I’m Ariel Rudolph Harwick, a graphic designer in Raleigh, North Carolina. With a background in fine art and writing, I draw on my roots in visual and verbal narrative to create work that’s meaningful, well-crafted, and striking.
Good design, like a good story, balances the fresh and the familiar to spark interest and wonder. I unite metaphor and symbol, copy and content in a way that informs, delights, and spurs your community to action.
I specialize in crafting compelling, confident brands for clients near and far: small businesses, higher education, art and cultural initiatives, and advocacy groups, among others. With keen concept and an eclectic bent, my aesthetic is sometimes playful, always elegant.
I also partner with design firms and fellow creatives to augment their team’s capabilities. Having worked in agency and higher education environments, I’m adept at synthesizing the needs of diverse stakeholders, and my broad skillset, savvy communication, dogged work ethic, and can-do spirit bring joy to the process.
Previously, I was senior designer at Graphite Creative near Washington, D.C., where I worked with clients such as the National Park Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Alexandria Black History Museum. Before that, I worked at the Carolina Union at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I designed for university departments, student organizations, and the student union, while also teaching our employees and interns about design.
I write short fiction, and I’m also a printmaker and book artist exploring traditional fairy tales, censorship, and the juxtaposition of urban sprawl and nature. I take great pride in my craft, whether paper, prose, or pixel.
When I’m not in the office, you’ll find me reading, pursuing good music, or lending a hand around my community. Or I might be hiking, biking, birdwatching, or just rambling hill and dale. In both work and play, I’m driven by curiosity.
A logo is such a valuable shorthand; in a single glance, it tells the viewer about your organization’s personality and purpose. But a visual brand is so much more than just a logo. To thrive, logos need a “habitat” to give them context and consistency. I’ll work with you to develop a toolkit of typography, color, imagery, and layout (and a brand manual to help your team put it to work).
Whether you’re advertising an event, selling a product, or advocating for a cause, I can help you create designs that persuade, inspire, educate, and entertain. We’ll define your intended audience, determine the best strategy to reach them, and develop assets with a consistent approach across print and digital environments.
Before I even begin to design a magazine, book, catalog, whitepaper, or annual report, I make sure to grasp the significance of your content in order to create insightful interactions of copy and image. P’s and Q’s? I mind ‘em. Ems and ens? I mind them too. My typography is meticulous, and my attention to fleurons, curly quotes, and the proper use of dashes is downright geeky. I care so you don’t have to!
How does the brand feel in the hand? Print design is all about the tactile, sensory experience—the texture, color, and thickness of paper; the sheen of ink, varnish, or foil; the delight of a novel fold or die-cut. I talk shop with print vendors to make sure that stationery, brochures, packaging, apparel, and posters are executed with absolute technical precision. Nobody gets more excited about a press check.
Nothing announces your organization with more trumpets and fanfare than a big, bold sign. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor sign, banner, wall graphic, menu, neon display, vehicle livery, mural, or wayfinding, I’ll collaborate with fabricators to create a memorable physical encounter with your brand.
With formal training in fine art, I’ve had a hand in nearly every medium at some point (quite literally). I’m not afraid to mix analog and digital approaches for a beautiful, bespoke look that stands out among the cookie-cutter clip art clones. I often incorporate illustrations and patterns into a brand or campaign, and I can also create standalone spot illustrations for a publication, website, or product.
I can provide the assets you need to update an existing site, or I can design a responsive website from the ground up. I can also consult with your agency or in-house development team to provide art direction for a digital brand. In any case, I craft my designs with loving attention to detail, right down the icons.
There are few challenges I love more than capturing the entire essence of a business, product, or initiative in a couple of evocative words. As part of an identity project, I can name (or rename) your brand, and I can develop messaging and copy that articulates your mission, resonates with your audience, and provides a distinctive and consistent verbal tone to complement your visuals. Most importantly, I’m a diehard defender of the Oxford comma.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Let me know what you have in mind, and I’ll let you know if I’m a good match for your project. No design or artistic endeavor is too weird, wild, or wacky for my consideration.
Like visual design, origami merges form and function. Folding a complex model from a single, unbroken sheet of material requires as much engineering as artistry. It may come as a surprise that such an ancient craft informs the design of architectural domes, bridges for military tanks, mirrors for space telescopes, and the crease pattern of car airbags. In fact, many origami artists are also physicists and mathematicians.
At age six, I folded the first of many origami models I’d eventually learn: a peacock with a pleated tail. This foray into paper art wasn’t my last: I went on to reverse-engineer commercial pop-ups to make my own pop-up cards and books as holiday gifts. All these years later, the economical elegance and absolute precision I learned from origami still influences my design practice, ensuring that no beauty is without its purpose.