A perpetual student of the design industry, Mark Hamilton may not be a household name but upon meeting him one thing is for certain; ordinary is not something he strives for. More than a designer, he is a consummate problem-solver who, along with his director and creative partner, oversees a diverse and highly driven in-house team in the Office of Public Relations & Marketing which is responsible for blending strategy and design in both on-line and off-line worlds for The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.
Nearly 15 years ago, Hamilton returned to his alma mater after sinking his teeth into advertising and design at agencies long since closed. What may have been planned as a brief stint has developed into an influential career in higher education marketing and design at a college where Hamilton is the creative director. What makes Hamilton's achievements even more remarkable are that he works along with two designers for an in-house organization, in a small market, with a limited budget.
Hamilton and his colleagues pride themselves on their work which has been recognized for its messages and design impact by regional and national competitions, as well as featured in magazines and design books. These recognitions have in turn helped put The College of Saint Rose in-house group in company with some of the best creative organizations. Last year the College's unique admissions viewbook under Hamilton's creative direction was honored by How magazine as one of 51 award-winning in-house designs of the year. "Not bad for an in-house team of three designers, working for a small college in a small market," says Hamilton. It's "a fun challenge to be a creative 'David' in a world of 'Goliaths.' "
In this economic downturn, name one thing you have done to weather the tough times. I have remained with my employer for 14 years. Yes, I know that seems like an anomaly in this industry, but when the grass seemed greener on the other side I stayed. Call me a throwback to another time; I still believe that if one invests their time with an organization, you will be valued.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be? Ever since I was five I knew I wanted to be an artist. A humorous recollection is that in kindergarten the dear old teacher I had sent me to the principal's office for wasting paper with my drawings and not socializing with other children. It's no wonder I didn't give up art then.
What's the one thing ALWAYS in your bag that you never leave home without? My iPod
If you could spend 15 minutes talking to any person, living or dead, who would it be and why? George Washington. Who wouldn't want to talk to the father of our country? He could've been king but envisioned a democracy for the ages.
If you could work for anyone, a client or on a project, what would it be? Anyone: My own firm; Client: Blue Q; Project: Project M
ONE THING I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS My wife and children
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