As founder and principal of Rule29, Justin Ahrens exemplifies the firm’s philosophy of Making Creative Matter®. Like any creative professional, Justin enjoys digging into a business problem and designing a strategic solution. But he gets a bigger charge out of seeing the positive impact that solution can make—for the client and for the world.
Justin guides Rule29’s strategic and creative direction on every project. He fosters a collaborative approach that’s at the heart of the firm’s relationships with clients, ranging from Fortune 500 brands to nonprofits to small startup companies.
Throughout his career, Justin has upheld a commitment to give his time and talents to help his fellow creative professionals and support important social causes. He’s served on the board of advisors for various groups including the industry leading HOW Design Conference and the AIGA. He regularly speaks at design and business conferences about creative inspiration, leadership, and design strategy. He occasionally serves as an adjunct design instructor and most recently has helped with senior and graduate-level design and strategy classes at Notre Dame and Kent State University, where students and professionals work together to tackle social problems.
Justin has also served as an advisor to the nonprofits Life In Abundance and EPIC (Engaging Philanthropy, Inspiring Creatives). His work with LIA and Lifewater has increased awareness and raised funds to aid people living in the urban and rural slums of Northeast Africa and Asia. Justin and the Rule29 team have written several books, including Life Kerning (Wiley), The Best of Business Card Design 9 (Rockport), and Urban & Rural Hope (Life In Abundance International). Leading publications and organizations, such as HOW, Communication Arts, Print, AIGA, Graphic Design USA, and Graphis have published Rule29’s award-winning strategic creative work.