Publishers Note
Thanks Epson
2011 People To Watch
Now on GDUSA




In the first magazine of each year, GDUSA selects our People To Watch, group which is intended to embody the spirit of the creative community. The criteria: individuals we have come to know and respect for their talent, leadership, success, insight, business savvy, community service and newsworthiness. In a field so deep in talent and intelligence and achievement, this is clearly a subjective process. Still, over more than four decades, it has seemed to work out: the roster reads like a Hall of Fame and the 2011 group only adds to the luster. The class of 2011 is particularly varied, representing new media companies such as Facebook, Yahoo and Myspace, traditional marketing powerhouses like Coca-Cola, Walmart and Kimberly-Clark, and standout indedendent design firms including Pentagram, Savage, and Pressley Johnson. In this online preview, Today, we present our list of twenty designers, and some brief excerpts from the magazine article. The complete feature willl appears in GDUSA magazine in early February and, soon thereafter, on; the magazine and website will also feature a complementary look at Students To Watch at that time.

— Gordon Kaye


Epson, long a designer-friendly company with a creative-centric culture, is sponsoring this online preview. A leading provider of printers, scanners and other products for the creative community, the company has had particular and notable sucess with the Epson Stylus Pro printer family. The latest offering is the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 printer, an all-new contract quality proofing system designed for flexographic and gravure print jobs that require the color white. For more information on these and other products, contact...
Click Here For More Information


Here is a glimpse of our 2011 People To Watch and a short quote from each to give you a flavor of our interviews with them.

Ben Blumenfeld
Ben Blumenfeld is the design lead at Facebook. With more than 500 million active users, Facebook is fundamentally changing the way people share and communicate with each other. Blumenfeld’s team communicates Facebook’s brand and mission through product experience, web properties, and offline channels.


Quote (on an alternate career): “Teach or run a non-profit. I started a non-profit called Choose to Laugh a few years ago with a couple of friends and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.”

David Butler
David Butler is responsible for leading the global design vision and strategy for The Coca-Cola Company. That includes some the world’s most loved and valuable brands. He is a frequent lecturer and strong advocate for design education, and is currently based in Mexico City.


Quote: (on advice to students and recent grads): “Focus on the design of the world and less on the world of design.”

David Ceradini
David Ceradini founded his design firm in 1993 and leads development for all agency branding and design assignments, from conceptualization through activation. Blending business savvy and innovative creativity, Ceradini works closely with all agency clients. He is a member of AIGA, DMI, CEW and ASID.


Quote: (on growing up in a blue-collar upstate NY town): “That experience has really shaped my work ethic. It taught me how to work hard to get what you want, to be persistent and always make your best effort.”

Jenn David Connolly
Jenn David Connolly is owner of Jenn David Design in San Diego. With clients including several nationally recognized consumer brands, Connolly began her career designing help-wanted ads and enjoyed the challenge of finding the creativity while working within strict parameters. She continues to apply that same principle to packaging, websites, identity, collateral, displays and, recently, illustration.


Quote (on her New Year’s Resolution) “Expand creatively into new areas and challenge myself in ways I haven’t done before.”

Rachel Crawford
A newly minted Associate Principal at Carbone Smolan Agency, Rachel Crawford thrives on a fusion of design, promotion and entrepreneurship. Clients have included Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Morgan Stanley, Taubman Company, W Hotels and Helen Keller International.


Quote (on handling work-related pressure): “My number one mantra when things get intense is ‘no one’s going to die.’ Take a deep breath. There’s no reason for this job to give you an aneurysm, although I make no promises about high blood pressure.”

Karin Fong
Karin Fong directs and designs for film, television, and environments. She is a founding member of production and design company Imaginary Forces, based in Hollywood and New York. Fong’s title sequences include Ray, Charlotte’s Web, Dead Man on Campus, The Pink Panther 2, Terminator Salvation and Going the Distance.


Quote (on advice to young professionals): “Work with people you admire. That holds true even if you are not just starting out.”

David Gauger
David Gauger’s career began at age 17 in a small advertising and design firm. He began a design studio at 21. In 1974, Gauger co-founded Gauger Sparks Silva in San Francisco, now Gauger + Associates. His firm has created branding, packaging, interactive design, environmental design and advertising programs for a range of businesses, and garnered hundreds of awards in the USA and abroad.


Quote (on the influence of San Francisco): “The West Coast effect has been to continuously question authority and to experiment stylistically.”

Jessica Hische
Jessica Hische is a typographer and illustrator working in Brooklyn NY. In September 2009, after two-and-a-half years of little sleep and a lot of handlettering, she left Louise Fili, her last staff job, to pursue a freelance career. Hische has emerged as an industry thought leader, and has been featured in most major design and illustration publications.


Quote (on her design heroes): “I have People/Design ‘crushes’ rather than a ‘hero’: Louise Fili, Erik Spiekermann, Christoph Niemann, Chris Ware.”

Brian Hunt
Brian Hunt is Yahoo!’s Senior Creative Director in the United States. Responsible for both Yahoo!’s Branded Entertainment division and the Yahoo! Creative Solutions team, Hunt experiences the dynamic online marketing space from every angle. Earlier, Hunt was one of the original employees for web pioneer, DoubleClick, where he served as Creative Director. A graduate of Hamilton College, he has been a consultant for CNN Money, L’Oreal and others.


Quote (advice for students): “Bring more to the table than just great design skills. Understanding communication and marketing are necessary components to being a successful designer today. Don’t be the talented weirdo who can’t hold a conversation and does not have any grasp for the business side of your field.”

Jennifer Kinon and Bobby C. Martin Jr.
Jennifer Kinon is a founding partner of OCD, an independent branding and design agency. She is also a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design Program and president of AIGA/NY. Kinon has worked for Michael Bierut at Pentagram and, previously, she was design director of NYC’s 2012 Olympic Bid and art director for Graphis Inc. Partner Bobby C. Martin Jr. most recently worked as Senior Design Manager of Visual Communications at Nokia Design in London, where he oversaw communication and identity design across their global packaging range. He has been design director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and worked at Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Innovation Group (BIG).


Quote (Kinon on advice to young professionals) “Find someone you admire and work with them.”

Mike Macadaan
Mike Macadaan is Vice President of User Experience and Design at Myspace. Macadaan was instrumental in bringing to life the new design of He is also very active in the Southern California start-up community, having ben a founder of Twiistup. Prior to joining Myspace in 2009, Macadaan served as vice president of product design for Tsavo Media.


Quote (on an alternative career): “I’d probably be a blimp pilot. I was part of an advertising blimp tour in my early 20’s and it was so much fun.”

Christine Mau
Christine Mau is the Brand Design Director of Family Care brands at Kimberly-Clark. In this Integrated Marketing Planning team role, she is responsible for leading strategic design as it inspires the brand expression across channels. She enjoys transforming overlooked and commoditized products like facial tissue and tampons into stylish accessories that delight the consumer and drive sales.


Quote (on the influence of where she was raised): “I grew up exploring rural Wisconsin, with the largest chunk of time on an 80-acre farm. My childhood was really one giant problem-solving lab.”

John Nunziato
John Nunziato started Little Big Brands in 2001 out of his two-bedroom sublet apartment with $250 in the bank. Ten years later, the firm has grown to a small collective of talented individuals creating beautiful packaging for brands big and little. After graduating from school, Nunziato spent much of his career working for industry leaders such as Sterling Group and Interbrand.


Quote (on advice to graduating students): “While you probably have a good portfolio of work, personality and determination, most employers are very busy and looking for more than a good designer. We’re looking for leaders.”

Eddie Opara
Eddie Opara joined the legendary Pentagram in its New York office as partner in 2010. Opara is a multi-faceted designer whose work encompasses strategy, design and technology. His projects have included brand identity, publications, packaging, environments, exhibitions, interactive installations, websites, user interfaces and software, with many projects ranging across multiple media.


Quote (on an alternative career): “A carpenter or an architect. My paternal grandfather was a carpenter.”

Paul Pierson
Paul Pierson is a newly named Associate Principal, as well as Senior Designer, at Carbone Smolan Agency. His keen sense of logic, sensitivity to client needs and ability to create the “natural” design across platforms for a product or service makes him one of CSA’s most versatile designers. A recent project included the rebranding for investment firm Morgan Stanley.


Quote (New Years Resolution) “Get off Facebook and talk to humans.”

Walter Porras
After finishing at the top of his class in Peru, worked in the art department at a large supermarket chain in Peru, and then moved to Miami where he launched a career that, via grit and talent, has included influential design and management positions at Office Depot and Macy’s. He is currently Senior Director for Marketing Creative at Walmart in Bentonville AR.


Quote (on moving from sunny Florida to Arkansas): “It’s always been about the challenge and about loving what I do. My passion since I was a little boy in Peru, with the Crayolas, has always been art and design. That’s what makes me happy, whether it be Florida or Arkansas.

Wendy Pressley-Jacobs and William Lee Johson
Wendy Pressley-Jacobs formed Pressley Jacobs Design in 1985; the nationally recognized firm is celebrating its silver anniversary with a name change to Pressley Johnson Design. Pressley-Jacobs has 35 years of experience in the design field. A member of the AIGA Chicago Chapter Advisory Board, she has been “Woman of the Year” Women in Design/Chicago and “Alumni of the Year” by the School of Fine Arts at Indiana University, among many honors. Joining Pressley-Jacobs as the new “name” partner of the firm is William Lee Johnson. He has 25 years of branding and marketing experience. His work has been recognized by the likes of Graphis, The Type Directors Club, New York Art Directors Club, American Corporate Identity, GDUSA, Society of Typographic Arts — Design Archives, and more.


Quote (Pressley-Jacobs on the influence of where she lives and works): “Living in the Midwest and Chicago created a psyche where I value things that are ‘true’ and ‘honest’.”

Robin Tooms
As a Brand and Interactive Strategist at Savage in Houston, Robin Tooms works closely with clients to develop brand positioning, strategies and design solutions. As Vice President, Tooms is responsible for keeping internal operations running smoothly, especially those related to human resources. A member of the Savage team for more than 13 years, Tooms strategically approaches each project from both a business and a design perspective.


Quote (on where she grew up): “I am a native Houstonian, which means my southern kindness has to live side-by-side with my western sense of wonder and entrepreneurship.”

Sarah Williams
As Creative Director at Beardwood&Co, Sarah Williams has been a “design explorer” for almost a decade, scouting out new inspiration from the tip of Patagonia to Tokyo’s Design Week to Zanzibar. Her design adventures span from telling the punk rock story of legendary CBGB’s, to girly glamour for Bath & Body Works, to channeling her inner scientist for Pfizer.


Quote (on hip-hop and design): “I’ve always been riveted by hip-hop; the rapid-fire cleverness of the lyrics collaged over obscure samples, and the way 100 different ideas can be communicated in less than five minutes. It’s a powerful form of music with the ability to synthesize culture. There are many parallels to design, and depths of inspiration.”


Epson, long a designer-friendly company with a creative-centric culture, is sponsoring this online preview. A leading provider of printers, scanners and other products for the creative community, the company has had particular and notable sucess with the Epson Stylus Pro printer family. The latest offering is the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 printer, an all-new contract quality proofing system designed for flexographic and gravure print jobs that require the color white. For more information on these and other products, contact...
Click Here For More Information


2010 People To Watch

2010 American Graphic Design Awards Gallery

2010 American Inhouse Design Awards Gallery

2010 American Web Design Awards Gallery

Improve Your Skills In 2011