HEAD OF DESIGN
Antonio García is Head of Design at TXI, a remote-first software innovation consultancy. He is also founder of the Dadwell & Co. podcast and Board Advisor to AIGA Chicago. Prior to joining TXI’s leadership team as Principal Designer, Antonio was Group Experience Director at Rightpoint where he managed UX teams across the agency’s Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Detroit and Santa Monica offices. Before Rightpoint, he helped launch Northern Lab — Northern Trust’s internal innovation accelerator. Ahead of the Lab, he led gravitytank’s interaction design discipline and social innovation practice. And before heading into digital innovation, Antonio was Director of Strategy for Firebelly Design, a socially responsible branding studio.
In addition to design leadership, Antonio is a mentor, educator, and lecturer. He taught Communication Design and Visual Storytelling at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute; Customer Discovery as part of University of Chicago’s Polsky Center Entrepreneurship Essentials; and New Product Definition at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design. A frequent contributor to community conversations on the topics of diversity and inclusion, design ethics, culture and creativity, Antonio believes design’s sole function is to cause change. If he’s not hard at work, Antonio is most likely DJing, drawing, or training for his next marathon.
Looking forward, are you optimistic about the role of graphic design in business and society?
Graphic design is an “idea delivery mechanism” and a very specific form of communication. It’s inherently limited by context and accessible only to those of privilege (the ability to see/read, interpret data, decipher iconography, etc.) so realistically, I don’t believe graphic design alone has much impact on business, society, culture, or causes — now or ever. That said, I believe DESIGN — the deliberate planning and making of things — when shared as a creative, collaborative, community act, has incredible power to instigate change and manifest the future we want as a society and culture.
Have the challenges of the past two years changed the way you approach your work?
The 5 Ps (the pandemic, politics, police brutality, prejudice, and protests) have forever altered the way I approach my work. I’m much more conscious of design ethics and the implications of what I’m making. I try to surround myself with colleagues and collaborators who challenge my thinking and question my assumptions, motivations and intent. I ask myself often, ‘Should what we’re making even exist? Who does it serve? Who might it harm? How might it be hijacked?’ As a designer, there’s a different responsibility and reality now.