Meet the Board | Karole Kessler, Programming Chair

Karole Kessler is Program Director of AIGA Baltimore and Creative Director of Karole Kessler Design, a design studio committed to unified brand identities. Over the course of her career, she has partnered with marketing consultants and in-house creatives to execute the brand experience.

Karole started her career in 1984 in Baltimore, Maryland where she worked on a range of national and international brands including CoverGirl, Becton Dickinson, Black&Decker, and Snyder’s of Hanover. During that time she sat on the Board for Santa Claus Anonymous, a local Baltimore non-profit that raises funds to give every child a Christmas.

Since founding KKD in 1994 she has taught at Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts. She has designed and successfully implemented projects/campaigns, from concept to completion, for clients such as Altais, Baltimore Orthodontic Group, Bon Secours, Northrop Grumman, P&G, and Sephora, among many others.

Presently, you can find her focused on brand solutions and building long-lasting relationships with her clients. She is happiest when creating; so, when she’s not creating clever things for clients, you can find her learning a new skill or searching for the latest trendy food joint.

What’s your favorite quote/philosophy?

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” Paul Rand 

What’s your biggest challenge as a designer or creative?  

Communicating or should I say persuading the client to choose the design best for their brand. It is important to a brand’s success to be consistent in its messaging. Visuals need to be strong, and consistent and customers need to know a brand immediately without reading. 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual. Again Paul Rand said it best “Branding is so simple and that is why it is so difficult.”  

What are your top 3 favorite books?

I’m not a big reader and recently tried Chirps auto books. Now I’m looking for road trips so I have time to listen to the books. The last creative book I purchased was Paula Scher’s, 25 years at the Public. A love story. I’m a huge fan of many designers but Paula is at the top of the list.  

What’s on your desk that you could not live without?  

Coffee! The mug that I’ve been using for a while now is designed by Andrea Pippins and says IMAGINE POWER BE FREE and has a sweet little peace sign on the inside of the mug. I love it.

What sparks creativity for you?  

Vacations always make me appreciate my work and look forward to returning with fresh eyes to solve brand challenges differently. Downtime, thinking time, and appreciating the world around me are essential for me to be creative.

Follow Karole on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Medium.

By Krystal Carpintieri
Published July 7, 2022