AIGA Gainesville is deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of our beloved community leader, Jim Harrison. Jim was a founding member of our chapter, past Vice President and Co-President, and was instrumental in building AIGA Gainesville from the ground up. He has countless colleagues, mentees, students, friends and fans throughout Gainesville and beyond, and his timeless work will resonate in our community always.
Jim received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Florida and went on to design, teach and direct at UF for more than a decade of his career, at UF University Relations (now Strategic Communications and Marketing), the College of Journalism and Communications and with UF College of Arts. He founded the design studio MetaVisual, which specialized in branding and visual systems. Jim was a self-proclaimed “branding strategist, speaker, entrepreneur, and former Senior Creative Director and Faculty Lecturer at the University of Florida. An award-winning communicator, graphic designer, visual artist and IDEO certified Leader for Creativity.” Jim won ADDY awards, was commissioned by WUFT to design gifts for their membership campaigns, has been featured in numerous gallery exhibitions, has work at the Museum Store at the Harn, is a past recipient of a prestigious SAPPI Paper “Ideas That Matter” grant and is in the collection of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. His iconic series of art prints, collected under the name The Gainesville Fruit Co., can be spotted in countless homes and businesses across Alachua County.
Jim Harrison, thank you for all you have contributed to our chapter, our city and the design community at large. You will be forever missed. Our thoughts are with Jim’s family, friends and colleagues. May we all continue to honor his memory by continuing to ask why.