AIGA Richmond the professional association for design Mon, 26 Sep 2022 16:55:41 +0000 hourly 1 Ikit Feed – Richmond 32 32 VCU Graphic Design Portfolio Review Wed, 21 Apr 2021 14:51:14 +0000 aigarichmond
Are you a design professional and interested in helping emerging designers? As spring arrives we often look forward to the possibility of positive change and new goals. This spring, AIGA Richmond is pleased to help with the annual VCU Graphic Design Portfolio Review as a resource for the third and fourth-year students. This is an opportunity for them to meet with professionals in the design field and receive considered and constructive feedback on their work. During this event, they will be able to connect with potential colleagues and ask questions specific to their job search. Come join us in guiding the next generation of designers! The reviews will be held throughout the week of May 10-14 in time slots from 2:00pm-6:00pm ET. Via Zoom, all students will be matched up with professionals for 30-minute feedback sessions. In each session, the student will have the chance to dig into specific projects, ask questions about the design field and strengthen their portfolio with helpful feedback. They will prepare their portfolio as a presentation or website. Specific Portfolio Instructions for Students: 3-15 Portfolio projects to discuss. Work will be presented by shared screen in a PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, PDF, Website, or other organized document type. Work can be presented in actual form (a printed piece like a book, poster, etc.) Optional: Bring resume or CV to discuss and/or bring questions pertaining to a specific design field or interview processes.
There are no fees associated with the event.

Sign up today!

Copyright (C) 2021 AIGA Richmond. All rights reserved. 
DesignHer Mon, 05 Sep 2022 02:22:27 +0000 aigarichmond

Works by Contemporary Women Graphic Designers

A WORKSHOP SERIES FOR DESIGNERS Thu, 21 Jul 2022 00:05:27 +0000 aigarichmond ]]> Stand Against Racism. Black Lives Matter. Tue, 02 Jun 2020 19:54:51 +0000 aigarichmond

AIGA Richmond stands against racism, and with the Black community.
We stand against not just individual acts of hate — like the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others — but the systems of oppression and inequity that allow them to continue.

We stand alongside anyone putting in work to educate themselves on all forms of racism, to acknowledge their privileges, and to push for inclusion and equity in the workplace and society at large.

We pledge to continuously challenge ourselves to seek out our own biases as we organize experiences for you. We understand we have a platform to highlight local creatives and leaders, and we intend to handle this responsibility with care.
We are taking these stands and other active steps to ensure our values infuse everything we do in service of you and our community.

If you can, please consider supporting these or similar organizations.
The Bail Project (
NAACP Legal Defense Fund (
National Association of Black Journalists (

If you need a place to connect with your community, you can email us at

We understand that our work needs to be continuous and long-term, not overshadowed by the next viral headline. We will be steadfast. We will hold ourselves accountable, and ask that you hold us and each other accountable too.

Stay safe and be well,
AIGA Richmond Board of Directors

Bennie F. Johnson named as Executive Director of AIGA Wed, 08 Apr 2020 20:40:00 +0000 aigarichmond

NEW YORK (January 14, 2020) — AIGA, The Professional Association for Design, announces Bennie F. Johnson as Executive Director of the organization, effective immediately. This appointment is the result of an exhaustive search process led by the Board of Directors and facilitated by the highly respected executive search firm, Nonprofit HR.

A proven executive leader in nonprofits with chapter-based organizational experience, Johnson joins AIGA from the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), where he led strategy and marketing for the $250 million organization as Chief Strategy Officer. At the BBB, Johnson managed partnerships with Google,, Federal Trade Commission, Coca-Cola, Verizon, and P&G, while working with strategic marketing and a portfolio self-regulatory programs on strategy, brand, customer acquisition, marketing and market research and insights.  

“Bennie brings a 360-degree view of association leadership, from managing people to influencing communities and enacting change,” said Dana Arnett, President of AIGA Board of Directors. “His proven leadership skills will help us harness the power and passion of our AIGA community.” Ashleigh Axios, President-Elect of AIGA Board of Directors and chair of the executive search committee said, “AIGA’s board of directors is confident in Bennie’s ability to manage through change, working hand-in-hand with us and our incredible community to craft a more effective organization. One that serves the needs of the profession and our vision of a more equitable design field.”

In previous roles, Johnson worked at both a national and chapter level integrating design-driven approaches to build brands, create new streams of revenue, lead cross-functional teams and activate stakeholders. Johnson, while at the BBB, led an enterprise-wide restructuring strategy across 106 Bureaus, five affiliates, and 20 industry programs.

“I’m drawn to organizations where I can play an active role leading and creating new modes of business and enterprise to inspire stronger visions for the future,” said Johnson. “Since AIGA is entering a new decade of growth, I am thrilled to join this organization where my educational background, professional experience and personal passions merge and align with the organization’s needs and vision.” 

Johnson’s initial connection with design came through Professor Robert Reed, his personal mentor and an inspirational teacher for generations of students. At Yale, Reed’s undergraduate class titled “Design” helped Johnson understand how design is a tool to shape and solve real world, business and structural product problems. At Columbia University while earning an MS in Strategic Communications, Johnson mastered the use of design strategy to drive expansion, collaboration and growth.

“I have been passionate about design as a part of innovation and creativity my entire life,” said Johnson. “Just as design has been a catalyst and spark in my life professionally, design can serve that role for organizations. From large multinational concerns to next-generation family endeavors, businesses are  thinking about ways to solve problems, bring new products to market, and create a better future for themselves and their customers. Design is an integral part of that.”

Johnson was invited to join the Advisory Council for Columbia University, School of Professional Studies in 2015 and in 2010 the Anacostia Community Museum of the Smithsonian Institution where he is the Board Chair. As a third-generation Washingtonian who attended DC public schools, Johnson resides in DC with his wife and two children.

AIGA, founded in 1914, is the profession’s oldest and largest professional association with more than 70 chapters and more than 18,000 members. The mission of AIGA is to enhance the value and deepen the impact of design across all disciplines on business, society, and our collective future.

About AIGA

AIGA, the professional association for design, advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, AIGA brings together practitioners, enthusiasts, and patrons to amplify the voice of design and creates the vision for a collective future. AIGA defines global standards and ethical practices, guides design education, inspires designers and the public, enhances professional development, and makes powerful tools and resources accessible to all. Learn more at

President Elect – Ashleigh Axios Sat, 14 Sep 2019 15:49:32 +0000 aigarichmond

Designing with Purpose

Laura Bolt

Laura Bolt

Sep 10 · 5 min read

Now the president-elect of the AIGA, former White House Design Director Ashleigh Axios has placed social change at the center of her career.

Few people in the design industry have a résumé like Ashleigh Axios.

The former design director for the White House under President Barack Obama, Axios has advocated for using design for social change her entire career. In her government role, she developed the visual language to support infographic campaigns on complex issues like economic inequality, climate change, and immigration. “I had the opportunity in the White House to work with some of the most brilliant and thoughtful people in their fields, from economists to climate scientists,” she says. “Being in a group like that really gives you the opportunity to grow.”

She is also the mastermind behind the iconography for the historic #LoveWins campaign, celebrating the historic 2015 Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage.

Today, Axios is settling into her new role as the recently elected president of the AIGA, the country’s largest professional membership organization for design. “A big part of the work is making sure that the national organization is focused on supporting chapters and group members in a way that is really tailored to the community and the needs,” she says. “That’s really hard to do with 26,000-plus members, but is much easier to do on the local side.” In her new role, she’ll be figuring out a structure to guarantee that local chapters are heard.

Designer, strategist, advocate — for Axios, no two days are the same. “Things are continuously shifting,” she says, providing endless ways to partner on projects based on their impact and values.

Daily kickoff

I grab my coffee, granola bar, sit at my desk, review my calendar for the day and make adjustments to account for any needed meeting preparation or to shift priorities if necessary. It takes me a while to fully warm up for the day, so, recently, if I need an extra boost of rage fuel, I’ll skim the news for a few minutes. That’s usually enough to get my heart rate up a bit. At the end of the day, I’ve found that planning to attend something in the evening, like a yoga class, helps me keep my work from creeping into my time for other priorities and acts as a transition out of work. This is especially helpful since I typically work from my home office and the lines between work and life can sometimes blur.

If I need an extra boost of rage fuel, I’ll skim the news for a few minutes.

Project management

When I start a new project, I typically challenge it to make sure I’m clear on the stakeholders, goal(s), timeline, challenges, and opportunities that exist. I might share some things — like possibilities — about the project that excite me to test if my early instincts are aligned with the stakeholders and we’re indeed pointing to the same end goals and generally aligned on the amount of collaboration that will be necessary to get there. Alternatively, I’ll echo back what I’ve heard to make sure I haven’t misunderstood or misinterpreted any of the core information.

From there, I’m usually a part of forming the team and process to get to work, so I dig a bit into how we should conduct next steps, who should be involved, when, and schedule a quick debrief and more formal project kickoff so the team can align on the insights, plan, and begin next steps. When I’m lucky, I have a project manager or operations staff member to support with the logistics — from recommendations to operational follow through — so I can focus on ensuring the team is inspired, motivated, and supported to deliver their best solutions.

Daily stand-ups

When I was managing a fully remote team, we would do a synchronous daily stand-up to check in on what we’re working on and had a system of checking in with one another to do reviews and look at works in progress. It was about creating a habitual place.

Design with a purpose

I think designers sometimes create separation and suspend their understanding of the implications of their work, and I’d like to rethink that. We’re a meme culture, and there might be a sense that a project you’re getting paid for is a blank slate rather than an actual commitment that you’re making to a client and a sense of alignment with their values and their intent.

Designing calls to action

As the White House design team, we would often be the ones to help break information down into smaller audiences, but once we’d understand the overall message, we could say, “OK, here’s what we recommend for communicating this in a way that’s going to resonate or get a group into action,” like talking to their congressperson. We could identify, say, five groups that we think will be most interested in this and we think can be ambassadors for this information and might carry it up on to other groups over time. Being a designer by trade, but also a digital strategist, I have to think about channels and modes of communication as much as the messages and the delivery of that communication.

Ask the silly questions

When meeting with experts, I would get to have these conversations where I’d ask questions almost like “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” I know in these cases I was the young one in the room. I don’t have the context. I’m probably going to be asking the silliest questions. But this is how I get to understand the work, so that I can disseminate it to groups that need different styles of communication, from visual folks to folks that are just looking for the most simple condensed written version of this so that they can understand it and get involved with the work that we’re doing.

Diversity matters

When I was working at Automattic, I created a set of inclusive design cardsthat covers things that designers can do on a personal level to get more familiar with inclusive design. They talk about things like breaking out of habits, expanding social networks, refreshing advisers, traveling to new places, and reading new sources. They can actually be used by employers in welcome packages for new designers to jumpstart thinking about diversity.

AIGA National Leadership Conference 2019 Sat, 14 Sep 2019 15:42:30 +0000 aigarichmond


This year the 75 AIGA Chapters from around the country gathered in Atlanta, GA for our yearly National Leadership Conference.

Author Talk: Austin Kleon Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:33:07 +0000 aigarichmond

Join us for a book talk by New York Times-bestselling author of Steal Like an Artist and Show Your WorkAustin Kleon for his newest book, Keep Going. 

Austin Kleon shares life-changing, illustrated encouragement on how to stay creative, focused, and true to yourself in the face of personal burnout or external distractions.

It’s been a rough few years and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. A lot of people wake up every morning and ask themselves “How do I keep going? How can I stay focused on my vision when the world seems out of control?” Now Austin Kleon shares 10 pieces of wisdom that are the perfect antidote to doubt, confusion, and burn-out.

Registration is required on the Richmond Public Library page:

HP + AIGA Richmond – Print It Right Fri, 16 Nov 2018 04:52:59 +0000 aigarichmond


Join us for a fun evening where we’ll enjoy drinks and bites and get up to speed with what’s happening in digital print. HP’s North American Lead for Business Development, Jeff Dowd will share stories of how big brands, small companies, in-house designers and agencies are getting super creative and producing real results using the latest developments in printing technology.

Presentation begins @ 6:30 pm
Drinks + hors d’oeuvres provided


Jeff Dowd - North America Business Development Lead for HP’s Graphic Solutions BusinessJeff Dowd is a thirty year graphics veteran and the North America Business Development Lead for HP’s Graphic Solutions Business. Jeff is a two time How-E award winner for HP recognizing leadership, 2018 Top Business Development Award and Hewlett Packard Achievement Award Winner. Jeff has also been a two-time HP Ambassador. Jeff has spoken in front of thousands of people over the years for groups and events including PIA, DSCOOP,
On Demand, Graph Expo, RIT and HP events. Significant leadership roles Prior to joining HP, Jeff was President/CEO of Colgar Protective Coatings and Vice President of Sales & Marketing for North America for Color Print Solutions. Jeff was America’s Business Manager for HP’s High Speed Inkjet in 2014.

Professional achievements
Jeff spent nearly a decade with Canon USA in their digital imaging and color printing divisions. He also worked for Aldus/Adobe during the emergence of desktop publishing. Jeff also held a variety of senior positions for six years with Xerox Corporation in the graphic arts market.

Jeff holds a BS from Kent State University. Jeff has also attended corporate sponsored advanced courses in color at Cal Poly and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Jeff and wife Karen reside in Silver Lake, Ohio. They have two boys; Garrett, a Fulbright Scholar at the University College of London, now working on his Fellowship PHD at The Ohio State University and Colton, a Biomedical Engineering freshman at Akron University.

Creative Jam – The Veil Brewing Co Fri, 09 Nov 2018 04:33:55 +0000 aigarichmond

The mission of AIGA Richmond is to be the voice for Central Virginia’s design community. We accomplish this by connecting people, impacting culture through design, and advancing design as a profession.

CONNECT the design community

IMPACT the design culture

ADVANCE the design profession

Please join us for some food, drinks and meaningful conversations about the Richmond design scene.