Director of Strategy & Mission/s

Katherine Jones


Trained as a medical illustrator, Kat works to understand complex concepts and then to translate those into a story for many to comprehend. Kat focuses on uncovering the soul of a brand and getting to its core essence so that it can be precisely positioned and creatively expressed. Kat’s expertise lies in finding the radical clarity of an organization by sorting large amounts of information, listening deeply, recognizing patterns, and then pinpointing the “surgical moments” or defining elements of an organization which can then translate into language and experiences that express the organization’s story.
Kat joined the Design Institute from Milkshake, a strategy and brand consultancy she founded in 1999, where she worked with organizations to develop a clear strategy and then to express that plan to bring organizational success and purposeful paradigm shifts within the sector. Milkshake’s approach has created and shaped brands for nonprofits, government, corporations, and movements including LIVESTRONG, Populous, Generation TX, National Co-op Grocers, and more.
The path from medical illustration to strategy started in the 1990s when Kat worked in 3D visualization producing animations, illustrations, and interactive experiences for clients such as The Smithsonian, Merck, Glaxo, Hasbro, and Mattel. Just before starting Milkshake, Katherine worked on several films including the title sequence for Fight Club, and concept designs for The Cell and Minority Report.
Katherine graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Fine Arts and a BGS in Zoology and earned an MA from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Biological and Medical Illustration.