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ben steele

ben steele

Executive Creative Director, Hornall Anderson

Ben Steele is the Executive Creative Director of Hornall Anderson, a design agency with offices in Seattle WA and London. For more than three decades, Hornall Anderson has been designing and transforming renowned brands like Starbucks, Frito-Lay, Microsoft, Quaker, HP, Madison Square Garden and HTC. Steele began his career as an intern at an advertising agency in Boise ID. He managed to talk his way into an ongoing position and freelanced there throughout college. After more than a decade at agencies in Seattle and Los Angeles, he moved from advertising to design and ultimately joined Hornall Anderson in 2011. He approaches every project as an opportunity to craft a story and make an emotional connection. He works closely with clients to bring the power of strategic and creative thinking to real-world business problems. As ECD, Steele leads the agency’s creative teams and oversees key client relationships, always emphasizing a solid concept as the foundation for great design.

Where were you born and where do you live now? How does that affect your design sensibility?
Growing up in the small town of Boise ID helps me remember to never get too focused on the mindset of the place where you currently are (for me, Seattle). As designers, we always have to be able to see the world through the eyes of the audience we’re trying to reach.

Who would you say is the most influential graphic designer of the past 50 years? How have they influenced your design?
It’s hard to argue with the lasting legacy of Paul Rand. His work is a constant reminder that elegance is all about simplicity – a single idea executed with confidence, intelligence and clarity.

What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
My background as a writer means I always place ideas on par with execution. In every project, I challenge us to fight for the craft of our thinking as fervently as the craft of our literal design.

Favorite Color?
Favorite Typeface?
Favorite App?
NY Times
Favorite TV Show?
The Wire is the only possible answer
Favorite Book?
Lonesome Dove
Favorite Movies?
Rushmore, Annie Hall, To Kill A Mockingbird
Favorite Musician or Band?
Favorite Fine Artist?
Chuck Close
Favorite Gadget?
Bookmarked Websites?
Pitchfork, AV Club, my fantasy baseball league
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
Ability to sing harmony