Reece Quiñones

PTW21-REECE-QUINONES

SENIOR VP AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR THE HATCHER GROUP, BETHESDA MD

The Hatcher Group is a communications, marketing, and graphic design firm where Reece Quiñones leads a talented and diverse design team of nine — all dedicated to developing solutions that move missions forward. An awardwinning creative, Reece brings a deep understanding of integrated campaigns across all channels and expertly applies the creative process from conception to completion. With more than 25 years of experience managing and delivering solutions ranging from product development, publishing, web/user-experience, advertising, marketing, and video, she works with diverse business teams and helps them articulate their messages to their audiences and translate that information into compelling creative. While at Hatcher, Reece has led the creative output for OSI-Baltimore, America’s Promise Alliance, College of Southern Maryland, Aspen Institute, Baltimore City Community College, Maryland 529, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She earned a BA in Art from University of Maryland, an MFA in Integrated Design from University of Baltimore, and an MBA from the University of Maryland Global Campus. Reece is also an adjunct professor of design at George Mason University since 2008, and she mentors design students and is a long-standing member of the AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund, a merit-based scholarship developed for minority and economically disadvantaged students studying art and design in the Washington DC region.

Has the pandemic changed your workplace and your workflow? Do you expect to return to pre-pandemic ways of working or will any changes become the ‘new normal’?

The pandemic has significantly changed the way we work. As leaders, we have two lenses, balancing caring for our staff with care for the business. During these unprecedented times, I am putting a higher priority on staff care, because they bring the value to the work we do. I have cultivated empathy in myself and my staff; created a stronger culture of connection; increased our lines of communications; allowed every imaginable flexible schedule; changed expectations when needed; and shared deep appreciation for each member on the team. This year has taught us resilience and compassion, how to be vulnerable and ask for help. And it also engendered a strong sense of teamwork. There will be a new normal — one that most likely will look like a hybrid of what was and what is. I hope we never lose this deeper sense of community, because even though this year dispersed my team physically, it brought us closer together.

What do you expect 2021 to hold for graphic designers and the design business? Have the challenges of 2020 changed the way you think about your job and career or the role of design?

One of the biggest issues we faced in 2020 was the cracking open of America’s issues on race. It was a common theme across all major issues, including the pandemic, politics, and protests. In our daily roles, graphic designers have always had the ability to visually break down racial barriers and biases. Today, I am already seeing hints of intentionally diverse designs, but we must do more. In 2021, I expect more companies will purposely diversify their design teams to make effective, innovative, and inclusive design decisions. On the personal side, many of us have always volunteered and used the power of design to inform, connect, persuade, influence, and engage. The challenges of 2020 have taught us to think more deeply and broadly about the hardest challenges facing our world — race, equity, opportunity, democracy, and public health. I observed so many creatives joining forces for good, just wanting to do something for the community at large. We were unsettled — knocked away from our “normal” ways of looking at the world. 2020 sparked a fire in so many of us. My hope is that more designers join the call.

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