Design / Roundups

12 Philly designers you should be keeping an eye on

From product to UX to industrial, here are some creative minds killing it in Philly's design community.

A designer's first toolkit. (Photo by Flickr user Nicolas Buffler, used under a Creative Commons license)’s Editorial Calendar explores a different topic each month. The April 2017 topic is design. These stories explore people and firms making new, inventive and beautiful things in each of our five markets.

Design is an increasingly dominant force in our beloved Philadelphia tech community.

As seen from our coverage, it plays a crucial role in everything from a snow shovel to a next-gen medical device. It can stir up social media frenzies when gone awry. It can rouse the masses and mesmerize you amid your daily routine. It can even keep you sane.

And because, invariably, there are humans behind the designs that make you take a second look at beautiful things, we made a lil roundup of the designers.

Mind you, we do not discriminate. UX/UI, graphic, industrial and even the oft-overlooked textile designers all have a space in our hearts.

Curalate’s head of experience was one of the company’s first employees back in 2012. Her main focus is overseeing “brand voice, personality and culture” at the Center City firm. Here’s some career-y advice from Ivone, a topic she tackles often through public speaking. For example: her TEDx talk on entrepreneurship.

The founder of Interactive Mechanics is also an Azavea alum, having spent four years at the Spring Garden firm as lead UX/UI designer. Go to his website for more of his work, but the SilkRoad project he worked on (in partnership with Penn’s Museum of Archeology and Anthropology) looks very interesting.

The adjunct professor of industrial design at Philadelphia University is also the mastermind behind Sticklets, her building blocks of sorts designed to help kids get to see the great outdoors.

You may know Hallden, a product designer at Stitch, for one of her side projects like Philly Day Hiker or A Lonely Project. The avid tweeter was directly involved in crafting the brand for Stitch’s new Singer tool. See more of her work here.

Nearing a decade as Bluecadet’s art director, Quinn’s work has nabbed her an Emmy, a Webby and a Communication Arts award. The Temple grad focuses on web and interactive design, as well as animation and illustration.

Nguyen is the head of PHLDesign, a community of local design folks (complete with its active Slack group) and can be spotted talking sports and gaming on Twitter. His day job? Senior UX designer at Comcast.

Gennarelli, based out of Indy Hall, is in a field lesser known to outsiders: instructional design. She works with companies like Github, MIT Media Lab and Mozilla to make tough-to-understand concepts fun to learn.

The founder and creative director of Northern Liberties creative agency Klip Collective. Rivera’s studio partnered with The&Partnership last year to give visual form to one teen’s experience with cyberbullying.

We last caught Starr at Ignite Philly, sharing tips for getting projects from the idea stage to the actual thing. In his case, the idea was Hi-Res Podcast, a design-focused podcast series he’s been hosting for 54 episodes now.

Blackfynn’s head of design is part of the Artisan Mobile mafia. After doing a half-year stint at Stitch as Design Director, Jackson joined Amanda Christini’s health IT startup. Peep some of his work here.

Nichols is the founder of creative agency Palette Group. When he’s not running things at the agency (which currently hires 13), he’s speaking to kids about careers in STEM, social media and “freelance savagery.”

The Senior Director of Design at Think Company leads and mentors the visual design team from Think Company’s Conshohocken studio.

Our love of beautifully crafted things won’t stop, so this is a much-deserved shoutout to the people behind all of the pretty things. Got more awesome folks in design? Likely you do. Drop us a line or comment below.

Companies: Stitch, Inc. / Blackfynn / Think Company / Curalate / RJMetrics

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