Matt Ipcar is the executive creative director at Blue State and was a principal design leader for both Obama campaigns.
With a focus on design and user experience, Ipcar helps organizations find creative ways to connect with and inspire their constituencies, translate and evolve brands for the digital landscape, and bring consistency and simplicity to user interactions. Matt has led creative on projects for general election campaigns worldwide, advocacy organizations, institutions, and brands.
In addition to the work he has done for progressive candidates and causes in the United States and globally, Ipcar led brand evolution for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, helped recruit design talent, and provided creative counsel to campaign leadership throughout. Prior to joining Blue State, Matt served as Design Director for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, where he designed the Obama White House website and Change.gov. Matt also worked full time on the ‘08 Obama campaign as the Rapid Response Design Director.
From 2004-2007, Matt was at frog design, leading interactive projects for a range of fortune 50 clients. Matt holds a BA from the School of Architecture & Planning, SUNY at Buffalo, and is a born and bred New Yorker.
Ok. Enough with the third person stuff: Scroll down to see what I’ve been up to recently.
Speaking, podcasts, writing & press
I love talking about all these things, and as long as it’s not an invitation to join an all-male panel,I’d love to talk to your organization. Just contact me by email.
New York City, New York
From graphic and fashion design to industrial and interactive, design plays a huge role in the day-to-day lives of more people than ever before. Whether we're skimming the surface with memes and emojis, or digging in deeper towards systems and service design, the power of design is having an outsize effect on society– an effect far beyond how things look. At their global retreat, I spoke to several dozen engineers in the core UX design group (corporate engineering) about how to make sure their work goes well beyond “not being evil”.
Open Eyes Economy Summit
I delivered a talk entitled Truth Decay: Fighting Fake News and Post Truth at this global conference held in Poland. I spoke on a Panel afterwards with Jacob Turowski, Facebook’s head of public policy for Poland & Baltics, and Anna Wroblewska, a design thinker and strategist about the ways we can fight fake news.
Creative Lives Podcast
Manchester, UK (Interviewed)
I sat down with Marianne Hanoun from Lecture in Progress directly after my talk at Design Manchester 18. In this Creative Lives Podcast. We spoke in depth about my role at Blue State, my university education & decision to not be an architect, my most impactful work from the past year (A video we made in India for CARE), and generally about creating work that positively affects the world.
Manchester Design Festival
I closed the 2018 Manchester Design Festival with a keynote entitled On Purpose– a meditation on designers’ responsibility to be both intentional and honorable. Equal parts doom and hope, I covered the intersection of politics, design, and technology to an audience of over a thousand creative professionals and students. The talk was closed to video, but there are some pictures here and here.
School of Policy and Governance
Chennai & New Delhi, India
At SPG’s four day executive education program, Building Online Communities for Civic Engagement, I spoke and led workshops with Indian political party and campaign leaders about the future of modern campaigning, and about bringing creativity to campaigns through message, image, and timing. I can’t say it was well covered in the press, but at least my name now officially appears in a Times of India site search.
Rockit Digital Conference
I presented a simple sanity-preserving creative approach tailor-made for this era of fake news, commoditized design, data overload, and unbound hypocrisy and cynicism. They made a great video, with walk-on music and everything.
The C Student in Chief
Donald Trump and his administration are lazy, sloppy, and lack imagination. In which Slate gets former creatives involved with the Obama White House to give their hot takes on the new whitehouse.gov experience.
The Worst Design Of 2016 Was Also The Most Effective
Fast Company (interviewed)
Trump's "Make America Great Again" hat was pervasive, potent, and deeply misunderstood. An article in which I speak at length about the hat.
The Real Impact of Campaign Design, According To Obama's Branding Expert
FastCo design (Ipcar written)
In which I write about the ways design plays a far more important role in how our leaders are chosen than anyone realizes.
Political communication & election strategy interactive workshop
I presented on political communication & election strategy and hosted an interactive workshop to the University of Turin during "Election Days" gathering. Presented remotely via video conference …sigh…
One Club Creative Leaders Retreat
San Diego, CA
Mind over Title: Led session and presented on inner agency creative organization, career paths and talent retention. Closed to media (& social media)
Ford Motor Company
Politics by Design: Creative integrity in the face of big data, moving quickly without breaking stuff, & the evolution of digital storytelling. A 25 minute talk for global communications team (200+ in attendance) at Ford Motor Company Headquarters .
Hyperakt Lunch Talk
Let’s Talk 2012: Personal Experience with Obama 2012 design/brand and organization: I did a lunch talk at Hyperakt (I love these guys) where I discussed putting slab serifs on Gotham for Obama. They shot and edited a wonderful video.
OMMA at Social Media week
New York City
Beyond Politics: An Interview with me talking about politics, brands, and what the future holds for being authentic on social media (and I was right, sadly)
Visual Revolution Summit
New York City
The Social State of Politics. Here’s me on a panel talking about how the Romney campaign struggled when it came to photography, design, and social media.
The State Department
Creative Roles and Organization: Helping Your Embassy Digital Team Work Smartly: a presentation and workshop about how technology, creative and communications can work together collaboratively and efficiently to 40+ U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officers at their semi-annual confab. Closed to press.
Number 10 Downing Street
Executive Function: Designing Whitehouse.gov. Presented to Number 10 Downing Street digital team.
TechCamp (A State Department project)
Building Quickly: Crisis Response and Fundraising Lessons from Haiti: Presented to several small groups of 20-30 people + Facilitated project groups