Joan Barlow is the brand officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Since joining RWJF in 2000, she has worked across all areas of the Foundation, as well as within its expansive portfolio of health and health care programs. Barlow oversees creative strategy, design direction, brand management, and production of many of RWJF’s print and digital materials, and her creative direction has earned numerous awards.
With more than 25 years of communications design expertise at design firms and advertising agencies across the United States, she draws on a wealth of experience and work with a diverse client base in such industries as consumer products, hospitality, sporting goods, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. She was manager of Creative Services for Benetton Sportsystem, where she managed and designed promotional material for five Sportsystem brands. Her work there included branding and corporate identity, advertising, merchandising, and product packaging and store design for both domestic and international markets.
Barlow received a BS in visual communications from the University of Delaware. She serves as an advisory board member for the AIGA Design for Good initiative, and is a strong proponent of human-centered design approaches to finding solutions and successful outcomes. As she describes it: “Now is an exciting time for designers to play leading roles in the lives of individuals and communities. Designers can affect great social change by using their work to challenge, engage and motivate people to improve their health—and ultimately their lives.
Born in New Jersey, she and her husband, Philip, a commercial photographer, reside in Bordentown, N.J., in what was, in 1850, the original home of the Bordentown Banking Company.