Fellows Celebration

Ticket includes light hors d'oeuvres and beverages.

2021 brought many ups and downs, but a high point for our chapter was the nomination and selection of Nakita M. Pope and Sue Youngblood as our esteemed 2021 AIGA Atlanta Fellows. This honor is bestowed upon designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community as well as in their local AIGA chapter. AIGA Atlanta is so excited to finally be able to celebrate our 2021 Fellows in person! Please join us for a special reception on Saturday, August 20, 2022, at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) where AIGA members, past Atlanta Fellows recipients, and guests will celebrate the nominees at the Museum of Design Atlanta.


Nakita M. Pope has used her creativity and love of education to create a career in marketing and advertising that she loves. Over the past 25 years, she has worked as a strategist, graphic designer, creative director, brand manager, and professor, giving her experiences that inform how she works with her clients and students. A proud graduate of Hampton University in Hampton, VA, she obtained her B.A. in Graphic Design at her Home by the Sea. She then went on to a graduate design program at The Portfolio Center (now Miami Ad School) in Atlanta, GA. Nakita is the Chief Chick and Principal Brand Strategist of Branding Chicks, her boutique branding agency. Branding Chicks specializes in brand strategy, development, consulting, and management for femme-owned businesses and femme-focused brands. She helps clients narrow their focus, give their brands a voice, slingshot their confidence, and clarify their message to resonate directly with their audiences. She also supports businesses large and small to brand or re-brand to attract and grow customer bases for new products and professional services through custom, creative, relevant brand-promoting strategies. Her passion for brand strategy also extends to her advertising, branding, and design professorship at The Creative Circus for the past 14 years. In 2019 she also took on an additional role as the Diversity & Inclusion Advisor and, a year later, the Design Department Chair role. In 2020 she was named one of Graphic Design USA Magazine’s People to Watch, and in 2022, she was named one of African-American Marketing Association’s Black Marketers on the Rise.

She is involved in several professional and non-profit organizations. including AIGA. Over the years, she has served on the AIGA Atlanta board as Education committee co-chair, in the Rise Up mentorship program, on the national DEI Task Force, and as co-chair of the 2022 Design + Business Conference. She was also named an AIGA Atlanta Fellow in 2021 for her contributions to AIGA and the local, regional, and national design community. She is a core team member of African-American Graphic Designers (AAGD) and a member of the African-American Marketers Association (AAMA). She is also the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Smart Girls on Campus and a board member of Good Thinking Atlanta.

She is also the Co-Founder of Bella Boss, a subscription box for Black women business owners. Along with her work and passion projects, she now gets to share her knowledge and experiences with diverse audiences on the international speaking stage for organizations like WPP Global, BBDO Atlanta, MICA, Phoenix Design Week, The One Club, The Interaction Design Foundation, and the Georgia Tech College of Business. As always, her goal is to wield her crayons for good.


Sue Youngblood’s career is three-pronged—multi-faceted designer, educator and type tour guide. She began her career in Alabama as an in-house designer at Diversified Products, the world’s largest sporting goods manufacturer at the time. Ultimately moving to metro Atlanta, she worked as a designer at a travel agency and an advertising/ PR firm. Notable clients included Georgia-Pacific, Epson America South, Hitachi Power Tools and Sears with varied projects including trade show displays, print advertising, packaging, product graphics, catalogs, logos and event collateral. Upon exposure to experiential graphic design (EGD) she first worked several years for Muhlhausen Design & Associates (MD&A) before starting Youngblood Design Studio. At MD&A she learned EGD methodology and worked on wayfinding projects such as Jacksonville International Airport, Peachtree Center Mall, and Atlanta Botanical Garden. As a solopreneur with subcontracts and direct contracts for a variety of clients including Jones-Worley Design and Whyte-Kerner Design, Sue has worked on local, national and international identity and wayfinding projects in the areas of transportation, healthcare, higher education, commercial real estate, sports, and culture. Significant projects include Centennial Olympic Stadium/Turner Field, The Fox Theatre, Satellite Place, The Emory Clinic, and Agnes Scott College. As a team member her work has been published in HOW, Communication Arts and Signs of the Times.

While running her studio, Sue began a teaching career. Over a twelve-year period, she taught as an adjunct at the Atlanta College of Art, Portfolio Center, University of Georgia, and The Art Institute of Atlanta (AiA) and was a guest faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology and Kent State University. After becoming full-time AiA faculty, she taught for an additional sixteen years. At AiA she helped start and run their AIGA Student group in addition to becoming the AIGA Atlanta Education Chair. Committed to building Atlanta’s design education community, she managed and directed innumerable design events for students, faculty and professionals. Specifically, she re-started the Student Board and created two signature student events, the Pin-Up Show and the Type Fight. Her first involvement locally with AIGA was at the inaugural Student Portfolio Day, which she oversaw later as Education Chair.

The Art Institute of Atlanta recognized Sue as a valued faculty member and as such, she was awarded multiple quarters for contributions to student success and to Student Services. She was named in Atlanta magazine’s College Edition as a favorite AiA instructor. Twice awarded paid sabbaticals, Sue turned her second one into her current passion guiding Type Walks in historic downtown Atlanta and, more recently, on Auburn Avenue. The Type Walks weave her love of typography, architecture and Atlanta’s rich history. Walks have been conducted for Atlanta Design Week, MODA, AIGA national leadership retreat, SEGD national conference, American Institute of Architects national convention and numerous student classes.

In 2019 she was selected by the Atlanta Regional Commission as an Arts Leader of Metro Atlanta. She has participated on local organizing committees for Atlanta Design Week, Typecon, and the SEGD national conference.

During her undergraduate years at Auburn University, two classroom design projects were selected for utilization by the school. While a walk-on freshman swimmer she was awarded an athletic scholarship, a portion of the school’s inaugural implementation of Title IX for women’s sports. Her Syracuse University MFA thesis was awarded an SEGD Education Grant. Due to these experiences, Sue now devotes time to raising scholarship money for AIGA Atlanta’s 35th anniversary.

Parking: MODA does not offer onsite parking. There are a number of nearby options:

  • The closest self-pay parking deck is available at Lanier Parking: 1337 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309.
  • Self-pay street parking is available on Peachtree St and can be paid at kiosks on the street or Park Mobile App

Donation: Please consider making a tax deductible donation toward the Atlanta Chapter.

When & Where
Sat, Aug 20, 2022 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT
The Museum of Design Atlanta
1315 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309