Happy Holidays & So Long 2016!

It’s that time of year again when we take a moment to reflect, lay plans for the future, and thank you–our friends in the design community for your contributions, support, and partnership.

As we head into the holidays and the upcoming New Year, we’d like to look back on some of our accomplishments in 2016. Some may argue that 2016 has been a rough year, suffice it to say we’re all pretty exhausted politically (no matter who you voted for) and grieving for the excessive amount of loss to our music industry. However, for design, it’s arguably, been a pretty stellar year filled with design in action, killer collaborations, new ventures with extraordinary partnerships and lots of behind the scenes foundational shifts. 2016 was a big year for AIGA–here is just a spattering of what we’ve done locally and nationally.

Locally, we launched a brand new website providing local news, curated content, a robust calendar including community event submissions, job listings, the Eye on Design feed, links to AIGA member portfolios and much more. (If you are a member, and haven’t done so already, please take the time to fill out your profile and Behance account through AIGA in order to be featured in the member portfolio feed).

In design, we rebranded our long running Studio Tours event, and launched dMob Collabs, an ongoing collaboration with some of the best designers in PDX, providing interactive experiences and general good vibes. Collabs have included work by Adam Garcia, Phillip Stewart, OMFG, and more.

Studio Tours branding done by Design Chair Chelsea Cartabiano

Studio Tours branding done by Design Chair Chelsea Cartabiano

Video by TIKI

We also hosted our first Women in Design panel discussion (now Women Lead) with Kristin Rogers Brown, Keri Elmsly, Liz Valentine, Jen Lorentzen, and Tsili Pines hosted by Instrument. This event explored topics on mentorship, running your own business, paths to leadership, and more.


Another outstanding partnership came when we joined PNCA to bring you Dana Tanamachi and Timothy Goodman for Design Week Portland. For this two day TypeFest, we worked with the PNCA illustration and design students to create the branding and posters for the event. Thank you to Marlowe Dobbe for creating the chosen work for TypeFest! We love student collaborations.


Nationally we joined forces with Google to bring you the Design Census—an open-source platform for understanding the complex economic, social, and cultural factors shaping today’s design practice. If you haven’t done so already, please take the time to fill out the survey by Dec. 16th. Google will be sharing the results in January.

Another joint venture came when AIGA and Design Observer announced our new partnership, expanding AIGA’s content offering. Working in collaboration with the existing team of writers and columnists who have helped shape Design Observer over the years, including Steven Heller, Debbie Millman, Rick Poynor, and Véronique Vienne, among others, the editorial board will also involve selected AIGA Medalists, AIGA Fellows, and thought leaders culled from AIGA’s membership.

We also announced our stance against the HB2 law writing an open letter to the governor of North Carolina–solidifying our dedication to Diversity and Inclusion. And in an effort to support women’s rights, AIGA Women Lead has teamed up with designer and sociologist Leyla Acaroglu of Disrupt Design to create the Gender Equity Toolkit. It’s a new set of resources including videos and a downloadable activity set that gives your creative team a secret weapon for busting through one of the leading causes of disparate access to leadership positions in the design field: implicit gender-related bias.


And finally with the Design for Good Webcast series AIGA is relaunching Design for Good, a cause that has been at the core of AIGA since 2011. Design for Good will now house the strategic initiatives, composed of Design for Democracy, Diversity & Inclusion, and Women Lead.

We’ve literally done so much this year that it would be crazy to recap it all. If you want to see for yourself the other news from 2016, check out portland.aiga.org and aiga.org.

And finally, Internally, here in Portland, we shook up the board a bit with some new positions, renewed focus to our initiatives, added new communication tools, and on a personal note, I had a baby! There was a lot going on behind the scenes this year, but with new challenges always come opportunities for growth and bonding. Our board of directors and volunteer chairs work hard and are a constant source of inspiration. I want to thank them for their support, tireless efforts, and continued friendship over the past 5+ years.

On that note, I want to say Thank YOU, and Happy Holidays to our friends, supporters, and collaborators for making 2016 such a fantastic year. If you have a project in mind, want to sponsor AIGA Portland, have feedback, or you’d like to learn more about what we do, reach out to us as we put the final touches on our plans for 2017.

With gratitude,

President, Marisa Green + The AIGA Portland Board of Directors 

By Marisa Green
Published December 5, 2016