Now DigitalOcean

Previous SCAD
Selbert Perkins

 howrey’s to-do list
  • Amplify the Echoes of Personalization
  • Transform Technology
  • Paint a Canvas of Interactions
  • Ensure Resonance Beyond Function
  • Marry Precision with Passion
  • Craft Memorable Experiences
  • Give Voice to Design
  • Look Beyond the Click
  • Embrace the Extraordinary
  • Feel and Foster Impact

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Case Studies
Thoughts on Design Leadership
Bio and Resume

John Howrey
Design Leader

Palm Springs, California
South Berwick, Maine


Drama Nerd Designs
Musical Theatre History
Made By the Collective

Widely recognized for creating designs that are theatrical, crystal clear, and arresting, I continuously inspire others in my multifaceted roles as a teacher, mentor, thought leader, and expert craftsman. With a deep-seated philosophy of Design Thinking coursing through my veins, I am adept at leading multi-disciplinary teams, bringing innovative experiences to the market. At IBM, I led product design initiatives across multiple teams, focusing on the practice of design at the speed of business and crafting self-service experiences that meet user needs for even the most technically challenging work.
Currently, I serve as the Senior Manager of Design at DigitalOcean, where I lead a scrappy design team in delivering experience excellence for people who build and code in a cloud computing environment. This role involves engaging a wide array of disciplines, demonstrating the transformative power of user-centered design in tech environments, and driving alignment across silos.

I have an MFA in Communication Design and a BFA in Graphic Design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. This foundation, combined with a history in theatre, enriches my approach to design—emphasizing psychological safety and the importance of boundary-pushing ideas.

I am passionate about mentorship, advocating for my team, and fostering environments that promote innovation and professional growth. My leadership style is both data-driven and empathetically tuned to human needs, ensuring that the solutions I guide not only solve immediate problems but also anticipate future challenges.

In addition to my leadership at DigitalOcean, I have contributed to the broader design community as a Professor of Graphic Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design and as a Design Principal at IBM. My work is driven by a commitment to crafting intuitive, empowering, and delightful user experiences that advance the field and inspire fellow professionals.