Known for creating logical and perfectly executed wayfinding strategies, master plans and environmental graphics, Ann Harakawa and Two Twelve have guided millions of people throughout New York City and the United States.
Specializing in complex, multi-stakeholders projects, Ann and her team have gained recognition by focusing on their clients’ priorities, consistently maintaining consensus, and moving projects forward. Ann has guided Two Twelve’s most prestigious public information, data visualization, and environmental graphic design projects for exacting clients including the Office of the Mayor of New York, Vornado Realty Trust, the Port Authority of NY & NJ, The New York Mets, Bloomberg LP, and Citigroup.
Ann’s experience includes New York City landmarks and tourist destinations including Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, CitiField, Macy’s Herald Square, and the World Trade Center. She has developed large-scale communication and wayfinding master-plan initiatives such as NYC2012, PlaNYC, Downtown Brooklyn, and Hudson Yards. Ann’s leadership and ability to bring all stakeholders needs to the forefront have earned her the respect of the leading architects, developers, civic leaders, and visionaries that she counts among her regular clients.
Recently completed projects include the multi-modal transportation hub Denver Union Station, the signage and innovative lighting strategy for the New Jersey MetLife Stadium, and the Cornell University Engineering Campus Plan for Roosevelt Island.
Presently, Ann is leading the World Trade Center Streetscape strategy. She is also working with Madison Square Garden, the world’s busiest sports & entertainment arena situated above the region’s largest transportation hub. In the Pacific region, she is directing the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project in Hawai’i.
Ann has served on the Board for the Art Directors Club (ADC) since 2005 and is a longtime member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and the Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD). She was a member of the 2006 Japanese-American Delegation sponsored by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. and in 2011 was appointed to the Japanese American National Museum Board of Governors. Most recently she was the recipient of the 2012 Asian Women in Business Award.
Since joining Two Twelve in 1999, Michelle Cates has been involved in developing and designing strategic communications of varying scale, from websites, reports, and identity design, to exhibits and environmental graphic systems.
With strengths in information design and branding, Michelle develops creative concepts and manages their execution and production.
Michelle has directed her team in designing powerful sustainability communications for The Office of the Mayor of New York City; identity, exhibits and print design for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; and employee and vendor communications for NBC Universal’s Green is Universal division, among other projects and clients.
Michelle spearheaded the visualization of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC campaign, including the branding and publications design for A Greater, Greener New York, as well as directed the design of Bloomberg LP’s 2010 and 2011 Sustainability Reports according to Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.
Most recently, Michelle led her team in designing the proposal and subsequent presentations for the Cornell University/Technion Israel Institute of Technology team’s bid for the NYC Tech Campus, resulting in a historic win for the Universities.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science and Design degree in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. She is a member of AIGA, the association for design professionals.
David Gibson is co-founder and managing principal of Two Twelve. His dedication to delivering thoughtful, user-centered design established the firm’s reputation as the first advocate of “public information design,” the planning and presentation of complex information to diverse audiences.
David is responsible for some of the firm’s highest profile projects including wayfinding and signage design for the Yale University campus and Radio City Music Hall; master planning and environmental graphic design for Children’s Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital; identity design and pedestrian signage systems for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina and Downtown Brooklyn; and signage for Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra. He has led more recent projects for The Alexandria Center for Life Science on Manhattan’s east side, Princeton University, and The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
An internationally recognized and published designer, David began his career with the Ontario Ministry of National Resources in his native Canada. He studied architecture at Cornell University, attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and received an MFA in graphic design from Yale University. He is also an award-winning organic garden designer.
David gives workshops and lectures on the discipline and value of wayfinding design at educational institutions and industry associations across the United States and around the world. He is a past President and Board Member of the Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD), and recently completed his term on the National Board of AIGA. David is author of the award-winning volume The Wayfinding Handbook: Information Design for Public Places, published by Princeton Architectural Press. He was named Fellow of SEGD in 2009, and Chair of SEGD’s Past Presidents Council in 2011.
Anna Crider Sharp
Anna Sharp came to Two Twelve with nine years of professional experience in environmental graphics, wayfinding signage, interactive media, print, and identity design. Since 2008, Anna has put her collaborative skills to work on retail signage design for Grand Central Terminal, environmental graphics for Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Piers 88 and 90, and signage design for the streetscape surrounding the site of the former World Trade Center. Anna is presently directing the development of wayfinding and signage design programs for a number of premier health care institutions including NYU Langone Medical Center, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Bayhealth Medical Center in Delaware, and Weill Cornell Medical College.
Prior to joining Two Twelve, Anna was a Senior Designer with other New York design firms. In her previous positions, Anna helped develop a brand identity and promotional materials for New York’s Dahesh Museum of Art and the W Downtown New York Hotel & Residences. She also designed environmental graphics for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, New York University, the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Arkansas, and the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania.
Anna graduated with honors from The University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design in 2001. She is a member of SEGD (the Society for Environmental Graphic Design) and AIGA.
Jonathan Posnett has been working with Two Twelve since 2007 when he came on board as a freelance project manager for the wayfinding and signage program for the New Meadowlands Stadium, the new home of the New York Giants and New York Jets NFL teams as of 2010. Jonathan accepted an invitation to become a full time Creative Director in October 2008, assuming responsibility for clients including the rechristened David H. Koch Theater (formerly the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center), the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth, and the City of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jonathan’s recently completed projects include donor recognition and wayfinding signage for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas; environmental graphics for UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan Memorial Stadium, and mater plan development and pedestrian wayfinding design for the City of Richmond, VA. He has excellent communication and collaboration skills, and has a talent for developing elegant creative solutions that reconcile the sometimes conflicting needs of clients, project partners, and end users.
His projects for prior employers have included environmental graphics programs, exhibition design, graphic identity, interactive media, and print communications for clients including the Life and Sciences Technology Building at Cornell University and The City of Prague, both with architects Richard Meier & Partners; the Biltmore Theatre in New York City with Ennead (formerly Polshek Partnership Architects); and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh with architects Thomas Phifer and Partners.
Jonathan studied at West Surrey College of Art & Design, in London, England and Derby University, in Birmingham, England where he received his degree in Graphic Design in 1992. His work has been widely published and has received awards from Communications Arts, Graphis, and SEGD (the Society for Environmental Graphic Design). He is a member of AIGA, the professional association for design and SEGD.
Laura Varacchi joined Two Twelve in 2004 as a Senior Designer, bringing her considerable experience in information design for a wide range of media. She was promoted to Creative Director in 2008 in recognition of her creative talent and dedication, increasing her responsibility for client engagements and team management.
Laura has served as lead designer on a variety of high profile, multi-disciplinary projects including the redesign of New Jersey Transit’s railroad and light rail timetables; Princeton University’s Campus Plan and signage program; a comprehensive wayfinding master plan for SUNY Buffalo, and wayfinding and signage design for Rhode Island School of Design’s Chace Center. She also managed the design of Two Twelve Principal, David Gibson’s The Wayfinding Handbook, an internationally recognized design volume.
Currently, Laura is working closely with architects and owners on signage and wayfinding design for the restoration of the Empire State Building and is creating a system of signage and wayfinding for NYU Langone Medical Center. Laura recently completed branding, signage, and graphics for the new Alexandria Center for Life Science on Manhattan’s East Side, as well as interpretive graphics and signage for Mercer County Northwest Parks in New Jersey.
Before joining Two Twelve, Laura worked on brand identities, promotional and event materials, and motion graphics for broadcast network clients such as Court TV, Cinemax, Oxygen, WGBH in Boston and Nickelodeon’s Noggin.
Laura earned her BFA in communication design at Carnegie Mellon University in 1998 and a Masters in Design from Domus Academy in Milan in 2002.