Jason Rosenberg: Ten Years Later

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Jason Rosenberg, Senior Creative Director, Anthem, is a creative leader with a proven track record in brand design, strategy and mentorship. A conceptual storyteller with a passion for work that connects through intuitive design experiences. Jason has deep agency and inhouse experience spanning over 15 years in strategic brand design, experience design and environment design for successful global brands and retailers such as Duane Reade, Doritos, Lay’s, Office Depot, Old Navy, Johnson & Johnson, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie, Radio Shack and American Cancer Society. Before joining Anthem, Jason led the brand design team at Johnson & Johnson. Previously, he was a key member at PepsiCo as Design Director for Global Snacks where he played an integral role in the nascent team bringing design in-house for the first time at PepsiCo. Jason also worked as Design Director at CBX. Originally from Northern California, Jason made the move from San Francisco to New York City on New Year’s Day 2008, the same year he was named a GDUSA Person To Watch. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with his wife Carmen and their awesome 5 year old son Julian.

 

My plane landed in New York City the day after New Years 2008, a direct flight from San Francisco. Hailing a cab from Terminal 5 to crash at a friend’s place in the Lower East Side, I felt the now-familiar bite of an East Coast winter.

Back on the warm West Coast, I had worked for a few years at various agencies, brands and the legendary independent record label Alternative Tentacles (perhaps the best job I’ve had), and most recently as a senior designer at Old Navy. By virtue of an once-in-a-lifetime window in a large corporate setting, and as a naive young designer, I was bold enough to develop a packaging system entirely from scratch including bespoke die-lines and structures to all of the final finished artwork that featured my handwriting. It wound up hitting the shelves somehow across all Old Navy stores at the time. This project garnered enough attention to help me make that move to New York City.

I took advantage of a few winter days exploring my new city after settling into my own micro apartment and joining brand design agency CBX. It was an incredible experience working hands-on, on large national brands in seemingly every consumer category, and retail space. For me, this was an important time to listen and learn. Working long hours trying and sometimes failing to develop strategies that if I was lucky, would make it to shelf or an in-store experience.

From there, I moved on to working with billion dollar global brands as part of the nascent team to bring design inhouse to PepsiCo for the first time. Our task was to demonstrate how design could partner throughout the organization to drive business and connect with consumers in more meaningful ways. I worked on food and snack brands – which in my opinion is the most challenging category, as it is such a personal and emotional space. Not only was it an opportunity to help foster a new culture and drive change internally, the outputs would have a major impact on the innovation and growth of multi-billion dollar brands.

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I then received an opportunity to take some of these learnings to Johnson & Johnson’s design studio across town to Chelsea. This time not within consumer brand spaces, but for the master brand itself. Leading a team of designers, we developed a modern comprehensive visual and verbal system for this global Fortune 50 company. By collaborating throughout the entire enterprise, our work would help a storied 130 year old company successfully evolve with the tools and trainings to deepen connections with employees and customers in a new highly competitive landscape and in a rapidly changing world.

Now, in the Summer of 2019 I head into my next exciting role, joining the team at Anthem to help craft the next generation of its flagship studio in New York, along with all North American creative teams in building new capabilities and driving growth for some of the biggest brands in the world.

A decade after I landed in New York, the world has certainly changed. Expectations for designers have changed too.

Today, many businesses recognize, yet still undervalue the importance of user-centered design as a long-term investment offering the potential to disrupt and create distinct connections and sustained success. Certain designers will succeed in today’s landscape while others may not. We are the prototypers. This is what sets us apart from other capabilities and partners. We have the ability to translate insights into actions to articulate and bring a vision to life. It is our job through design leadership and collaboration to leave the businesses and brands in a better place than where we found them. This is a powerful role to play, and we must do this as true collaborators bring teams together, gain alignment and take the right route.

See you in another 10 years!