Ann Willoughby has been a leader in brand experience design and design education for almost four decades. She has taught, written and given lectures all over the world.
AIGA has been at the center of her professional career since the mid 1980s. She is a AIGA medalist and served on the AIGA National Board of Directors and chaired the 2004 AIGA National Design Conference in New York. Ann was Co-Chair of the AIGA National Centennial Celebration in 2014. Ann helped launch the pilot AIGA Design Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. She writes and speaks about systems design and design thinking as a method to improve the product and service experiences that designers help create so that they are sustainable, useful and beautiful. She was named one of 50 women leaders in the design book, Women of Design by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit.
Ann founded Willoughby Design in 1978. Over the years, Willoughby has developed a business culture and process where designers and clients work together collaboratively at the Design Barn or at the offices in Kansas City and San Francisco. Willoughby has designed brand identities and and interactive brand experiences for scores of clients, including the Kauffman Foundation, the United Nations, Hallmark Cards, Lee Jeans, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Spin Pizza and Panera Bread. The company has provided pro bono design for Harvesters, the regional food bank for 20 years. Kansas City civic and community organizations such as Visit KC, KC Chamber, Max Rapid Bus, and the win|win initiative are examples of Willoughby re-brands that helped revitalize the city over the past 10 years. Willoughby is currently designing the new streetcar and regional transit brand system for the greater Kansas City region.