Bethany Heck and Joshua Goldenberg

Renowned design leaders Bethany Heck and Joshua Goldenberg have joined the Automattic Design team.

I did a quick interview with renowned design leaders Bethany Heck and Joshua Goldenberg just as they are about to get started here at Automattic. —JM

When people ask you “What’s design?” what do you tell them?

Bethany Heck: Design is applied art—the act of translating emotions, technical limitations and business needs into an artistic, experiential format.

Joshua Goldenberg: Design is the purposeful creation of something to be used.

Do you have a favorite talk online?

Joshua: Bret Victor — Inventing on principle.

Bethany: Paula Scher — Great design is serious, not solemn.

What’s your favorite digital product?

Bethany: My Nintendo Switch 🙂.

Joshua: Ableton Live. I’ve been a paid user of it since version 1.

What’s your favorite non-digital product?

Joshua: I have a pretty strong affinity for my Toyota Tacoma, (which is semi-digital because it has on onboard computer).

Bethany: A specific sweater I have. So warm and cozy.


Bethany Heck is Senior Design Director of Emotional Design at Automattic, and is a multi-disciplinary designer, writer, and assembler of stellar teams. She’s devoted to advancing typographic practice across all design disciplines and runs the Font Review Journal, a project devoted to examining the intersection of typeface design and the way type is used by designers.

Joshua Goldenberg is a Principal Designer at Automattic, and has been a designer for over 25 years, working on everything from print and packaging design for indie record labels, to the interfaces of realtime filmmaking systems and virtual worlds, and the design of a software ecosystem for the worldʼs most powerful data synthesis platform

By John Maeda

I'm a learner. By training.