Karin HibmaKarin Carolina Hibma


Karin Hibma has a first hand understanding of the power of design and visual thinking in our economy and culture and works to see the world through the eyes of the customer.


Design thinking and creative process are potent strategic ingredients in any worthwhile endeavor.

A founding partner in : : CRONAN : :, Hibma focuses on deep thinking for and with clients; using design thinking, creative process and cognitive identity insights to find the strategic "big idea" inherent in every client's projects, while simplifying complexity and seeing opportunities.


: : CRONAN : : creates names, strategic brand identities and design for some of today's most successful companies, including Amazon Kindle, Apple, Estee Lauder Origins, Levi Strauss & Co., SFMOMA, and TiVo.


Born in Minnesota into an Air Force family, Hibma traveled extensively, living and working in Germany and France before completing her BA in Fine Art at California State University Sacramento, where she became a freelance design researcher for Communications Design studio. In 1974 she founded a creative research company, Design Resource, to work with artists, photographers and filmmakers on advertising, illustration, commercial and documentary projects.


Hibma was commissioned in 1978 by The Burdick Group to research and write Creativity::The Human Resource, a major traveling exhibition funded by Chevron. She and her team examined the creative process of contemporary living Americans who had made major contributions in the arts and sciences, to document their creative insights and define their creative process. Hibma worked closely with and profiled artists John Cage, Judy Chicago, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, Lawrence Halprin, George Nelson, Robert Rauschenberg, Roman Vishniac and scientists Margaret Mead, Linus Pauling, Charles Townes and Jonas Salk for interactive, enlightening and innovative exhibit presentations.


Karin founded and is the president of Cronan Artefact, a product development, manufacturing and marketing company. Incorporated in 1991 to market the Walking Man line of apparel designed by Michael Cronan and Hibma, they won International Design Magazine's 1992 Consumer Product Gold Award and 1993 Honorable Mention, presented at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York. Hibma served on the advisory council of the International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA) and consults with Dr. Paul Polak's international organizations concentrating on ending rural poverty and advising multi-nationals.

Hibma and partner Michael Cronan were named two of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business. In 2012 Hibma received the AIGA Fellow lifetime achievement award. In 2014 Hibma is honored in the Most Creative People in Business 1000.



Photo: Joana Young

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