CREATIVE DIRECTOR, THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON DC
Ashleigh Axios is the creative director of the White House, where she manages design from within the Office of Digital Strategy. Examples of her team’s work include the web strategy behind each State of the Union, the maintenance and responsive redesign of WhiteHouse.gov, as well as the strategy behind all of the digital presences in the White House – which all serve a mission to create meaningful opportunities for engagement and participation between the Administration and public. Ashleigh is also Vice President and the incoming president of AIGA Washington DC, where she has been instrumental in forming a new initiative connecting and empowering designers across government. Ashleigh received a BFA in Graphic Design and a wonderful husband from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Have a goal; make it something that isn’t easily achievable but will help you push yourself. Keep it in mind, don’t deviate far, and only occasionally reevaluate and do a little course correction as needed. Hint: your goal should never be to “be famous.”
HOW DOES WHERE YOU WERE BORN, GREW UP OR LIVE NOW EFFECT YOUR DESIGN SENSIBILITY OR STYLE?
The DC area is filled with organizations and agencies advocating for a wide range of issues, from combating homelessness in the veteran community to promoting democracy around the world. That exposure to important issues has made me more passionate about using design and strategy to make a positive difference.
FAVORITE TV SHOW?
Stiff by Mary Roach, most things from David Foster Wallace, David Sedaris, and Toni Morrison
FAVORITE MUSICIANS OR BANDS?
Bjork, Nina Simone
FAVORITE FINE ARTISTS?
Andy Goldsworthy, Kara Walker, Ai Weiwei
GREATEST STRENGTH AS A DESIGNER?
I can let work consume my life
TALENT YOU WISHED YOU POSSESSED?
Ability to remember everything
IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A forensic anthropologist (anatomy + complex problems)
A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others