Contributing to inspired spaces and dedication to a collective standard of excellence is our passion.
Our studio brings together a team of multidisciplinary designers with expertise in the structure and psychology of wayfinding, high standards of design, professionalism, and project delivery. Drawing on our backgrounds in visual communication, interior, architectural and industrial design, we question, innovate, study best practices, share knowledge, and remain open to new approaches to our practice.
The firm leadership is actively involved in shaping the future of placemaking and wayfinding, and our staff participates in SEGD, SCUP, AIA, SPUR, Healthcare Design programs and other industry associations and conferences.
The intersection of architecture and visual communication has been the focal point of Julie’s career for more than 25 years. Julie believes the best wayfinding and placemaking solutions are discovered by careful consideration of the urban parameters, architectural objectives and cultural context. By actively listening and analyzing these attributes, the gestalt of a place is revealed and user-centered design solutions are found. She excels in working on ambitious projects with complex teams. Julie’s clients appreciate her straightforward attitude, dedication to excellence, insightful design perspective and can-do leadership style.
Julie graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) program. She began her career in New York City, working for multiple award-winning design firms. Julie joined Kate Keating Associates in 1998, promoted to Principal in 2009, and to President in 2017. As a leader in the industry, she was elected to the Society of Experiential Graphic Design’s (SEGD) Board of Directors in 2012, and presently sits on the executive committee.
Nikki San Miguel
Nikki joined the firm in 2008 and rapidly emerged as a talented leader, client communicator, and problem solver. She has a passion for developing signage and wayfinding systems that complement the surrounding architecture while emphasizing clarity and consistency as the most effective ways to guide users to their destination. She has an intuitive understanding of how people navigate their environment and thrives on collaborating with large teams on complex projects. Nikki is an informed advocate for emerging technologies and champions projects that incorporate digital solutions as part of the overall signage program.
Nikki is an active member of the Society of Experiential Graphic Designers (SEGD) and holds a BS in Design from The Ohio State University with a major in Visual Communication Design and a minor in Business.
Prior to retiring in 2017, Kate was a leader in the environmental graphic design community and contributed to the success of many award-winning, community-focused projects. Her leadership, values and good humor led the firm to success during its first 25 years and continues to influence the firm's collaborative spirit.
Marketing and Business Development Director
Liesel has been an integral part of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) community as a marketing and business development professional for more than 15 years. Having graduated with a Bachelor in Business Science from the University of Cape Town, she brings a strategic and business perspective to her role at Kate Keating Associates. Liesel values and cultivates the relationships and connections that are needed to build and a promote a successful project.
KKA cultivates a positive, connected, open studio atmosphere. Working closely together over the course of many projects and years, we appreciate each other’s strengths and champion each other’s personal growth and responsibility.
A healthy life/work balance and lighthearted atmosphere is encouraged, and supports the long-term well being of our staff and the firm. Extracurricular studio activities include the LEAP Sandcastle Classic, first Friday social hours and quarterly group events and excursions in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.