A growing community

The desire for collaboration is indisputable
DIG affords the design community, from within and outside the federal government, the means to discuss industry trends, challenges and opportunities.

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John Jacobin

John is the creator and organizer of Design in Government, known as DIG.

John Jacobin

DIG continues to increase it attendee size and expand its design related topics and speakers to help increase the value of design and contribute to making positive and meaningful changes in Government for all Federal agencies. John has over 30 years of working within the Federal Design space overseeing the design integrity of published products, social media designs and the champion of Design Standards.

John presented to the President’s Management Council (PMC), at the White House, on Design and Public Policy to help build institutional-level support for design work in federal government by sharing stories of how design can change government and public experiences through the ONE IRS branding success.
After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Design here in the States he continued his training abroad at Ecole Des Beaux Art, in France. He also completed the Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders AIGA Program at the Yale School of Management.

In February 2017, John volunteer his time to coach government designers on how to effectively tell their story at the first ever, AIGA DotGov Design Fundamentals of Design in Government program.

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DIG CREATION

It is interesting that what started out of a hand full of designers in a coffee shop has grown to a creative community of over 400 people, representing over 100 federal agencies. DIG has been hosted at the National Endowment for the Arts two years in a row.

I came across a Print magazine article published in August 1973 titled, Design and the Federal Government, by Neil Kleinman. The article was about the First Federal Design Assembly, which was an attempt in the 1970s to upgrade government design.

The purpose of the Assembly was to begin the process of showing federal administrators that “good design is good government.” Nancy Hanks, head of the National Endowment for the Arts welcomed 1,000 designers and federal administrators and a recording by President Nixon was played in support of good federal design. He said, “Design can save money, time and can immeasurably enhance communication and understanding.”

That article echoed my own perceptions of having worked in a vacuum for many years, and sparked my passion to establish a modern Design In Government community.

DIG has become possible due to the desire of the federal design community and those that partner with us, who continue to volunteer their time as you have done today, and come together unconditionally to share and learn best practices as part of a design community. DIG affords the design community, from within and outside the federal government, the means to discuss industry trends, challenges and opportunities. The desire for collaboration is indisputable, by DIG’s attendance.

I continue to be an advocate for looking beyond our different boxes of organizations, titles and politics, that too often divide us. By coming together and sharing best practices we help make design in government more powerful and valuable.

What started as a grassroots effort, a few ants with zero money, no mandates, no layers of bureaucracy for approval, DIG keeps expanding.

Plans are under way to launch DIG Canada this winter and talks of a DIG Europe.

Together we have grown the DIG community and your participation is greatly valued.

John Jacobin
DiG Organizer