IBM and AIGA partner on Design Leadership

New York, NY, November 14, 2016—AIGA, the professional association for design, with 26,000 practicing designers in 70 chapters across the U.S., announced a partnership with IBM today.

IBM will serve as the first Official AIGA Sponsor for Design Leadership. Over the next year, IBM will strengthen its relationship with AIGA’s creative communities by engaging IBM leaders to deploy their expertise across AIGA’s network.

The partnership will integrate leadership development skills and experience design across AIGA’s activities, including the organization’s 26,000 members and the 260,000 professional graphic designers working in the U.S. (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014) who look to AIGA as an authority and resource.

“We are thrilled to be entering into this multi-faceted partnership with IBM,” says Julie Anixter, AIGA executive director. “Today designers are being called upon for their design and problem-solving skills to help organizations of all kinds imagine their futures. IBM has the ability to help us advance our professional development offering through thought leadership, strategy, and training for our chapter leaders.”

“Our goal is to help AIGA scale its leadership capabilities so that design can make a bigger impact in the world, and help address the complex problems we face today, according to Doug Powell, IBM Distinguished Designer. “Together, AIGA and IBM have the power to advance the design profession, and amplify the intrinsic value of design across sectors.”

IBM will offer quarterly design leader training summits to AIGA at key locations throughout the country. They will be attended in-person and virtually, and are designed to help the broader AIGA community scale their design leadership across sectors. The partnership will be activated across AIGA’s programs including:

Design for Good supports and sustains designers who play a catalytic role in communities through projects that create positive social impact. By connecting and empowering designers through online networking tools, inspirational stories, toolkits, chapter events, training, national advocacy campaigns, and promotion, Design for Good serves as a powerful framework for designers who wish to work in this area and a beacon for designers leading the charge.

Design for Good and other programs that will leverage IBM’s support will be disseminated through AIGA’s new Ambassadors Program, an ongoing communication and leadership strategy designed to build a scalable, sustainable, national ecosystem of influential AIGA designers. This program will prepare AIGA influencers (AIGA board members, chapter leaders, members, awardees, educators, and others) to become effective and persuasive advocates of the value of design, at the local, national, and global level. This program will provide an evergreen communications channel to share strategic design news, critical content in the context of AIGA programs, and partner involvement. The goal of this program is to strengthen the creative community’s dialogue on how design improves the human condition, reinforcing that design is integral to the civic and business agenda.

Select IBM leaders will be represented on various taskforces, including AIGA Women Lead. Through these hands-on collaborations IBM will help steer the conversation forward and explore new ways to think of how design excellence meets leadership and equity.

IBM will also present a Design Leadership content series, “brought to you by IBM,” featuring online editorial and short-form videos, as well as IBM’s new DesignLine talk series. The content will focus on issues of design leadership, IBM’s work with clients, design thinking, and future trends. Content will be published on AIGA-owned/branded platforms and promoted with targeted campaigns.


Laetitia Wolff, strategic initiatives director

Bill Daddi, Daddi Brand Communications