James Van Meer
2050 Art and Design Building; MSN: 1C3
James X. Van Meer (Jim) is a native of the Washington, D.C. metro area and has been actively engaged in branding, marketing, and design for over 40 years. His scholarly background includes an Associate of Arts in Advertising Design from Montgomery College, Rockville, MD, a Bachelor of Arts in Design from American University, Washington, DC, and a Master of Fine Arts in Art and Visual Technology from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Jim’s MFA thesis exhibition, Under the Gun, was a “powerful, solemn message” about gun violence in America, using graphic design to “bring statistics to life and encourage peaceful conversations about a particularly volatile subject.”
Jim began his career as a designer for GEICO’s in-house communications team before moving on to become the creative director for The Paton Group, a small, Alexandria, Virginia-based marketing communications firm. He then went on to open his own creative consultancy, Van Meer Creative, before joining the American Petroleum Institute (API), where he served for 22 years as the Senior Manager of Marketing and Creative for the organization’s global line of business. In January 2019 Jim opened Thinkpoint Creative, a full-service studio offering design, branding, and marketing communications to local, regional, national, and international clients.
In 2015, Jim joined George Mason University’s School of Art, teaching Professional Design Practices, Advertising Design, and Marketing by Design to undergraduate and graduate students. He also serves as a graduate advisor, primarily in the areas of special topics in graphic design, including independent research and design projects.
Due to his branding and marketing expertise, Jim works across the interdisciplinary spectrum at George Mason University, serving as a design and marketing advisor on the Geo. Mason Wine Committee, counseling students and professional administrative staff on the creation, distribution, and marketing of the branded wines, wherein a portion of the proceeds go to fund Mason scholarships. Most recently, Jim has guided his Marketing by Design students through an identity and marketing campaign for the Enslaved People of George Mason Memorial project at George Mason University, a student-led research initiative exploring the hidden voices of the enslaved people behind the university’s namesake.
In 2020, Jim joined the ranks of Mason’s Career Influencers Network, supported by the school’s University Career services office. Mason’s Career Influencer’s Network model is a nationally recognized best practice for reaching out to all students with career development support, and his efforts within this arena have led to presentations on the subject with other universities and employers.
Through his studies and work, Jim has received numerous awards, including the George Mason University School of Art Graduate Award for Academic and Artistic Excellence, Graphic Design USA American In-house Design awards, and various Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington annual show awards. Jim is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and the American Marketing Association (AMA).