Meri A. Page: Educator To Watch

Our GDUSA Educators To Watch series shines the spotlight on teachers and administrators who are making a difference to their art and design students, schools and communities, and their own disciplines.


Meri A. Page | Syracuse University Communications Design

Meri A. Page is an interdisciplinary designer originally from Maine and now based in Syracuse NY where she is an Assistant Professor of Communications Design at Syracuse University. Page’s research expertise and interests include artists’ books/publication design, typography, and design history. Page attended Pratt Institute and has an M.F.A. in Studio Art and a B.A. in Art History from Mills College at Northeastern University in Oakland CA. Page has more than twenty years of professional experience working in the design industry, where she created work for regional, national, and international clients. Page’s creative work has been shown nationally and internationally with recent exhibitions at the Vienna Art Book Fair, Tropic Bound Art Book Fair, The Boston Art Book Fair, and the Southern Utah Museum of Art. Page’s work is held in public and private collections. Publishing artists’ books under the imprint Seaweed Press, Page’s projects explore themes of cultural history and connections to the environment.


GDUSA: How and why did you decide to make education a meaningful part of your career?

I enjoy the dynamic nature of teaching, as each day presents a wealth of unique experiences and a continuous journey of intellectual growth fostered by engaging discussions about design. Amid the prevailing uncertainty in our present world, collaborating with my students and witnessing their enthusiasm and discoveries on their journey as designers instills a sense of optimism for the future.


GDUSA: Are ethical issues — for example, encouraging students to think about designing for good or for social justice — part of the curriculum. Should they be?


Absolutely. Much of my career as a designer has involved supporting non-profits through design, so this is a subject that I am passionate about. Much of my teaching focus is to educate students on their power as designers to create and sustain change and look at historical and contemporary examples of design activism while encouraging students to find their unique voice through self-created projects and pro bono work for causes they care about. Using the power of design to address critical challenges, empower communities, raise awareness, foster collaboration, and promote sustainability, designers can influence policies, drive innovation, and inspire positive change in our society and the environment.


GDUSA: One criticism we hear from employers is that students come out of school knowing web design and digital media but NOT print or package design or other ‘traditional’ media. Your reaction?


In this era of rapid technological change and the rising sophistication of AI, materiality and making may be more relevant than ever, particularly in differentiating yourself as an emerging designer. Students in the Communications Design program cultivate digital and hand-making skills through self-created projects in publication design, exhibition design, packaging design, branding, and IU/UX. Our seniors graduate with a well-rounded portfolio in these critical areas of design.