Introducing Creative Triangle

I’m very proud to announce the launch of Creative Triangle, a new directory for creative professionals in the greater Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. Creating this directory of area design professionals and firms has been a long-term project of mine at AIGA Raleigh, dating back to my days as Sponsorship Director on John Loftin’s AIGA Raleigh board when Jason Horner and I came up with the idea. I’m the one announcing it here, but it has really been a team effort (see below for details.)

The Story

At AIGA Raleigh, one of our main goals is to foster a sense of camaraderie among everyone in the wider creative community, whether you’re a member or supporter of our chapter or not. Our back-of-the-envelope figures tell us that this geographic region has several thousand people who self-identify as creative professionals, and one thing we’ve noticed for awhile is that there is no single place to browse or search a list of everyone in this community. Outside of AIGA Raleigh, there are many great groups who promote different design disciplines and who are working hard to advance the creative community in North Carolina, but there has remained no centralized index of professionals.

Another big goal of ours these days is to help our larger design community grow and stay strong, especially in the current economic environment. We want to be able to help our community connect to one another, publicize themselves and their work, and make themselves available to purchasers of all design and creative services. The question we’ve asked is, how can we do this in a very low-impact, user-friendly, and simple way? We knew it would take a special tool, and I began thinking about how to make something new from scratch. As the project got underway, we got some lucky breaks.

At our board retreat in June, I spoke about my goal to create this directory in 2011. Lucky for me, Jonathan Opp, our VP of Brand at AIGA Raleigh, asked me if I’d seen the site Creative Portland, a project serving a similar function in Portland, ME. I then reached out to Kevin Brooks & Sean Wilkinson of Might & Main who built Creative Portland (also AIGA guys themselves), and got our second lucky break — they generously agreed to donate their codebase to get us up and running. That’s the kind of selfless dedication to a greater goal that is really inspiring to me about about AIGA in particular and our creative community in general; people offering up their own time and resources to help make great things happen.

Bottom Line

While AIGA Raleigh is the initial sponsor of the Creative Triangle project, it is by no means an AIGA-centric or AIGA-only thing. The goal is to promote this site as a place where consumers and purchasers of design and creative services can be directed to, so I encourage you to add yourself (it is a 90-second process) and join us.

As people use the directory and we receive feedback on how to make it more useful, we’ll be adding new capabilities. We’re also focusing on how to promote the tool, so if you have ideas there, please send them along as well. In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted via this newsletter, the AIGA Raleigh website, and via the new Twitter account for Creative Triangle, @creativetriangl.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen; let’s get out there and grow this into a useful tool for everyone!

By Joe Schram
Published October 27, 2011