Josh Higgins: Building Campaigns, Communication and Character

From touring musician on MCA/Universal Records, Design Director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, to Creative Director of Facebook’s Communication Design team, it feels like Josh Higgins has lived a lot of lives. Taking us through the course of his career, he touched on the moments that led to each of these experiences, what he’s learned along the way and “what the f*ck he does at Facebook”.

© Gerhard Kassner (Monotype) © Gerhard Kassner (Monotype)

As a touring musician Josh loved creating flyers for his band, a tale of many other accidental muso’s-turned-graphic designers. After years in the music industry and some encouragement from a friend, he discovered people actually make a living from design. Falling in love with printmaking and silk screening, Josh created posters, t-shirts and all sorts of things.

Josh Higgins

Josh Higgins

Creative Director / Facebook (San Francisco)

Currently manager for the Communication Design team at Facebook, a multidisciplinary team of art directors, designers, writers, film makers, and engineers who’s mission is brand development and communication for Facebook. In 2013 Josh concluded his role as Design Director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign. As the Design Director, Josh built and led the design team for the historic 2012 political campaign in which the web, design, and technology played a pivotal role. The responsibility of Josh and the team was to design the Obama 2012 campaign both online and offline. A main focus of his was on creating a uniform message and consistent visual language across all mediums. With roots in both advertising and graphic design, Josh’s work has earned him national honors. Josh dedicates a percentage of his time to social causes. Finding creative ways to support them has manifested into successful exhibits and charitable projects, like The Hurricane, So-Cal and Haiti Poster Projects in addition to lecture series with photographers, designers and film makers with proceeds donated to various charitable organizations.

He first discovered he could use his skills for a greater good when Hurricane Katrina rocked the USA back in 2005. Selling a poster he had made, he was able to raise thousands of dollars—far more than he could have donated from his own pocket. “It feels so good to spend your career making things for others”, and this is what ultimately led him to working for Obama.

Taking on projects of such enormous scale, both with Obama and now at Facebook, Josh was an extremely humble speaker and it was a delight listening to his creative journey. Addressing the topic of the conference nicely, he enforced that in order to build character you must allow yourself to build something that is greater than yourself.

Luckily, you can listen for yourself.