Trained mathematician Simon Page has found a new career in graphic design, where he blends 1960s minimalist influences with more futuristic designs. His work shines in this collection of posters for the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

IYA 2009 was a yearlong celebration of astronomy declared by the United Nations. The event coincided with the four hundredth anniversary of Galileo's first use of the telescope to observe the heavens and the publication of Kepler's *Astronomia Nova*. Simon Page wasn't actually hired by the IYA 2009 organizers to design posters for the event; instead, he was inspired by the project and decided to make the promotional works on his own. When the IYA 2009 staff found his works online, they jumped at the opportunity to use them in an official capacity.

Page has since been featured in leading design publications like *Creative Review* and the *New York Times*, but it was never his plan to work in graphic design. Originally from the United Kingdom, Page graduated university with a degree in applied mathematics. He then worked in London's financial sector before moving into programming and database development. With this new work came a need for well-designed presentations, which led him to his current pursuits.

In a recent interview with the design blog Grain Edit, Page discussed how his mathematics background influences his work:

I think maths has inspired me hugely and influenced more geometric designs than I probably would of created otherwise. I also think a lot of artists, like myself, subliminally use mathematics in their creations - such as the golden ratio for creating eye candy layout designs.

I find it very satisfying getting mathematically correct proportions when designing something like a logo, for example. But for me the main connection between math and design is pure and simple, it's geometry. The golden ratio is probably one of the most popular examples of math and design coming together but look back at the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, for instance, he used mathematics all the time in his art. I also believe some of the best designers work with math, in a number of aspects, even though they probably do it completely subconsciously.

You can check out the rest of his interview with Grain Edit and see some more examples of his work here.

## DISCUSSION

I really liked the header art-piece, when I thought it was a graphical representation of the orbits of the Planets, done as a poster, for the 'International Year of Astronomy 2009' ...

... I thought; 'Oh, he could have used more representative colours for Mercury, Venus and the Third Rock, and he could have signified their orbital periods with different degrees of circumference, rather than give them all the same 180 degrees' ...

... but it turns out that it was something called 'Total Rainbow 2', inspired by the lens flare he saw through a porthole and that the curves represent the waves ... *sigh* ... They're still very nice (more than nice actually, they're beautiful), but somebody please get me an astrophysicist, 'cos I need a graphical representation of a spherical chicken in a vacuum, and I need it bad ...