Creative Direction & Design Strategy
I've been a hands-on Creative Director for 20 years or so, leading multi-disciplined departments and project teams at agencies focused on experience innovation and product design to brand engagement and communications. My project work has involved everything from the design of toilet paper and consumer products, to events and guest experiences for hotels and sports arenas, to healthcare apps and humanitarian aid. I bring curiosity and method to unknowns, and apply empathetic design thinking and creativity to meaningful solutions. I love working on asymmetrical and valuable problems that impact the health and general well-being of people and the planet.
Some favorite projects have included: naming and logos for Ottawa's new CFL and NASL sports teams; branding and retail experience strategy for China's sportswear giant, Li-Ning; 10,000 sqft briefing center for Boeing Space & Defense; fan experience and interactive exhibits the Edmonton Oilers Arena; new consumer products for P&G, Citi and Rubbermaid; marketing campaigns for HP and Microsoft; and interactive applications and websites for GE Healthcare, Juniper Networks, Dilbert TV and Disney.
This is video of my keynote presentation at the BioComm conference in June 2018 to an audience of photographers and communication designers. I told a personal story about how my experiences and use of empathetic design thinking have impacted my work and life. Told in three acts about observation, transformation and inspiration. (roughly 12, 14 and 20 minutes in length respectively)
Projects include: Product launch and brand engagement for SpotMe in the meetings and events space; visual storytelling for Medair (NGO); product design strategy for P&G and Ziba Design; and the brand and experience strategy behind a news and discussion platform. Photo documentaries include: Recovering Iraq in 2017 and 2600 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015.
"Andy is one of the most creative people I have worked with. He is well rounded in many creative disciplines. He is dedicated, focused and a perfectionist. He has high expectations and drives hard. His talent and drive produces great solutions and original, beautiful works. Andy leads teams with fairness and intensity. He delivers."
— Sohrab Vossoughi / Founder & President, Ziba Design
"Andy is a master of a lost art: he can take on a really hard problem (your brand experience) do the research, retire to figure it out and come back with great insight and ideas. Now take that, and throw in someone who can crunch out tons of work in no time: awesome visual design, photography, video, music, furniture design. You name it, Andy can do it in the highest quality."
— Bänz Ledin / Founder & CEO, SpotMe
Managed a creative department with 15-20 designers and writers. I sat next to Max. Won and delivered successful campaigns with integrated experiences, advertising and social media, for Capital One, Microsoft Store and Bing, and the visual identity and evnironmental graphics system for My Fit Foods retail stores.
Managed a multi-disciplined design group with 20-25 designers, writers and architects. Expanded design capabilities and improved workflow and scoping, leading to better work and new revenue. Highlights included: naming and visual identity for Ottawa's new CFL and NASL teams; fan experience and exhibits for the new Edmonton Oilers arena; and innovative briefing centers for Boeing and AT&T.
"It would be easy to fill up this space extolling Andy's many gifts, but what sets him apart is a combination of his endless curiosity, thoughtfulness, and uncompromising devotion to finding the best solutions—at the same time, teaching and inspiring his teams to seek greater possibilities. He has down-to-earth sensibilities, genuine caring, honesty, excitement for the work, a strong work ethic, and a passion for the journey."
— Hank Hosfield / Writer, Downstream
Played an instrumental role in codifying and training on Ziba's human-centered design methodologies and language. Led cross-functional design and research teams on projects including: new products for Rubbermaid and several P&G brands; an EMR application for GE Healthcare; customer service design for Citi; and the brand identity and retail experience strategy for China's sportswear giant, Li-Ning.
"I remember the first time I worked with Andy, his second day at Ziba. He was dropped into a program full of complexity and in search of a story, and Andy duly provided. I was impressed from the outset with his enthusiasm for crafting meaningful stories and his thoughtful approach to problem solving. Since then, I was always very happy to see Andy's name resourced on any project that I was involved with. He brought another dimension to our design work, building stories that helped us filter, focus and elevate. He has a keen eye for that nugget of fundamental truth, often buried deep within a project, and the skill to bring that to the surface and share it, both internally and with clients."
— Thomas Crisp / Industrial Designer, Ziba
"I would highly recommend Andrew for a creative leadership position. I had the privilege to work with Andy in developing a new approach to innovative selling experiences. His strategic approach, mastery and leadership was instrumental in delivering great results. Andy reframed the business problem—creating a story framework and customer journey to comprehensively articulate the strategy—enabling multi-functional engagement and enrollment. The framework became the guide throughout the creative process across multiple touch-points—Environmental Design & Architecture, Marketing & Digital. In addition to delivering brilliant creative direction, Andy was highly collaborative with both the multi-functional and multi-agency partners—enrolling and engaging the team throughout the process. Andy was very successful in gaining and integrating multiple priorities and points of view. Andy would be an asset to any corporation or agency."
— Beth Harlor, Associate Director, P&G (client)
"Andy's a complete creative leader. He has a rare combination of natural abilities, far-ranging experiences, and inventive outlook that allow him to simplify complex problems, craft powerfully persuasive solutions, and partner with everyone involved to make sure a great original vision doesn't get lost in translation.
He brings to his work everything a great generalist should: empathy, curiosity, and a dedication to finding the right answers... all with a unique ability to see through the issues to the great story that's hidden at the root of every creative problem.
As a partner on a particularly complex and difficult long-term project, he brought creative leadership and thoughtful solutions to a contentious multi-functional, multi-agency team to unite everyone around a common vision. The result was a distinctive, boundary-pushing experience that really stretched the definition of the project and offered the client a genuinely new solution."
— Eric Smith / Creative Director, Chase Design (agency partner)
Protyping bottle designs for Green Harvest Technologies
Hands-on design leadership focused on brand strategy, identity systems and environmental design. This included exhibit design work for Weyerhaeuser, and new brands for Ciena, Intel and Mountain Gear.
"I am in awe of Andy's creativity and his keen insight. His talent seems endless and he's such a craftsman. Working with Andy to rebrand our company was a truly rewarding experience, and one I will always be thankful for."
— Heather Osgood / Director of Marketing, Sunriver Realty (client)
Managed a creative department of up to 40 designers, writers and developers, and about 5 project managers. I hired Jane, my former boss, to help me out. Delivered lots of B-to-B integrated marketing work for HP and tech industry. Made some big changes to capabilities and operations that were important to surviving and growing out of a recession.
"Andy is a never-ending wellspring of creativity, who puts his soul into everything he does. His enthusiasm is infectious; I've witnessed him motivate large teams to get behind big ideas, over and over. He commits himself fully to his ideas, putting his many resources (dare I say he's a generalist? He sort of does it all...) to work to stoke and hone a concept to the finest details of execution. He's a big thinker, with strong business acumen yet he takes interest in the delightful details that make a difference. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him and would do it again in a heartbeat."
— Michelle Zassenhaus / UX Designer
Started as an ACD in the Cupertino office and then later promoted to lead the Southeast Brand Building practice in Atlanta. Managed a department of up to 75 designers, developers, architects, strategists and account managers. Won new accounts with Disney, McDonald's and Zurich, and led the design and implementation of numerous large-scale websites.
"Andy is one of the most creative people I know. He always finds a way to solve the client's problem in an efficient, thoughtful way. He's enthusiastic, committed and passionate about all aspects of visual communication and an asset to any team. Clients love him and I'll grab any opportunity that surfaces to work with him again!"
— Jane Devon / Executive Creative Director, USWeb/CKS
My education and early career started in industrial design, photography and web development. I'm an avid cyclist, photographer and long-distance hiker, and hold dual citizenship in both the USA and Hungary (EU).