tel: +1 415.843.1859

Our Credo

When in the course of human events,

it becomes necessary for a people to stand up for a better world, which essentially is all times, that which being the human condition,

then a decent respect to the opinions of others requires that they should declare what they hold as valued.

This shouldn’t be the purview of marketers, posted in squares on social media. These should be in the Articles of Incorporation, and in the compensation policy of the CEO.

So here’s what we believe:

All humans are created equal.

And that is inseparable from being human. It doesn’t matter what position they were born into, what families they form, what genders the culture defines, what races the rulers devised, what abilities we are comparing to, or what myths that prior historians have written. Equal.

The corollary is that there is no ‘default’ representation of a human being. So we will not design as if the baseline audience is a white person.

We are invested in the success of our clients.

If ever we cannot say that enthusiastically, we will turn down the gig.

Generally speaking, let’s keep solutions simple and understandable. So we’re not afraid of small budgets.

We like things open-source, and we make things that work in a web browser – laptop, tablet, and mobile – the ubiquitous devices in our lives.

Our real job is to exit this world with a better planet than the one we inherited.

We know and accept this will mean standing up to cowardice, and working to dismantle systems that deny people their innate equality.

When left to our own devices and on our marquee projects,

We aim to write clearly and design with a young public in mind. They are intelligent and just as capable of seeing nuance. The future belongs to them.

We think being concise and interesting and not mincing words are complementary aspirations.

Good design is a tool in the pursuit of educating: we are not satisfied with yesterday’s mold.

Everyone gets paid, except sometimes the CEO.

There are no unpaid internships or advisors at the studio. If we can’t afford the work, we don’t take it on yet.

We are opposed to the ways that white supremacy pervades the old ways of doing things. We’re excited to lift the perspectives of people of color in all of our work.

When auut studio is not busy helping clients,

We invest in the power of public history.

We use the profits from our design work to self-fund important history projects that would never make money on their own. See them for yourself on»


Creative Director

RJ founded the studio amidst the launch of the digital project, to design many more compelling materials for high school history teachers and museum audiences. The studio is dedicated to taking an intersectional approach and centering the work on people of color. RJ’s vision is to find new creative methods for interacting with the significant political movements and historical figures of the past.

To this work he brings his direct experience in cartography and data visualization, as well as experience learned in Silicon Valley for championing the final audience/reader over the expert in the room. He’s driven constantly by stories that are left out of the standard canon but contain the foundational lessons for an informed citizenry of the 21st century.

RJ is an INFJ, which will surprise no one he’s worked with before. Softspoken, he’d rather get the work done than pass around the kudos, and he aspires to be a different kind of entrepreneur.

RJ’s past presentations:

A Map is 1000 Decisions and You Only Made 20: Why your most important layer is the basemap

Culture Mapping 2020, NewYorkScapes

View the video»
The Perils of Ignoring History in International Law

UC-Santa Cruz, Invited speaker to the Legal Studies Dept. – 2019

Complicating the Narrative: Stories from the Front [panel moderator]

NCPH 2019, Hartford, CT

The Archive doesn’t want to live in boxes anymore [plenary]

AERI 2018, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa

Choices in architectures for map-based digital humanities

Carleton College and St. Olaf College – 2017

Archiving and Digitization

Resurrecting Their Stories: A Community-based Oral History Project – 2017

Research and Reflection on Historical Violence

NACRJ 6th National Conference – 2017

History Check: #BlackLivesMatter circa 1916

CODE+ACTIVISM Summit, Eyeo Festival – 2016