Gonyea, Mark

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Gonyea, Mark

PERSONAL:

Born in New York, NY. Education: Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Art, graduate.

ADDRESSES:

Home—VT. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Author and illustrator; freelance graphic artist, 1996—. Heavy Metal (magazine), designer, 1995-96; Vermont Teddy Bear Company, graphic artist, 1998-2000, assistant art director, 2002-04, art director, 2004, art director of subsidiary SendAMERICA, 2000-02.

WRITINGS:

A Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Good, Holt (New York, NY), 2005.

Another Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Bad, Holt (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

A graduate of the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Art, Mark Gonyea worked as a magazine designer in New York City before moving to Vermont and working for many years designing and directing art and branding projects for the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Gonyea used this real-world experience as a graphic designer to write two books teaching the concepts of art and design to young readers: A Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Good and Another Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Bad.

In A Book about Design Gonyea uses spare prose to introduce basic concepts about viewers' perception of size, shape, and color. The design of his book is also spare, demonstrating the simplicity the book's text discusses. The author's "minimalist approach to text and composition makes this book an effective advertisement for his message about the beauty of uncluttered design," wrote Wendy Lukehart in a School Library Journal review of A Book of Design. While a Publishers Weekly critic pointed out that some design basics, such as the color wheel, are never mentioned, Rebecca Martin concluded in School Arts that the book will be useful to students because Gonyea's text is "always tinged with a sense of humor." A Kirkus Reviews contributor predicted of A Book about Design that readers "will delight in this energetic treatment" of a creative subject.

To create the counterpoint of the recommendations made in his first text, Gonyea defends complexity in Another Book about Design. Again using a concise text, the author discusses concepts of patterns—such as foreground and background and positive versus negative space—exploring how and why some complicated designs are appealing and effective. Gonyea's "interactive sequel … will leave kids eager to play with the concepts," wrote Gillian Engberg in Booklist. Robin L. Gibson, writing in School Library Journal, called Another Book about Design a "lively volume" that is "just as successful" as A Book about Design.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of A Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Good, p. 1581; July 1, 2007, Gillian Engberg, review of Another Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Bad, p. 52.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 2007, review of Another Book about Design, p. 86.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), July 28, 2007, Mary Harris Russell, review of Another Book about Design, p. 7.

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2005, review of A Book about Design, p. 588.

Publishers Weekly, June 27, 2005, review of A Book about Design, p. 62; August 13, 2007, "Worth a Thousand Words," p. 69.

School Library Journal, July, 2005, Wendy Lukehart, review of A Book about Design, p. 89; September, 2007, Robin L. Gibson, review of Another Book about Design, p. 182.

ONLINE

Mark Gonyea Home Page,http://www.mroblivious.com (October 26, 2008).

Macmillan Web site,http://us.macmillan.com/ (October 26, 2008), "Mark Gonyea."