Designing a Better Future for Seattle
We are a community of creative pioneers, harnessing the power of design to build a better future. We constantly explore and leverage the physical and digital landscapes, by engaging people through design-related programming.
We are designers, strategists, writers, developers, students, educators, directors and volunteers. We call the Pacific Northwest Home. We are AIGA Seattle.
Our National Organization:
AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, inspire designers and the public, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all.
Founded in 1914 as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design and is now known simply as “AIGA, the professional association for design.”
National Initiatives with Local Movement
Diversity & Inclusion / Learn More
We’re currently building a team to research the diversity and inclusion issues facing our local community, and the industry as a whole. This team will be tasked with finding ways for our chapter to join in on the national initiative to encourage diversity in design education, discourse, and practice to expand the future strength and relevance of design in all areas of society. We’ll also be aiming to set clear policies around accessibility for all our chapter offerings. If you’re as excited as we are about this challenge, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about joining this team.
Women Lead / Learn More
This year we’re proud to have a series of events focused on the Women Lead Initiative. The series, “WomanUp” will consist of roundtables, panel discussions, and lectures that are committed to empowering women in design and advancing the vital discourse on issues facing professional women today. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact email@example.com.
Design for Good / Learn More
Our chapter has a long history (20+ years) with cause-related projects going as far back as the founding of Art with Heart, and AIGA Link, to the more recent establishment of our Pour Back Grant and the Changemaker Series. Keep an eye out on our event calendar for the next installment of our heart-warming, design-centric, community-rockin’ goodness in all it’s forms, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Living Principles / Learn More
You want sustainability? We’ve got that, too. From co-hosting the Designers Accord Town Hall events in year’s past, to Green Salons, all the way up to our more recent Paper Airplane workshop series (currently part of the Changemaker Series) where a diverse group of professionals come together to solve a community problem using design strategy, systems thinking, and AIGA’s sustainable design framework — the Living Principles. Rumor has it, there may even be some Culture Design events coming soon. For more information and to get involved, contact email@example.com.
Design for Democracy / Learn More
From fixing poorly designed ballots, to get-out-the-vote campaigns, to the design of a city flag – Design for Democracy is a rich playground with big impact, and this year we’ll be bringing it all home to Seattle. For more information and to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-House INitiative / Learn More
As one of the biggest member groups of AIGA, in-house creatives deserve some special attention. So each year we take part in the national partnership with The Creative Group to bring programming focused on the issues near and dear to in-houser hearts. Keep an eye out for the next big event, and contact email@example.com to get involved.
Emerge / Learn More
Emerge is a series of experiences tailored to help the emerging designer hone their skills, discover their talents, and grow their career. Emerge offers content in the areas of employment, growth, leadership, entrepreneurship, and life skills to designers who are just launching their careers or have up to five years experience in the field. For more information and to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Local Leadership
A robust design community led by a volunteer group of directors, chairs, committees, advisors, & volunteers
Our Board of Directors is an all volunteer team voted in by the chapter membership. These hard-working leaders manage the chapter’s business affairs, set the goals and vision for the upcoming year, and lead an even larger team of Chairs and Committees who all work together to build a better design community.
Brendan creates under the name Lost In Print. As an Art Director for 10+ years in Chicago he served on the AIGA Chicago board for nearly 4 years. Today he’s photographing commercial portraiture and lots of live music in addition to working on a variety of branding, print and UX design projects. Brendan is an Eagle Scout, a wannabe sommelier and he’s looking for the next story to tell.
John’s been a part of Seattle’s creative community for over 16 years, winding his way up from an entry-level admin role to Chief Operations Officer at Methodologie, and most recently was Director of Operations at Digital Kitchen. He savors being surrounded by stupendous strategic design and does what he can to help it thrive. Cultural artifacts bring him joy, especially vintage pinball machines and mid-century vinyl record cover art.
Jenna currently designs digital products at Mentor Creative Group. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has a self-defined degree called Arts, Communications, and Cultural Studies. She’s passionate about improving people’s lives with design.
Kris Olmon is really just a unicorn in disguise. While incognito in Phoenix, he spent his days doing publication design & brand communication. There he began his 10+ years with AIGA and was a founding member of Phoenix Design Week. The heat was on to him so he fled to Seattle. Now he’s hiding in plain sight at a Fortune 500 company as an Instructional Designer & Project Analyst. Although the job is satisfying and life is good, he occasionally dreams of running wild & free.
Larissa is a digital project manager the splits her time between freelance and the awesome team at Phuse. A recent transplant to Seattle, she spent the last three years on the executive board of AIGA Arizona and volunteered for Phoenix Design Week 2013-2015. She’s also one of six writers and contributors for EverydayDPM, a blog that posts articles and inspiration about digital project managers every single day of the year.
Vice President of Client Services at Oracle. In 2013 Wacarra was honored as one of the top 40 Under 40 in Direct Marketing by Direct Marketing News. She actively volunteers at Girls on the Run International and at YearUp, in addition to serving on the Executive Board of AIGA Seattle.
Adam Merkl has worked with Seattle’s creative community for 15+ years. Energized by fresh perspectives, he currently is an independent consultant for Brand Strategy, Business Development and more. Previously, as co-founder of Hilliard’s Beer, Adam developed unique partnerships with Jameson Irish Whiskey, ClearChannel /iHeartMedia, and more. Adam thoroughly enjoys select puns, 80s cars and events likely to have a photo booth.
Ken is passionate about turning complex systems into simple workflows that empower people to get things done. As a designer at Gravity Creative, he works with clients large and small to build and extend their brand across platforms and mediums. He’s been an active member of AIGA since 2009, previously with the Washington, DC, chapter.
Gina is a brand alchemist who melds the elements of a brand into a vision of clarity. She is the Creative Director and founder of Pontaray, a branding consultancy with expertise in omni-channel retail and nonprofit communications. Her favorite opportunities leverage her experience at Coach, Eddie Bauer, etc., to aid nonprofit organizations amplify their mission. Gina lives on Portage Bay with her husband, son and mini-poodle.
Principal Recruiter at Artefact, an award-winning technology, product design, and development company.
Jessica is a 19-year veteran of the architecture/engineering/design world, and a long time administrative project manager and event planner. Having years of experience juggling high priority projects, assignments and details has enabled her to be successful without losing sight of the big picture. Her energy, versatility and “get it done” approach allow her to manage projects of all size with success.
Special Events Directorspecialevents@seattle.aiga.org
An East-Coaster with a personality as fiery as the ginger hair on her head, Krista Serianni specializes in magazine and publication design. Krista strives to use her work to make a difference and is dedicated to creating for non-profit cancer organizations and other charitable individuals. In addition to loving good design, Krista is passionate about eating ice cream, adding to her extensive poster collection and petting every dog she sees.
Student Events Directoreducation@seattle.aiga.org
Whether creating a memorable brand experience, working through a creative evaluation, or giving an onsite presentation, James Holt is always thinking. He is passionate about visual communication of all kinds, designer art toys, Seahawks football, and dad jokes. James has worked in the Seattle area as a professional creative in a multitude of disciplines for the past 15 years viewing every project as an opportunity to make a difference.
Kirsten Kenning Kent
Women Lead Directorwomenlead@seattle.aiga.org
Heading into her second career, Kirsten is currently an Interior Design student at Seattle’s Art Institute. Kirsten is known for her listening in order to understand and generate. She is passionate about making a difference for others, whether it be their physical environment, discussing the tough topics, or teaching them about juicing. She also gets excited about cycling, yoga, hiking, and time with friends and family, especially her sons.
Design For Good Directordesignforgood@seattle.aiga.org
As a freelance designer, Ashley brings brands to life through print, product, and packaging. She is passionate about creating positive change in our world through design, loves organizing information, and is obsessed with books about cities. Originally from the Midwest, she has called Seattle home since the day she arrived.
Design For Good Directorchangemaker@seattle.aiga.org
A senior designer at the Hilt agency, Arnold distills brand clutter into simplicity and purity—uncovering compelling stories, one pixel at a time. He believes every designer should feel empowered to use his or her passions to help create positive social change in the world. He’s spent the past six years working with nonprofit organizations, including a year volunteering with Americorps VISTA. Originally from the South, Arnold is obsessed with tiny things and Riverdance.
In-House INitiative Directorinhouse@seattle.aiga.org
Erik realizes that learning from his peers offers the greatest opportunity for challenging his creativity, and that complacency is the greatest threat to professionalism. Erik’s 20 years as a professional designer have taught him that embracing change is the only consistent way to stay relevant. The puzzles will always be there, and since there’s no permanent solution he recognizes his responsibility with each project to improve people’s lives.
Daire is a freelance UX/Visual designer and a Digital Marketing Specialist. When she’s not in digital mode you can find her traveling the world. She may be coming soon to a city near you.
Bio coming soon.
Originally from Brazil, Thabby recalls when she decided she wanted to be a creative professional—at 8 years old she would cut up magazines and recreate their layouts. While living in Brazil she earned a degree in Architecture and Urbanism. Since then her life has been an adventure—from Brazil to Russia to Italy and finally the U.S., where she acquired a degree in Graphic Design at Boise State University.
Bio coming soon.
Lainie joined AIGA Seattle in January 2016. Laine’s comes from an Accounting and Education background. She is passionate about tennis and loves a good bottle of wine. She lives in Bellevue with her husband and son.
Having been around for almost 30 years now, our chapter has amassed an impressive amount of initiatives that aim to build a better community. From Art with Heart, to AIGA Link, to our biennial design and technology conferences Into the Woods and Hive, many of our chapter initiatives are kept alive and strong by a dedicated group of Chairs.
Diversity & Inclusion Chairdiversity@seattle.aiga.org
Made up of prominent members of the Seattle design community, our Advisory Board offers guidance, advice and a fresh perspective on how the chapter and community are doing. Lead by the Advisory Board Chair, this team regularly meets with the Chapter leadership and occasionally rolls up their sleeves to help bring new initiatives to life.
Jeremy Wheat Design Studio
Quesinberry and Associates
Seattle Pacific University
Elmer dela Cruz
University of Washington
The Fellow award program is a means of recognizing designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community as well as in their local AIGA chapter. The areas of education, writing, leadership and reputation, as well as the practice of design are given equal consideration in measuring significant contribution. These are our AIGA Seattle Fellows.
2016 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2016 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2014 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2012 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2010 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2009 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2008 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2007 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2007 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2002 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
2000 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
1999 AIGA Seattle FellowLearn more
The Chapter President is voted in by the Board of Directors to lead the chapter toward successfully executing their collective vision. Each of these leaders have made their mark on this great design community and continue to do so long after their term.
Brooke Mackay Castro
Tan Le & Laura Zeck
As a membership-based organization, we owe a lot to every individual who makes the commitment to becoming a member. You are how we keep AIGA thriving, even after 100 years, and although we can’t list all 700+ members of AIGA Seattle, we would like to at least give a shout out to those who have signed up at the Leader & Trustee levels. Thank you for your above-and-beyond support.