People to Watch in 2011
VICE PRESIDENT, BRAND & INTERACTIVE STRATEGIES
SAVAGE, BRANDING & CORPORATE DESIGN
As a Brand and Interactive Strategist, Robin Tooms works closely with clients to develop brand positioning, core messaging, online marketing strategies and user-centered design solutions. She is dedicated to staying on the forefront of innovative technologies that enhance communication and business. 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 business and design perspectives. She earned an MBA from the Rice University and an honors degree in Graphic Communications from the University of Houston. She has also taught at the University of Houston, won numerous awards from the industry’s most respected competitions and publications, and is a much-in-demand speaker and author. Among her clients are Baker Hughes, Blaffer Gallery, Energen, Exxon Mobil Corporation, General Motors Corporation and Tenaris.
Where were you born, where do you live, did this effect your design style or sensibilities?
I am a native Houstonian, which means my southern kindness has to live side-by-side with my western sense of wonder and entrepreneurship. Houston is a very friendly and open business environment, which has positively influenced my willingness to support my fellow creatives in any way. Houstonians are great listeners too — always a great attribute for designers.
If you were not a designer, what would you do?
Teach. Helping others to learn is a fulfilling way to spend your time. Luckily, we live in an era where opportunities to teach and learn are everywhere, even in non-traditional ways.
What advice would you give a design student or young professional just starting out?
Be curious, ask a lot of questions and break outside your comfort zone. More importantly, seek ways to improve your overall communications skills: speaking, presenting and writing are crucial to success.
Paula Scher, John Maeda
Red, red, red
I favor geometric faces like Futura and Avenir.
Evernote, Pulse, Came aBag, Kindle, HootSuite
Favorite TV Shows?
Competition reality shows like The Amazing Race and Biggest Loser. I am also still in “Lost” withdrawal.
Outliers, The Designful Company, to name a few. Currently reading the Stieg Larsson trilogy.
All-time favorite is North by Northwest
My iPod is full of embarrassing pop and alternative music
Favorite Fine Artists?
Barbara Kruger, Mark Rothko, Robert Barry
The 99 Percent, Brand New, Mashable, Fast Company, A List Apart, Wall Street Journal, Smashing Magazine
Making long “to-do” lists
New Year’s Resolution?