Johnathon Strube


Multi-disciplinary designer and educator creating work that investigates social and cultural systems.

I am interested in the way meaning is constructed by the intentional combination of verbal and non-verbal elements in a pursuit of visual and intellectual agency that reflects or records the human condition. I see this practice as a specific segment of social design inspiring change through tangible messages presented as advocacy, activism, documentation, education, experiential frameworks, storytelling, visual narrative or visual rhetoric.

I focus on meaning and message over style or medium. This focus has allowed me to develop a multi-disciplinary relationship with graphic design, working with talented clients, organizations, colleagues and students across industry and topic.

I began my career as a visual journalist creating editorial design for the Chicago Sun-Times News Group suburban bureau. I then turned my interest in the human condition toward social design and worked in-house for a not-for-profit organization. From there, I founded and worked in a small social design studio in Chicago, serving a variety of inspiring organizations and missions. Ultimately, this led to the founding of my own small social design studio and practice. All of these experiences have been united by a need to elevate humanity through communication.

Since 2010, I have been sharing this experience and instigating young designers to find their own agency and impact through graphic design. I have found that my talents and passion are best served by inspiring students in an educational environment.

I hold a Master of Fine Arts, MFA, in Visual Communication from Northern Illinois University. I hold a Bachelor of Arts, BA, in History with a minor in Studio Art from Northern Illinois University.

Detailed Biography

Links of Interest

I currently serve Chicago’s oldest professional design organization as Treasurer for The Society of Typographic Arts.

I maintain an ongoing research project exploring visual rhetoric and contextual reference through typographic expression and composition entitled Making Thoughts.

I had the pleasure of being interviewed and sharing my thoughts on social design in the Design for Good article of Frank Magazine.

© Johnathon Strube, 2016–2018.
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