Photo credit: Alyssa Kibiloski www.photosbyark.com
Design Director | Designer at Rachel Martin Design LLC
AIGA Member Since 1998
Rachel Martin is design director of Rachel Martin Design LLC, a sustainable and socially responsible collaborative design studio. As an avid do-gooder and advocate for sustainability, Rachel collaborates with socially conscious businesses and non-profits on a national level to help build unique brand messages that inspire positive change to shape our world and culture for the greater good. Prior to relocating to Charlotte, Rachel worked in New York City with top leaders in design at Louis Dreyfus and BBDO Worldwide.
Rachel is the AIGA National Director of The Living Principles, AIGA Charlotte’s Advisory Board and Green Drinks Charlotte, a member of the Charlotte Regional Environmental Network (CREN) and an adopter of the Designers Accord. She has helped launch AIGA Charlotte’s Eat Your Greens event series and the Design for Good Poster Initiative to educate designers to be more sustainable and socially responsible in their design work.
1. How and why did you get involved with AIGA? Approximately how long have you been involved with the organization?
Our design professor in college suggested it to our class so I decided to join in 1998 (14 years ago!) and have been a member ever since. I was involved in the AIGA NY chapter when I lived there and was very thankful that there was an active chapter here in Charlotte when I moved in 2007. I didn’t know a soul when I relocated but AIGA Charlotte was such a friendly group of peers and an extensive resource for me. I met a wide spectrum of local designers, and many are now my closest and dearest friends. I also made a lot of fantastic connections and got design work through meeting people at events and conferences. I immediately became involved in joining the board and have grown immensely due to it. AIGA as a whole has shaped me to become the designer and person I am today and has really helped evolve my career path.
2. What would people be surprised to know about you?
I used to be a professional competing roller skater as a child and was a “Teeny Tot Champion.” I think they had high hopes that roller-skating would become an Olympic Sport (it was the 80’s and all) but that never happened so I had to figure out my next career move by age 8. I was captain of the cheer leading squad in high school and also captain of the show choir. I loved to sing and dance so much that I went to college as a drama major (my stage name was Rachelle Beck) and wanted to be on Broadway until I discovered I had major stage fright. I dabbled in a bit of training as an opera singer too, until finally finding my career path in fine art and graphic design.
3. What’s one goal (professional or personal) you have for the future?
I have a beautiful late 1800s C&P Pilot letterpress that I’d like to start using to create a line of environmentally-friendly stationery items, and I hope to start using it for more design projects, too. I have hopes of launching the stationery series online and in local boutiques.
4. What is your favorite food/book/movie (you pick one) and why?
I have two that work together nicely that I frequently reference: Cradle To Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things By William McDonough & Michael Braungart which is about looking at the life cycle of everything we create as designers. The other is IDEO’s Design for Social Impact Guide which is a staple for any designer who wants to do social impact work as a core part of their business. Both of these are inspiring to me as a designer wanting to do something greater in the world with my talent and to use my skills to create positive change.
5. What are you currently working on?
I sometimes giggle in my head at the diversity of projects that I work on. Currently, I’m working on branding a local alpaca farm (yes, alpacas) and all of the event materials for their industry shows along with their retail side. I’m also working on the identity and branding for an initiative and upcoming event for the National Academy of Environmental Design and National Building Museum in Washington, DC.