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Meet Archie Bagnall of AIGA OC in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Archie Bagnall.

Archie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
“Anyone can make a pretty poster, but a poster that’s driven by an idea stands-out from the rest” was a common mantra while studying for my Design degree at Falmouth University in England (I’m British!). Design being all about ideas and problem solving has been a constant thread running through my career so far – in hindsight before I even knew what design was.

After graduating, I left England for an in-house design position at a non-profit in Paris, France. My projects explored the importance of visual communication within international communities – like for a church, an embassy, and universities. I met my now wife, Noelle (an American), and we made the jump to foggy-London.

In London, I was part of the design team for Travelex, a global foreign currency exchange company. It opened my eyes to digital product design, designing at scale, and continued to grew my thinking around how we design for global audiences. Projects included building a digital signage experience for retail customers in airports, and concepting designs for a preloaded foreign currency debit card. It also introduced me to the finance industry, where, since arriving in Southern California four years ago, I still work today as an in-house Lead Designer.

When we moved to Orange County I attended my first meeting of AIGA, the professional association for design. Four years later it’s now an immense privilege to serve as Chapter President and be part of celebrating and supporting local Creative Professionals in a thriving community.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest challenge for me has always been how to communicate the value and possibility-space of Design, and to do that through show and not tell. Every time I’ve arrived in a new place there’s been a humbling process of needing to broadcast that alongside who I am as a Designer, and then prove it all with a digestible body of work. Oof.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the AIGA OC story. Tell us more about the business.
AIGA OC are a volunteer-run non-profit working to support, connect, and resource Creative Professionals in Orange County. We’re part of a network of AIGA chapters across the country (any LA readers should check out AIGA LA). In Orange County we’ve been asking big questions about how our organization can be more impactful and useful to our local community. It’s radically shifted our thinking away from being event group, and into being a non-profit resource and support network that’s in the business of giving things away.

We now host a monthly community meeting that’s free and open to all. We explore professional practice, spotlight projects and initiatives from community members, and share resources from places like AIGA’s Design Census or The Creative Group’s annual salary guide to support professional growth. We’re grateful to FLDWRK, a co-working network in OC and LA, for letting us use their space for the meeting. We’ve also transformed our website to be a listing for all events in the community, not just AIGA’s.

What are your plans for the future? What are you looking forward to or planning for – any big changes? I’m excited by Design Strategy and Leadership, and continuing to advocate for Design’s ability to problem-solve. AIGA OC has a fantastic content line-up for our 2018 Community Meetings, including a study of ‘personal brand’, a portfolio review, an awards night, and an evening all about managing a creative business. As a national organization AIGA are making the growing of Design Leaders a significant focus of their work this year and beyond, and it’s awesome to see that trickle down to our work on a local level.

I maintain a few personal projects, including a design tool I’ve been developing: a modular scale calculator to help designers make layout choices 2018 also marks the tenth and final year of an annual mixtape project I put together – I’m planning to go out on a high-note. Bad pun. Okay, I’m done.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Archie Bagnall © 2018

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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