Diversity & Inclusion

AIGA encourages diversity in design education, discourse, and practice to strengthen and expand the relevance of design in all areas of society.

Despite progress made over the course of AIGA’s 100-year history, especially since its landmark 1991 symposium (“Why is graphic design 93% white?”), there are vast opportunities to support a more diverse audience of design students, practitioners, managers, thinkers, enthusiasts, clients, consumers, and policy makers.

Recent passionate conversations among AIGA members have catalyzed the Diversity & Inclusion Initiative to augment ongoing AIGA programs with new ideas and resources that take a comprehensive approach, considering race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability, age, and other factors that shape creative perspective and professional experience.

Task Force

Task force members support to the initiative by raising awareness, offering guidance to the organization and its members, and by participating in purposeful dialogues and activities.

Jessica Arana
Jessica Arana
AIGA Los Angeles

Jessica is an independent designer and passionate storyteller with an insatiable curiosity for brand, company, and social culture. She has a multifaceted background in art and design with a BFA from SVA and MA (with distinction) in Ethnic Studies. Her double thesis project (written and creative) focused on multiracial identity and creative strategies for crossing and challenging racial boundaries. Her interests in culture and identity, social justice, Latina/o art, and girl-centered activism set her apart as a designer with passion and purpose. Jessica was born in México, trained in NYC, and is now based in LA.

Sue Bohorquez
Sue Bohorquez
AIGA Rhode Island

Sue Bohorquez is a senior graphic designer for the Rhode Island Department of State and, recognizes that government can have a positive impact and play a vital role in improving citizens’ lives. She believes that meaningful design has the power to influence people and help them stay informed—empowering them to lead and inspiring them to get more involved. Sue is an advocate for the Rhode Island's creative community serving as committee member of Design Week RI. Her interest focuses on user experience and examining how design can create social impact.

Carlos Estrada
Carlos Estrada
AIGA Detroit

Carlos is a Design Entrepreneur and Community Catalyst with a passion for education, inclusion and racial equity. His studio Agency 512 has continuous projects with clients Herman Miller,  Public Agency, and national non profits. He serves as  AIGA Detroit's VP of Programming, Content Lead for AIGA’s National  Diversity + Inclusion Task Force and completed two terms with  AIGA West Michigan as their first Diversity + Inclusion Director.

Gaby Hernandez
Gaby Hernandez
AIGA Gainesville

Gaby is a design researcher and professor who concentrates on social design, design for development, visual storytelling, and multidisciplinarity, and has significant international experience working with disadvantaged communities in México and Costa Rica. She earned her MFA in Graphic Design and Certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. Her scholarly and creative activities include articles, national and international conference presentations, and design work in branding, editorial, illustration and information design.

Richard Hollant
Richard Hollant
Principal, Strategist, and Design Director, CO:LAB

Richard Hollant is the principal, strategist, and design director at CO:LAB, a firm he started In 1988. After nearly two decades developing brand and product launches for Fortune 500 corporations, he now works exclusively on community empowerment initiatives. With an interdisciplinary degree from Boston University and a degree in media from the Museum School of Fine Arts, Hollant’s approach blends comprehensive strategic thinking with tightly orchestrated execution.

Hollant and his firm have received numerous awards from AIGA, CADC, PrintHowGraphis, Cause/Affect, CXD, and Best of New England. His design work has appeared in trade publications and design books. Additionally, Hollant has been featured in Business Weekly and Communications Arts, and was named one of GDUSA’s 20 People to Watch, and one of the top 11 designers creating social value by Fast Company.

Dian Holton
Dian Holton
AIGA DC

Dian is a deputy art director at AARP and a part-time visual/brand associate for GAP Inc. Her background includes publishing (print/digital), integrated marketing, branding, retail installation and styling. She currently serves on the AIGA Washington DC chapter board as the Mentoring and Design Continuum Fund director. Her passions include education, philanthropy, fashion and pop culture.

George Garrastegui Jr.
George Garrastegui Jr.
AIGA New York

George is a designer, educator, and creative catalyst. A native New Yorker, who looks to the city’s rich history and culture for inspiration in his work. He earned his BFA from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology and his MFA from the Savannah College of Art + Design. He has an extensive background in publishing, marketing, and strategy which allowed him to craft creative solutions for clients such as Popular Mechanics, Esquire, Cadillac, and Ford. When not teaching strategic thinking and research methodologies at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology (City Tech), George works to create industry connections and access for emerging designers via his connections to the AIGA and The One Club. 

 

Lastly, George researches the creative process through his Works in Process podcast. He lives by the belief that you are not a designer because it’s your job, you are a designer because it’s who you are.

Gus Granger
Gus Granger
AIGA Dallas/Forth Worth

Gus is the founding principal of 70kft, a brand communications firm located in downtown Dallas. Under his leadership, the firm has served such major client brands as Verizon, HP, Haier and VMware. He has been involved with AIGA at the national and local levels, serving as president of AIGA Dallas/Fort Worth and locally leading the Design for Democracy Initiative. His work has been recognized by AIGA, Adobe, Architectural Digest, Communication Arts, DSVC and both the London and New York Flash Film Festivals.

Timothy Hykes
Timothy Hykes
AIGA Saint Louis

Tim is a design student at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He is an extremely creative designer/developer who believes in "diverasign," an idea that diversity in design can lead to meaningful and innovative approaches in strategic design thinking and design craft. He has interned for Answers.com and Spoke Marketing and freelanced for Lincoln University of Missouri and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). Tim is currently working on increasing his talents and understanding of design problem solving

Nakita Pope
Nakita Pope
AIGA Atlanta

Nakita is the owner and chief chick of Branding Chicks, a boutique branding and graphic design firm in Atlanta. She helps women make their dreams come true by giving their brands voice and life through strategic marketing and design. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with businesses large and small as a graphic designer, marketer, professor and brand expert. These experiences provided a pathway to creating Branding Chicks, which specializes in marketing for women-owned businesses and brands whose primary target market is women.

Jacinda Walker
Jacinda Walker
AIGA Cleveland

Jacinda is a designer, entrepreneur and instructor who proudly calls Cleveland home. Her work ranges from publications to research and event management. She earned her A.A.B. and B.F.A. in graphic design from the University of Akron. Currently, she is pursuing an M.F.A. at The Ohio State University in Design Research & Development. Her focus is the lack of diversity in design disciplines and what is an effective tool to expose African-American and Latino youth to design-related careers. She proudly mentors young designers on portfolio presentation, professional development and career planning.

Impact Reports

In 2016 and 2017, the AIGA Diversity & Inclusion taskforce compiled an annual impact report—a summary of its key milestones and learnings that year. These reports are a testimony to the engagement of the task force and its influence in shaping the conversation around these issues across AIGA chapters and beyond. 

Resources

Whether you're just starting out, or consider yourseld well-versed in all things Diversity & Inclusion, discover new insights from a range of reading materials spanning introductory basics to academic research.

Introductory learning list

Curated by the Diversity & Inclusion task force, this learning list is a great foundation for designers that are on the beginning of the social justice learning curve, and will help you to think critically about equity, inclusion, privilege, and bias throughout your work.

Design research

Review current research in design which focuses on issues of diversity, and was produced by members of the AIGA Diversity & Inclusion task force.

Collections

Read essays about the professional lives, contributions, and portfolios of designers—contemporary and historical—from traditionally under-represented groups or backgrounds.

Articles

 Learnings from Harvard's Black in Design conference,” Michele Y. Washington. (2018) 
Why Diversity Matters in the Web Design Industry,” by Oliver Lindberg, Creative Bloq (2014)
Maurice Cherry on Diversity and ‘Black Design Aesthetics,’” by Tanya Combrinck, Creative Bloq (2014)
Diversity in Graphic Design,” Rodney Ross (2012)
Design Gets More Diverse,” by Alice Rawsthorn, New York Times (2011)
White Space: Examining Racial Diversity in the Design Industry,” by Terry Lee Stone, Step Inside Design(2006)
The Diversity of Design,” by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit, Under Consideration (2003)
Cultural Diversity at Work: The Effects of Diversity Perspectives on Work Group Processes and Outcomes,” by Robin J. Ely and David A. Thomas (Harvard Business School), Administrative Science Quarterly (vol. 46, no. 2., June 2001)
Equal Opportunities? Minorities in Graphic Design,” by Michele Vernon Chesley, AIGA Journal of Graphic Design (vol. 8, no. 1, 1990)

Books

The End of Diversity as We Know It!: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed, by Martin Davidson (Darden School of Business, UVA, 2011)
Designing Across Cultures, by Ronnie Lipton (2002)
Women Designers in the USA, 1900–2000: Diversity and Difference, by Pat Kirkham and Shauna Stallworth (2000)

External resources

Companies & organizations

CODE2040 creates access, awareness, and opportunities for top minority engineering talent to ensure their leadership in the innovation economy.
Design Diversity fosters learning, influences growth, and promotes African Americans in the design profession in Northeast Ohio.
FRESH Speakers represents the next generation of 21st century thinking and action.
Organization for Black Designers educates the design profession regarding the contributions of African Americans and other designers of color, and increases the number and visibility of African American designers and other designers of color.
StartOut creates great business leaders by fostering LGBT entrepreneurs.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Series, hosted by Rhode Island School of Design 
Native American Graphic Design Project increases the visibility of Native American/First Nations/Metis/Native Alaskan/Inuit people working in the field of graphic design.
Model View Culture, an independent media platform covering technology, culture and diversity.
Revision Path, a weekly interview series that focuses on showcasing Black graphic designers, web designers, and web developers
Women of Graphic Design, by Tori Hinn and Kathleen Sleboda

 

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Tags social responsibility social issues Diversity and Inclusion