In small but mighty design studios, and on big, talented teams; within corporate walls or from the comfort of home studios—wherever you look today, countless creatives are making important contributions to both the design industry and the world at large. Most definitely there are more than 25 of these design heroes—more like thousands upon thousands. But because putting together a list that long would quite possibly kill your friends at HOW, we’re limiting ourselves to 25 this year.

HOW 25: A Listing of 25 of the Most Talented and Influential Creatives Working Today 

1.Jason Mayden

Mayden, who spoke at the recent Adobe 99U Conference, is a former senior designer turned Global of Innovation at Nike who, based on experiences with his own son, went on to cofound Super Heroic, a company devoted to empowering children with the power of play. The company’s focus is on creating quality play performance products, technology and services for elementary school–aged children and families. Stay tuned for an interview with Mayden over on

2.Jennifer Morla

Morla is president and creative director of Morla Design in San Francisco, as well as an adjunct professor at California College of the Arts. She’s been recognized by virtually every organization in the field of visual communication and is the 2010 recipient of the AIGA Medal. Her work is part of the permanent collections of MoMA, SFMOMA, the Smithsonian Museum, the Denver Art Museum and the Library of Congress. She’s been on the SFMOMA Board for Architecture and Design since 1995, and is also a member of the Board of Directors at Letterform Archives, a nonprofit center for inspiration, education, publishing and community. Find out more about Morla in this interview on PRINT, and keep an eye out for an exclusive on with the team behind Letterform Archives

3.Antionette Carroll

Carroll is the founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, where they educate, train and challenge youth to co-create solutions with Black and Latinx populations in order to design healthy and racially equitable communities. She’s also a speaker, TED Fellow, and cofounder of Design + Diversity, the only conference that focuses on diversity issues in the design field and provides a platform for constructive conversation among those who design, innovate and lead.

4. Jessica Rose

Canadian designer and artist Rose is the art director of Wallpaper magazine in London. Having designed more than 100 magazine covers—from Toronto Life to The Sunday Times Magazine—Rose is working on the graphics for a new book with Laurence King publishers called How to Sweep a Room. Keep an eye on for an in-depth interview with Rose.

5.Hanah Ho

Ho is a New York–based art director, designer and strategist who keeps a close pulse on culture and trends and approaches projects with the intent to build and improve graphic systems by prioritizing both clarity and delight. She was a member of the Hillary for America design team and then went on to join The Original Champions of Design, where she’s been ever since. Last fall at OCD, she worked on the rebranding of Advertising Age, developing the brand guidelines and leading implementation across their digital channels.

6.Alex Center

At HOW Design Live 2018, Center brought smiles to everyone’s faces as he shared a bit about his journey to becoming a “successful designer.” Center summed it up quite simply: He cared. A lot. In fact, he cared the most—and “caring is not the same as hard work or hustling,” he was careful to point out. This former design director at Coca-Cola just this year launched his own Brooklyn-based brand and design company, CENTER. Learn more here.

7.Matthew Manos

Manos is the founder and managing director of verynice, a global design-strategy consultancy that ignites movements, builds brands and changes perspectives, helping businesses, nonprofits and governments expand their capacity for impact through design-driven innovation. He’s also an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, and is the creative director behind Models of Impact and Give All, with books including How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free and Toward a Preemptive Social Enterprise. HOW is lucky to have Manos as an online contributor as well. Check out two of our favorite articles he’s written this year:

8.Kat Holmes

Previously the director of inclusive design at Microsoft—where she led the development of Microsoft’s award-winning Inclusive Design toolkit—inclusion expert Holmes is the founder of KATA, where they help companies to cultivate an inclusive mindset and practices in existing product development processes. In 2017, Holmes was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business. She’s also the author of Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design, forthcoming from MIT Press, and founder of

9.Yo Santosa

Creative director, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed dreamer Santosa got her start with a degree from Art Center College of Design. She went on to become an art director at yU+co, a faculty member at Art Center and, finally, the founder of renowned branding agency Ferroconcrete. Here, she helped her first client, Pinkberry, to grow from one store to a global brand with more than 200 stores worldwide. But the accomplishments don’t stop there—Santosa is also the woman behind two start-ups, three Emmy Award nominations and an LA print publication. Learn more about Santosa’s career path here.

10.Kate Moross

Moross is an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator and art director based in London. She runs Studio Moross and is known for the colorful, energetic magic she incorporates into music videos, textiles, identities, murals, fashion and magazine covers. 

11.Todd Radom

Radom is one of the world’s foremost sports-centric graphic designers. HOW recently talked with himabout his new graphically driven book called Winning Ugly, which released on May 15.

12.Simon Endres

HOW Design Live 2018 speaker Simon Endres is a partner and chief creative officer at Red Antler, a leading brand company for startups and new ventures. Based in Brooklyn, Red Antler is a multi-disciplinary team of strategists, designers and marketers. Under Endres’ leadership, the team builds rich, emotionally resonant brand systems that engage consumers and achieve business goals. Endres has created brand experiences for top companies including Casper, Allbirds, Brandless and Zagat. Before Red Antler, he was an accomplished visual artist, cofounder of Team ProAm, and teacher at Parsons School of Design.

13.Jazmyn Latimer

Latimer is a lead designer at Code for America, where she started Clear My Record, a tool that makes it easier to dismiss or reclassify low-level offenses, giving people a second chance. On, she writes that she “likes to work on problems that affect the lives of the most vulnerable and underserved people in our society,” and ever since joining Code for America in 2015, Latimer’s focus has been on utilizing both technology and design to untangle the criminal justice system.

14.Eddie Opara

Recent PRINT Regional Design Awards judge Opara is a multi-faceted, award-winning designer whose work encompasses strategy, design and technology. He joined Pentagram’s New York office as partner in 2010, and his clients have included Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Grace Farms, the Menil Foundation, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Queens Museum, Princeton Architectural Press and more. He’s a senior critic at Yale University’s School of Art, a member of the Alliance Graphique International, and author of the book Color Works, published byRockport. Learn more about Opara over at

15.Christoph Miler

It’s Nice That recently featured Christoph Miler and Isabel Seiffert (#16) in their Ones to Watch 2018list, and HOW agrees they deserve the recognition. Miler is one half of the Zurich-based design studio Offshore, where their projects focus on editorial design, typography and storytelling. According to Miler and Seiffert’s website, “going offshore means to elude closed territories and start to connect elsewhere,” and this embodies one of the studios’ key principles.

16. Isabel Seiffert

Seiffert is the other half of Offshore, where in addition to client work, they also explore “critical issues of design, media and globalization” through side projects such as Migrant Journal, a six-issue print publication that critically explores space and migration. Miler and Seiffert are coeditors and designers of Migrant Journal, which is also edited by Justinien Tribillon, Michaela Büsse and Dámaso Randulfe.

17.Stephen Gates

There is a transformation afoot in the world of design, and Stephen Gates is at the forefront of it. That’s why he has just been named head of design transformation at digital design and prototyping platform InVision—a new role “designed” just for him and for our times.

18. Kevin Wick

As executive creative director at Seattle-based digital agency Smashing Ideas, Wick upholds design thinking, empathy and user-centric design as the be-all, end-all. But even then, he believes that one piece of work, one design isn’t where true impact happens. Instead, he wants to facilitate whole groups to change their values and behaviors, leading to a better user end experience that consequently holds better business value. As he puts it, he strives to be a cultural change agent, driven by informed design thinking.

19.Tish Evangelista

Years ago at Chronicle Books, Tish discovered a love for seeing design from a wider perspective, realizing the overall creative direction in addition to crafting and fine-tuning the design details. This ultimately led to starting Character, the full-service branding and design agency behind hundreds of brand launches, relaunches and cross-channel experiences for brands including Oculus, Google, Amazon and Fitbit. Both Tish and Character’s first big project was redesigning Pottery Barn Kids with the challenge of avoiding trend-driven approaches; instead, Tish found inspiration for this work in Victorian paper cutouts and the bright-eyed depiction of childhood found in Norman Rockwell’s work. The result is timeless work grounded in ideas rather than style.

20. Justin Peters

Peters, a recent judge of the PRINT Regional Design Awards, has been solving complex branding challenges around the globe for more than two decades. As CSA’s executive creative director, he leverages a deep understanding of global markets, geographies and cultures to breathe fresh and enduring life into brands of all shapes and sizes. Peters is a lifelong member of AIGA, and a design critic at both Rhode Island School of Design and The University of the Arts. He’s received multiple design awards, both internationally and domestically, including the Presidential Design Award for his work with the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum. Read more about him over at PRINT.

21.Matt Faulk

Faulk, CEO and ECD of BASIC, the award-winning, San Diego–based branding and experience design company, was recently recognized by San Diego Magazine as one of 10 creative professionals in the city who are driving culture forward. Under Faulk’s lead, BASIC is designing e-commerce platforms in what the young founder has coined as the ‘experience economy.’

22. Rachel Martin

This former AIGA national director of The Living Principles for Design began her career in advertising at BBDO Worldwide, and is now founder and design director of Rachel Martin Design, where they’re all about working with socially conscious brands and “good people who do good work in the world.” The studio is devoted to creating high-quality sustainable design that innovatively solves problems and creates meaningful change. According to the studio website, Martin herself believes that “designers have the power to lead the way in communicating the importance of positive social and environmentally responsible messages.”

23. Wiliam Stout

Though best known as one of the premiere dinosaur artists of the 20th century, the fascinating William Stout has done it all, from movie posters and film production to comic books and theme park design. Read more about this artist and designer over at

24. Mike Rice

Rice is creative director for Amazon’s brick-and-mortar book stores, where he leads creative strategy, exploration and execution across all customer touch points for the Amazon Books brand. Formerly, Rice served as design director at brands like Whole Foods, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble. He’s also a judge of this year’s HOW In-House Design Awards (deadline: June 4) and recently shared his thoughts on books, leadership and in-house design.

25. Elena Woznick

Woznick got her start as a student at the School of Visual Arts and is now a junior designer at Barton F. Graf, where she led design for the agency’s Coverage Coalition initiative. After the Trump administration made a 90% cut in the ACA’s advertising budget and shortened the enrollment window to half the time, Barton F. Graf (and partners from the industry) set out to help more than 80 million people get the information they needed in order to enroll in affordable healthcare. Without ever getting political, the agency started a rally cry in the industry to make up for the cut in advertising, resulting in hundreds of thousands of donated national media and a 179% increase in enrollment.

The basis of the material: 100 Designers Everyone Should Know. You can read here: