AIGA Baltimore

Meet the Speaker: Phil Bolles

Phil Bolles, multi-disciplinary designer and educator

Inspired by Swiss design and old world charm, multi-disciplinary educator and designer Phil Bolles speaks on User Experience Design (UX), education and the future of graphic design.

Starting with his first web design experience in 1996, Phil Bolles has made a twenty-year career working with web technologies. With nearly half of his career focused on design, production and distribution within teams, Phil is focused on the multidisciplinary nature of User Experience (UX) Design and using it to educate, inspire, and connect.

With the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and Duke University serving as his training ground, Phil has spent the bulk of his career working in the educational and non-profit sector. Serving as Multimedia producer for both Duke and Yale universities, Phil communicated with their target audiences through short films, imagery and interactive exhibits all while maintaining brand coherence. At Duke, Phil’s project scope expanded to include video specific web pages, interactive DVD menus and short documentaries. In 2009, Phil and his team earned the Silver MUSE Award from the American Alliance of Museums for their work on Presidents in Waiting for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Presidents in Waiting Exhibit for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

After serving as assistant editor and camera on Presidents in Waiting, Phil now labels himself as a freelance UX designer and media producer. While living in Washington D.C. and teaching User Experience Design at General Assembly, Phil’s interests expanded to other forms of visual media. Photography, as he often writes about on his blog, is one of those hobbies. Occasionally dabbling in photography professionally, Phil describes it as “amazing being able to see the difference between subtle creative decisions”. He is also active in the tech meetup circuit and is an active member of AIGA and UXPA.

#ustreasury #treasury #gallatin #dc #washingtondc #federalcity

A photo posted by Phil Bolles (@philbolles) on

In the future, Phil predicts that graphic design and UX design will continue to cross paths, mingle and evolve. Art direction will mesh with UX design and will continue to shape the field and process. Design will be less static, more haptic than it is now; Human factors will play a prominent role. Design will be communicated not just visually, but via texture, movement and weight. Animations will be more popular, yet…print will never die. Agencies will struggle to find experts that know about bleeds, paper weights and process colors.

And where does Phil see himself in all of this? After working on anti-genocide media and other human rights projects over the years, he sees himself as continuing to use design for social change. Science, he says, is also misunderstood in today’s world and designers are the perfect people to help solve that problem. As Phil says, “If we misunderstand the world, we misunderstand ourselves. Our mental models break down, and we’re culturally poorer for it.”


Register now for A Hands-On User Experience Design Workshop with Phil Bolles. Seating is limited!


Shannon Crabill is a HTML Email Developer at T. Rowe Price. Outside of the Internet, you can find her riding her motorcycle, binge-watching home improvement shows on HGTV and attempting to make the perfect cup of coffee. Tweet her at @shannon_crabill.