Member Spotlight: Katharine Atwood

This month’s AIGA Maine Member Spotlight features Katharine Atwood. We talked to her about work, her life in Maine, and her experience with AIGA.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
Currently, I am working as the Brand Manager for the nonprofit tech and cloud computing consultancy Arkus. We’re a remote team based in New York City, specializing in Salesforce implementations. It is an honor that our work supports many incredible organizations, including Eden Reforestation Projects, the Jane Goodall Foundation, and the Island Institute here in Maine. My varied contributions include leading creative direction, creating graphics, and creating content.

What brought you to Maine, and how long have you lived here?
My parents were living here when I was born; after a number of years away I came back and have lived here for some time since. There are many lovely things about Maine and Portland that make it good to be here. The Gulf of Maine Sashimi company and delightful Slow Rise Farm remind me why it’s good to be here, too.

Why did you join AIGA Maine?
At one time, I was an AIGA NY student member, but I let my membership lapse. A friend inspired me to join the Maine chapter several years ago to participate in a mentorship program she had been a part of. AIGA Maine has continued to come through with interesting events and opportunities to be connected to a community of other talented designers.

What is your favorite spot in Maine?
There is this great gorgeous waterfall out in the forest at the Mast Landing Audubon in Freeport.

How do you get inspired?
Asking good questions, emptying all thoughts out onto paper, getting very quiet and listening for answers. And if the right image or thought does not come soon, going out to trek around through fields or forests or drawing until the answer comes. David Byrne’s weekly Reasons to be Cheerful newsletter is a helpful and hopeful inspirational read, too.

Which designers are you following these days?
The stellar information designer Georgia Lupi.

What design trend do you love?
It is less an aesthetic movement and more the ethos behind the creative direction — I seriously respect brands who are driven by the desire to create in ways that do no harm to our planet and share their missions with us in playful and authentic ways. The quiet cool of the Danish clothing brand Organic Basics or the high-end still handmade charm of the Canadian company Living Libations come to mind. Also, I love inclusion of lush illustrations and patterns, like the work of Marina Esmeraldo, who shared her gorgeous work in a May online AIGA NY event.

Where should we go to see more of your work?
As an in-house designer at the moment my external portfolio presence is limited. Connect with me on LinkedIn, check out the Arkus website or our Twitter.

Find some of my favorite freelance graphics in the book Remoralized from Doris Santoro, or make a plan to come to visit the 54 Cove Street studio space I share with maker Jody Meredith to see some of the postcards and tags we’ve created for her incredible handmade woolen pieces. It is also a joy to give back and support other designers or help with the right kind of project, so you can be in touch with me at

AIGA Maine Member Spotlight is a regular series where we highlight one of our AIGA members. If you would like to make a suggestion for an upcoming spotlight, please email us at

By aigamaine