination Design show*, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2007 (michael hodgson, monica little, christopher simmons, jurors) *award of design excellence, award of design merit, and award of design achievement recipient

A/B/C : Add/Book/Collaborate — An Exhibition of Altered Books and Experimental Artists’ Books, The Gallery, University of Northampton, Northampton, uk, 2007

texture, ALL (arts + literature laboratory) gallery, new haven, connecticut, 2006 (howard el-yasin, juror)

the state of design: selections of alumni work, Jacob Lawrence Gallery, School of Art, Division of Design, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 2006 (in conjunction with icograda design week, seattle)

word-Art, University galleries on sycamore, cincinnati, ohio, 2005 (Gary Gaffney, Kelly Malec-Kosak, Harry Campbell, jurors)

dialogue between art and design: works by northern kentucky university graphic design alumni, Ross Art Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, 2005 (David Knight, curator)

fargo/moorhead literary festival book exhibition, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota, 2004

AIGA Origination Design competition, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2004 (Marc English, Debbie Millman, Sam Shelton, jurors)

NKU Faculty Exhibition, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing Library, 2003

On/Of Paper 2, Adams State College, Alamosa, Colorado, 2003 (Dale Leys, juror)

AIGA Minnesota Design Show of Excellence, International Market Square, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2002

Design Educators’ National Exhibition, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, 2002 (Anne Richardson, juror) and 2000* (Barbara Dunn, juror) *best of show recipient

Art on the Plains, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota, 2002 (Lucinda Barnes, juror)

Faculty Exhibitions: Roland Dille Center for the Arts Gallery, minnesota state university Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota; 2000, 2001, 2002

MFA Thesis Exhibition: julie mader-meersman and yiu-hung li, The Gallery of NBBJ, Seattle,Washington, 1996

Designer as Author: Voices and Visions, Northern Kentucky University, 1996

Open 11, Jacob Lawrence Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1995

Work in Progress, Jacob Lawrence Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1995


organizational involvement

adobe digital publishing suite pre-release group, 2011

american institute of graphic arts / cincinnati chapter (board member and co-chair, events and education, 2003-05)

design can change, member since 2006

ladies of letterpress, member since 2009

the living principles, member since 2011