(Partner and Chief Design Officer at New Kind)
I first came across Matthew Muñoz during his time as President of AIGA Raleigh in 2010 to 2012. And while I am connected to Matt on several social networks, it wasn’t till the first-ever Hopscotch Design Festival in September of 2014 that I actually had the pleasure to see him present first-hand.
Muñoz, and his agency New Kind, were selected by Greg Lowenhagen and the Hopscotch Festival crew to develop and run the long anticipated design offshoot of the nationally regarded music conference.
Muñoz is a national award winning designer specializing in forming visual identities, storytelling, strategy-building and making information understandable. He helps companies and organization solve problems through visualizations. He has mapped complex customer interactions and business processes for open source technology leader Red Hat, and built design policy matrices for the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative.
Before New Kind, he held design roles at IBM, Capstrat and Work Worth Doing, as well as his own consultancy, Design Heals.
Muñoz was also a member of the Triangle 40 Under 40 class of 2013.
What differentiates Muñoz and the New Kind team is their community-centric approach to design. Like Muñoz, much of the agency did at least some time at the open source leader, Red Hat.
By combining design thinking with an open source mindset, New Kind “empowers people, builds relationships, and solves problems. All at the same time.” The key to their success is their ability to create communities.
Their philosophy is to create a New Kind of organization:
“1. Where communities of passionate people unite around a common purpose.
2. Where community members share in both the effort and success.
3. Where anyone can contribute and the best ideas win.”
And what I find truly inspiring about Muñoz and their work is that they have been enable to transform companies and organizations in Raleigh and North Carolina by executing on that mission. I love that not only are they working to bring the world good design, but are actually helping to design a better city, a better community and a better world.
They’ve helped design identities and experiences for:
- CAM Raleigh
- Innovate Raleigh
- Hopscotch Design Festival
- Protect All Families NC
- NC Department of Transportation
- Ravenscroft High School
And with all of that said, I can honestly say that I went into hearing him speak with rather high expectations and he didn’t disappoint.
For instance, at the High Five Conference a few months back, I got to hear Muñoz talk about “Designing Epic Brand Adventures” and it was one of the best session I attended.
So whether it’s his work to help bring better design to our city or his leadership in helping to drive our creative community, I find Matthew Muñoz incredibly inspiring and look forward to seeing what him and the New Kind team cook up next.