AIGA’s In-house Initiative – “What the (blank)”

AIGA SEATTLE invites you to join us for an in-house panel discussion featuring creative leaders from EMP, SIFF, Slalom, Outerwall, and Microsoft! Be a part of this insightful glimpse into the inner workings of in-house design studios as our panelists shed some light on successes and common struggles faced in this unique design environment.

Coming from some of Seattle's most iconic companies and spanning a variety of industries, each with its own varying perspectives and unique responsibilities, our panelists will dive deep into a variety of design topics. Major themes may include maintaining brand consistency, defining culture, managing workflow, developing contextual innovations, and inspiration discovery.

This event is meant to be an engaging and informative yet casual discussion helping to provide support, resources, and inspiration for the many in-house designers working here in our creative community. Come join the conversation and share your insights, questions, concerns and advice!

Tuesday, October 13
Pike Place Market Atrium Loft


Featured Panelists

Matthew Cole is the sole designer on the Exhibit team at Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum . Working with a curator, exhibit architect and a team of fabricators, he starts from the narrative the curator wishes to express then builds it out for the visitor to experience. This process includes everything from logo design and the aesthetic palette for the exhibit; to UI for exhibit interactive, citations, text panels and infographics; to large-scale environmental graphics and signage. Matthew believes design makes or breaks the experience, and is responsible fore creating value. While his prior design experience includes agency work, designing in-house at a non-profit organization allows him to apply insight gained from having a complete understanding of the scale, scope and culture of the organization.


Ramiro Torres is the Creative Director of a Microsoft Design Studio division that develops design language for multiple expressions, namely UI, brand and industrial design. Not believing in boundaries within the creative process even when it has constrains, Ramiro pushes for pure potentials, cultivating a team that produces design solutions from a cross-discipline vantage point. His design experience includes Xbox, Windows Phone, Zune, Nike and MTV LatinAmerica, but he developed his in-depth insight of experiences and design aesthetic by being a global creative consultant and as the founder of a design studio in Quito, Ecuador. When not glueing googly eyes on things, he enjoys riding motorcycles, expansive cultural architecture, art and design.


Colleen Robertson has been working as a digital marketer since 2008. She got her start as an in-house, part-time social media manager, providing strategy and tactics as needed. She developed her analytics and paid search skills while working for a global nonprofit, which she eventually left to build her own private practice. Colleen joined Slalom as their first Social Media Manager, a role which quickly evolved to encompass all earned and paid media for the large and rapidly growing business-consulting firm. Today, Colleen leads Slalom’s paid and earned business-to-business marketing strategy and implementation, supports in-house marketers for Slalom's 18 offices, and is building an internal brand advocacy program. Her professional background includes but is not limited to research SCUBA diving, horse-wrangling, teaching and stand-up comedy.


Michelle Kindall is a Senior Creative Manager at Coinstar, a role that allows her to mentor and help advance their in-house team of designers, writers and developers. She spent time leading in-house teams at Group Health as well as Seattle University. Michelle's other design experiences were cultivated in an agency setting where she worked with Wells Fargo, Verizon, Direct TV, CARE, HealthNet and Feeding America, to name a few. When not designing and chasing salmon as a fisherwoman in a crafty boat, she spends time with her husband designing and building handcrafted furniture from reclaimed timber and industrial metal.


Tyler Potts is the Graphic Design Manager in the Marketing and Communication Department within Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Prior, he spent time with Urbanspoon, Blue Rooster Inc and MSN. Believing good ideas can come from anywhere, and at anytime, he’s responsible for producing and overseeing every piece of print and web graphics on behalf of SIFF, helping to build and maintain the identity of their global film community. Tyler believes that amazing results are produced when an in-house design culture is grounded in planning well, collaborating early in the process, being clear about everyone's scope of responsibility, and providing all with the opportunity to contribute ideas and marketing strategies at the onset of the project.


Brian Ladyman leads Slalom’s Seattle Experience Design and Customer Engagement teams, which span user experience, visual design and digital/marketing strategy. He has more than 20 years of marketing and digital experience, much of which has been focused in the technology industry. Brian's industry, consulting and agency roles include leadership at PeopleSoft, Oracle, A.T. Kearney, McCann Worldgroup, amongst others. He has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth.


Happy Hour 6:30p
Meet fellow creative leaders in the greater Seattle area

Discussion 7:30p
Join in the discussion and/or learn from the best

Closing Social 8:45p
Connect with fellow peers and/or new friends


Our facebook event page


If your organization would benefit from your attendance it would be a great idea to talk with your employer about making this a company-paid professional development opportunity. Group discounts available.

In-House INitiative is a joint partnership between AIGA and The Creative Group. This national program provides knowledge and tools to help in-house designers make a greater impact at their companies, evolve professionally and connect with a broader network of peers. INitiative delivers inspiration, advice and insights from leaders of the in-house sector via online channels and in-person events.


FAQs Parking options
Public Parking at Pike Place Market: 1531 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101 Red Carpet Valet: Under the Public Market Clock at the corner of 1st Avenue and Pike Place
But of course, street parking

Finding the Atrium Loft tonight...
From under the Public Market Center “Clock” Sign:
Enter the Market at First & Pike and follow the sidewalk straight back to Rachel the Piggybank. If you stand next to Rachel the Piggy Bank, under the Clock Sign, and face Pike Place Fish (the corner of Pike Street & Pike Place), there is an upward staircase on your left next to Sunny Honey Company. When you reach the top of the stairs, the Atrium Suite is to the right.

Questions? Send them over!
Calvin K Carter, Programming Director (
Katie Crawley, Events Vice President (


Supporting sponsor

When & Where
Tue, Oct 13, 2015 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Pike Place Market Atrium Loft
85 Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98101