ARIZONA PUBLIC SERVICE, LEADER, CREATIVE SERVICES
As Creative Services Leader for Arizona Public Service (APS), Andy Brenits oversees the brand identity, design, video, and photography for the company’s internal and external marketing and communications. He’s also the President of InSource, an organization where the all-volunteer board produces events and resources for leaders of inhouse creative teams. Brenit’s career began working for design studios in Manhattan before moving to inhouse positions at Banana Republic, Gap, and the NFL. He then managed his own design consultancy for a decade before returning inhouse, in 2007, to establish and lead the design and production team at KPMG’s national headquarters in New Jersey and, now, doing the same at APS in Phoenix. Brenits is passionate about how design can increase profitability when used effectively and consistently. He is accomplished at driving strategy and process for creative teams, and has a strong record in building, managing, and leading such teams. In addition to a BFA in Graphic Design from School of Visual Arts, he holds a Masters Degree in Design Management from Pratt Institute. He has taught at Pratt and at Rowan University; led panels about the value of inhouse design; and appeared as a panelist at the HOW In-House Managers Conference.
Where were you born and where do you live now? How does that affect your design sensibility?
I was born and raised in Port Washington, Long Island, and had lived in Manhattan, Jersey City, and North Jersey until recently when we moved to Phoenix. I was fortunate to grow up where I did because the public school system had a great arts education program where I was encouraged to explore art and design from a young age. The proximity to Manhattan’s museums, galleries, and theater really allowed for a rounded arts upbringing. My ability to adapt creatively is a direct result of being exposed to so much variety.
What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
My greatest strength is trust. I’ve learned to trust my gut when making decisions, and trust in the talent and creativity of my team.
Who is the most influential graphic designer or graphic design firm of the past 50 years?
Paul Rand rules! But really I admire what William Golden and Lou Dorfsman achieved at CBS. They proved design has a place at the corporate leadership table.
I’m a big fan of Neutraface and Federal.
Favorite TV Shows?
Big Bang Theory, Homeland, Sons of Anarchy. And I still love classic sci-fi like Star Trek
Replay, Getting Things Done, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Pretty much anything with the word “Star” in it, plus Blazing Saddles and The Exorcist
Classic rock, and movie soundtracks
Favorite Fine Artist?
I’d love to own a Mondrian or Pollack. But Leonardo DaVinci is my hero
My iPhone and my Fisher Bullet Space Pen
in-source.org, gdusa.com, inhowse.howdesign.com, of course. Also Linkedin, CNN, uncrate.com, artofmanliness.com.
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
For the sake of practicality, I’ll say I wish I could play guitar like the rock masters of the 1960s and 1970s. But actually, it would be awesome to be able to fly
Mantra or Saying You Live By?
I have two mantras: “Listen to the opinion of others and then do what your gut tells you is right” and “There is a fine line between design and decoration”