Ben Barry is a communication designer, illustrator, printer, and thinker at Facebook. Born in Ada, Oklahoma, but raised in Texas near Austin, Ben Barry is now in Silicon Valley working as a designer for Facebook, where his focus is on developing Facebook's online presence, voice and brand. "It's an exciting opportunity to be able to focus on developing such a young brand that millions of people all over the world already interact with on a daily basis," says Barry. "I am immensely interested in the massive potential that we have to influence social change by encouraging an atmosphere of openness and sharing." Before taking on this challenge, Barry, a graduate of the University of North Texas, worked for the design firm and screen-printing shop The Decoder Ring in Austin. There he honed his skills with a range of clients, doing packaging, merchandising and a lot of screen-printed posters. He's also an alumni of John Bielenberg's experimental design education program, Project M, where he explored the role graphic designers can play in encouraging social change.

Barry's work often displays a pared-down sensibility. "Visually, more often than not, my work is graphically simple with a limited palette of bright colors," he says. "It seems to work for me with my limited drawing ability, and I really admire the economy of one and two-color design work." UnderConsideration's Armin Vit appreciates Barry's approach. "Everything is perfectly crafted," Vit says. "[Barry's design work] is varied, and it has a very engaging vibrancy that I would deem as decidedly American—something I mean as a compliment, and reflected in his great use of typography and imagery."

As Vit notes, "Ben doesn't seem to sit back and wait for things to happen. He goes out and gets it. Whether starting TheRoot42, signing up for Project M or doing self-initiated posters, he has that design curiosity that makes for endless success."

—Excerpt from STEP Magazine article by Terry Lee Stone