John Ryan


My knowledge and skills bridge the gap between creative, informed thinking and technical skill, allowing me to develop both strategies and solutions in a variety of media.

“John is a talented designer—very quick to comprehend and internalize new concepts and technical subject materials—bringing tremendous value to strategy development.”
—Erica Kochi & Chris Fabian, UNICEF
“John is a pleasure to work with. He offers that rare mix of creativity and pragmatism, championing user experience through the creative process.”
—Stuart Johnston, Director at Atto Partners


I am a highly motivated, entrepreneurial designer with a proven history of academic and professional excellence, with over 5 years‘ experience running a successful owner-managed business. I also have considerable team experience and strong leadership skills built on involvement in academic, commercial, volunteer and artistic projects.


  • UNICEF Innovation Unit

    May 2012–Aug 2012

    Designer working with UNICEF's influential Innovation Unit: I designed a strategic framework for UNICEF's global AIDS strategy. Frog Design used it as the basis for a workshop at the 2012 Global AIDS Conference.

  • Indepedent Software Partnership

    March 2010—

    Founding Partner, Lead Designer. Along with my business partner, Padraig Kennedy, we created several successful Mac applications, including: Mountee, a popular web development tool used by leading web agencies (Happy Cog, Blue State Digital), and, Picturescue, a photo-recovery app for iOS devices. While conception and product design were shared tasks, I was solely responsible for the branding, artwork, interface design and websites for our products.

  • Life Forms Design

    Dec 2005–Sept 2011

    Owner and Creative Director of a small creative studio working with people, pixels and print. Initially founded as a one-man studio, I later led teams of freelancers, providing creative direction, user-experience strategy, and implementing design solutions (web/digital, branding, print). I managed all client-relations, new business generation, and front-end development. I worked with over 100 clients from Ireland, UK, Europe and USA, including:

    Public & Private Sector: Fáilte Ireland (Irish tourism board), IPA (Irish academic institution), Dublin Port (regional port authority), The Brand Union.
    Media & Arts: Universal Music Ireland, Vagrant Records (Santa Monica), Believe Digital (UK), Tyrone Productions (leading Irish TV company)
    Charity & NGO: Habitat for Humanity, Samaritan‘s Purse (Ireland), Tearfund, The Leprosy Mission (Ireland)

  • 3Rock Youth

    Sep 2003–Aug 2005

    In-house designer: I developed a new brand for the organisation, and provided ongoing art-direction and design for all web, print and live event materials.

  • Exodus Software

    July 2003–Aug 2005

    Web designer. I contributed to range of health industry web-applications and websites as a designer and front-end developer.


  • Art Center College of Design

    Sept 2011 — April 2013

    Media Design Practices MFA Candidate

  • Dublin City University

    2001 — 2005

    B.Sc. Multimedia, 1st Class Honours. (2nd Highest Student in Year)

  • Wesley College, Dublin

    1994 — 2000

    Leaving Certificate in English, Irish, French, Math, Geography, Physics, Technical Drawing. (All at Higher Level)

Other Achievements

  • Awarded one of three 2013 Thesis Scholarships, Art Center College of Design
  • 2012 DesignMatters Summer Fellowship recipient, Art Center College of Design
  • 2011—2013 Media Design MFA Merit Scholarship, Art Center College of Design
  • Competition-winning interactive digital art installations with Hyperion Project digital artists‘ collective.
  • Co-created Mountee software used by leading web agencies (Happy Cog, Blue State Digital).
  • Extensive overseas travel in Europe, US, Canada, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Co-lead volunteer team to Chile with Habitat for Humanity (2005).
  • Conception and management of week long inner city arts festival, Dublin, 2002.
  • Head Boy (2000) and Best All-Round Boy (1999) award, Wesley College, Dublin, Ireland.

Business, academic and personal references available upon request.


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    +1 626 560 8928


    601B N Holliston Ave,
    Pasadena, CA 911006