Introducing David, KEEN’s exceptional Art Director!

Learn all about what it means to be an art director! 

Seeing a project through from beginning to end and ensuring the look and feel remains consistent during the entire process is no easy task. We are grateful to have people like David on our team who help to guide us through the artistic process of a project and guarantee we are always delivering amazing work our clients! 

To learn more about David and what it means to be an art director, keep on reading.

What does an art director do? 

I’m responsible for creating an overall brand identity and helping guide others in keeping the graphic style consistent throughout the entire development of a project. A brand’s visual foundation needs to also consider the client’s message and this message needs to be carried through to the consumers until the final stage of purchase.

How do you make sure that a brand’s messaging/style stays consistent?

The brand identity is the entire backbone of the project as it creates a structure that guides all future deliverables. When the guidelines and identity are clear, the project can easily stay on track. Everyone on the KEEN team is dedicated to the success of our clients and we all strive to do the best work possible while remaining on brand. 

How do you get started when a client partners with KEEN on a new project? 

Research and discovery. I need to understand the brand and get a feel for the personality before I can start working on it. I like to research the competitors too so that I know what others are doing and how we can help the client set their brand apart. I strive to make the brands I work on timeless, I want to look at them ten years later and see that what we created is still working. 

What is your favourite thing about being an art director? 

One of my favourite things about being an art director is that I learn so much everyday. Being a part of an agency allows me to work with clients from many different industries which helps to always keep things interesting. I also like knowing that I am holding the future and the integrity of a brand in my hands. At KEEN, we have the responsibility of making a reliable and visually appealing product both the client and our team can be proud of. It’s empowering to me to know that I have the capability to create anything for any client. 

How did you first become interested in art? 

I come from a family of artists; I actually have nine uncles and they all work in creative fields. I think that even if I didn’t come from a family of creative people, I’d still be interested in art and being an art director. I’ve always been fascinated with trends; I love when a new product comes out that captures people’s attention. I knew from a young age that that’s what I wanted to do – to create things that people enjoy. I was also a creative child as I would always take apart old radios and other electronics to build sculptures out of their pieces. 

Is it important to stay on top of trends? 

That is one of the challenges as a creative person, I’d say yes and no. Our world changes and evolves so fast and trends change everyday. I find that there is a lot of saturation in the market today in terms of visuals. It is very hard to create something brand new. I, personally, like to try to mix trends. I’ll take a look at what is out there already and try to combine it with another style and it’s almost brand new again, it’s the idea of mixing micro-concepts to a create a macro-concept. It keeps things fresh. 

I think it’s important to not always follow trends too. I mentioned before that a brand needs to be timeless. I think that you need to build a strong foundation that your brand can be built upon and doing what is considered trendy isn’t always the solution. You can follow trends and incorporate them into your art but they might not always be relevant. 

Where do you find inspiration? 

I find that travelling and reading books gives me the most inspiration. I pull a lot of inspiration from travelling because it opens your eyes to new cultures, new experiences and different ways of doing things. Sometimes you need cultural knowledge to create things for clients. I use Pinterest, Muzli and a lot of creative blogs, not just for inspiration but to see what is happening in the world and what can be improved. 

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out and eventually wants to do what you do? 

Passion is the most important thing if you want to become a successful marketer or art director. Passion is what makes you strive everyday to be the best. Believe in your guts and always believe in what you think. I think it is incredibly important as a creative person to trust your instincts. People will always have opinions but you have to trust yourself. 

Who are some of your favourite artists or designers? 

I have many creatives that I look up to, some of my favourites include: 

Massimo Vignelli

Milton Glaser 

Paula Scher 

Paul Rand 

David has a very important and dynamic role here at KEEN. David’s passion and cultural knowledge continues to be an asset on every project he works on. If your next project requires art and design, know that it will be in the best hands with the KEEN team! 

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