James Harrill Leads With Heart

James Harrill is not only a rockstar designer, he also gives back to the design community more than anyone we know. Last September, James made the Goods family proud when he was elected Education Chair of AIGA Atlanta. This enables him to help the organization solidify and improve their initiatives that support young, up and coming designers. 

The work includes both planning and funding, as well as fostering relationships with high schools and universities in the region. He is also coaching young people who are in the program, each of whom come to AIGA Atlanta with specific professional goals.  

“The work is even more exciting thanks to Goods & Services’ support. With Service as a core value, the agency is committed to growing the design community too. When I told the team about my appointment, I was met with enthusiasm and a genuine desire to help me succeed in this role.” 

Inspiration as raw material

James’ spirit of gratitude and kindness isn’t manufactured. A single interaction is all you need to recognize that generosity is central to who he is (and it tends to be contagious if you are lucky enough to work alongside him).


New venues for creative thinking

As Education Chair, James draws on his work as an instructor (he currently teaches at Miami Ad School and Furman University). He’s also found it interesting to explore the creative dimension of leadership. While the program is unfolding, it’s important to lead with empathy and listen to the students instead of fixating on his own agenda.

The 17 committee members (all students) is planning for 2023 and so far, their goals include:

_Kicking off a social media strategy that will spotlight student work and actively engage the community 
_Holding a design-focused career fair 
_Expanding the mentorship program so students can tackle a single skill gap
_Creating fundraising opportunities that can help them expand recruitment and scholarships

About AIGA

AIGA’s mission isn’t limited to swapping business cards and providing classes. AIGA is about championing design within the broader world. Their goal is to promote design as a vital element within all areas of culture and community by pushing designers to think beyond the profession. 

The Atlanta chapter currently has nearly 400 members and is one of the most active in the country. 

Inspired? Why not get involved

If AIGA’s mission to advance design as a vital cultural force sounds compelling, there are plenty of ways to plug in. From mentoring to volunteering — or even merely attending – at an event, it makes a difference. Don’t hesitate to reach out to James with ideas and questions.