Massachusetts is well known for its autumn scenery, Nantucket vacations, Salem witch trials and a rich history dating back to the early colonies of the 1600s. But parts of Massachusetts have become a tech hub for growing startups and talented designers.
In this post I’d like to showcase 10 incredible digital designers based out of Massachusetts. This was a hard list to make and whittling down to only 10 was no easy task!
But I think these designers represent a diverse collection of talented creatives with unique specialties from icon design to UI/UX design and illustration work.
Who are some of the top designers from Massachusetts?
- Adam Danielson
- Cole Townsend
- Elaina Natario
- Kirk Wallace
- Ryan Pimental
- Christine Patronick
- Sami Ray
- Ryan Arruda
- Connie Chan
- Ani Avanian
1. Adam Danielson
Our first MA-based designer is Adam Danielson. His design experience spans the gamut of branding, typography, calligraphy, and icon design.
What’s most impressive about Daniel is his diversity.
In the shot above you can see his design for Mainely Burgers out of Cambridge. He did the entire branding and lettering himself along with the signage for the restaurant.
Typography is a bit part of Adam’s design practice. But in that same sketchbook you might find UI/UX ideas for a website or custom icons for a design project.
Adam’s talents go wide and dip into all areas of digital design.
He’s currently available for work via Dribbble so you can shoot him a message if you’re interested in collaborating on a project.
2. Cole Townsend
I’ve seen Cole’s work for a while and his approach to minimalism is refreshing. He has a minimalist portfolio with incredible samples of design and code work.
But you’ll find a lot of minimalism in his design portfolio with everything from interfaces to icons. Yet each piece still has a certain “life” to it with bright colors and fanciful use of white space.
As of this writing Cole works at Robin doing design & frontend development. His specialty is websites but he also designs iOS applications and works with UX animations too.
All of Cole’s work has a certain “polish” to the final design. Everything feels clean and well-structured right down to the last pixel.
Check out his Dribbble page to see more and catch up on his latest work. You can scroll back to browse through 4+ years worth of design work. It’s all incredible stuff and Cole certainly deserves a place in this list.
3. Elaina Natario
Elaina is a newsroom designer for the Boston Globe where she creates graphics, layout comps, and photo designs for articles and pages on the site.
Her design work includes page layout design and graphics/photos so she works closely with editors and journalists.
Aside from lettering and UI design she also does illustration work and frontend development. Elaina is another multifaceted designer with a lot to offer the Boston design scene!
4. Kirk Wallace
I’ve been a huge fan of Kirk Wallace for years and he’s one of my favorite illustrators. The work he publishes on Dribbble is sublime and his artistic style shines through every piece.
Kirk is based out of Boston with years of experience doing illustration, animation, graphic design, and print/logo work. His clients range from Google to Amazon, UPS to the Huffington Post.
Kirk is one of my absolute favorite illustrators and his style just feels so alive. Whether you’re looking to hire a skilled illustrator or just need some creative inspiration, Kirk Wallace has my highest recommendation.
5. Ryan Pimental
A native to Boston and a self-taught designer, Ryan Pimental deserves a spot in this list. He’s done work on dozens of local projects and many others around the country.
His approach to design is broad yet specific. Ryan’s illustrations jump off the page but also blend well with his other design work.
And he’s published many other related designs like these logos made for Boston Cream’s branding.
My favorite piece is this illustration of Fenway Park drawn from above.
Ryan’s creativity knows no bounds with experience in branding, identity, calligraphy, illustration, and graphic design.
If you wanna see more you can check out his portfolio site and even reach out for project work.
6. Christine Patronick
Christine is one of the more prolific Boston-based designers with a huge variety to her work. You can find more on her website but her skills include direct mail, identity, branding, web/email design, print design, and photography!
That’s one hell of a resume.
Her portfolio is fantastic including both digital and print, such as the travel magazine spread above.
Currently she works as a contracted designer for Slice while freelancing out of Massachusetts.
Her responsive email designs are some of the best I’ve seen. The comps are clean, they use excellent color and font choices, and they follow a typical layout that you’d expect for emails.
You can find a ton of other shots on her Dribbble page which does get updated semi-frequently.
7. Sami Ray
Boston-based designer Sami Ray has a rich history of design dating back to college at Boston University.
She places a focus on typography and calligraphy which is a clear specialty in her work. You can see tons of examples on Dribbble with posts dating back a few years.
Sami designed the Inbound 2016 t-shirt and related identity for badges & other merch.
Inbound is a huge SEO conference which was hosted in Boston in September of 2016.
Other work includes typography for various identities and for print work. She created a very cool welcome to Boston brochure design with clear text and an easy-to-follow layout.
Typography is a huge part of any company’s branding and it’s a big part of print layouts as well. Sami’s typographic prowess stands out in a sea of designers from the east coast, and her work certainly deserves recognition.
To see more you can browse through her portfolio including work samples and even photos from her sketchbook.
8. Ryan Arruda
Another typography designer you should know is Ryan Arruda. He currently works for the folks at Fonts.com which is a huge digital type marketplace based out of Woburn, MA.
He’s done a lot of design work for promos including custom headers for new font releases.
One of the cooler projects in his portfolio is a periodic table designed for the folks running Artists For Education. This project curates designs like educational posters and print work made for classrooms and donated to schools around the country.
The goal is to provide educational materials to classrooms without costing public schools a fortune out of their yearly budgets.
9. Connie Chan
Digital designer and coder Connie Chan has an impressive resume for her age. She can speak Cantonese along with English and has prior experience working in Hong Kong.
Her design work focuses on UI/UX for websites and mobile apps. You can see plenty of examples on her Dribbble which feature quite a few impressive projects.
Connie is currently part of the Thoughtbot team but still has the “hire me” badge open on her Dribbble page. So if you need an interface for any project she might be able to help.
I’m also impressed with her attention to detail in UX animation work. This can make a huge difference on a digital project when converting design assets into working code.
If you’re itching to check out more then Connie’s portfolio site is the best place to start. It has project samples and work experience along with some details about Connie herself.
10. Ani Avanian
I’d like to wrap up this list with the very talented Ani Avanian, a digital designer and artist based out of Boston. She currently works as the creative director of Wanderu but has a much larger portfolio full of digital interfaces, icons, and even traditional fine art.
Her skillset includes logo design, print work, and lots of web design work too. You can tell that her experience as an artist plays a big factor in the quality of her illustrations & product design work.
But Ani also has plenty of skill in UI design with work samples for mobile apps and website layouts.
But I think Ani’s strongest skillset is overall creative direction. Her best work seems to come from an overall brand like Wanderu whether it’s a banner ad, app design, business card, letterhead, or anything else.
Ani’s Dribbble page does have more work but does not include a contact link. I’m guessing her job at Wanderu keeps her busy! However you can find contact details on her website if you’re curious to reach out with a project idea.
These are only a small percentage of the best designers from the great state of Massachusetts. I certainly feel bad leaving out any designers from this post. But I think this list reflects a nice variety of designers covering many different techniques.
If you want to keep searching then check out Dribbble’s Massachusetts page which easily totals over 500+ designers from identity specialists to illustrators to mobile app designers and web aficionados.
And here are some other designers that definitely deserve to be mentioned in this post:
- Samantha Broccoli
- Nick Di Stefano
- Emily Feng
- Mitchell Fox
- Martha Carl
- Emily Dumas
- John McGowan
- Elyse Bogacz
- James K. Hindle
- Dan Fleming
- Molly Woods
Featured image via Flickr