2011 AWIB Entrepreneurial Leadership Award Winner
Ann Harakawa was born in Honolulu, graduated from the Punahou School, earned aher BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from Yale University. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work in Japan before she began her professional design career in New York. After working for several years as a graphic designer, including a stint at Vanity Fair, Ann joined Two Twelve in 1993 as a principal. She and her business partner, David Gibson, are the two co-owners of the firm.
Two Twelve has earned an international reputation as a valued design consultant to public and private sector clients who must communicate complex messages to diverse constituents. The business is built on reputation and reliability, and, as Ann says, “As we search for the design that delights the eye, and that is practical, ‘buildable,’ and sustainable, we listen carefully to our clients. We identify their needs and the needs of their users. We collaborate with our clients—a process that we really enjoy.”
Ann’s national reputation has resulted in nationwide engagements, presently including consulting on the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project in Hawaii, where she enjoys reconnecting with family and friends. Her recently completed projects include wayfinding and signage design systems for Citi Field, the new Mets stadium in Queens, NY; the Empire State Building renovation; and the MetLife Stadium for the New York Jets and New York Giants football teams.
Two Twelve has received recognition and awards for their work from the Society for Environmental Graphic Designers (SEGD), the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Municipal Art Society of New York, the American Planning Association, Communication Arts, Graphic Design: USA, and Metropolis among others.
Ann credits her success to being resilient, and her advice to fellow Asian female entrepreneurs , “Keep all your options open and take advantage of all opportunities. You should be open to new ideas and different ways of doing things.”
Ann is on the Board of Directors of The Art Directors Club; the Japanese American National Museum, and the U.S. Japan Council. She is a longtime member of AIGA, the professional association for designers, and SEGD. Ann lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn and has three college-aged daughters.