Rob Adams

rob-adams

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, STRATEGY MARKETING & GROWTH, ETS, PRINCETON NJ

Since earning his BA at Rutgers, Rob Adams has spent 20+ years creating award-winning campaigns including advertising, direct marketing, promotions, identity and brand development for B2B and B2C. As Creative Director at non-profit Educational Testing Service since 2005, Rob leads the team creating marketing materials for ETS’s educational assessment brands, corporate brand and internal communications. Previously, he was Creative Director and Partner of the award-winning agency Splinter Group. He’s held a variety of creative positions, with career clients including AT&T, A&E, BellSouth, Coldwell Banker, Newsweek International, Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, McCormick, Mercedes-Benz and FoodTown. He says: “My creative development has been an ongoing process of learning from the most gifted people and the more challenging projects. Being an effective leader has meant earning the credibility to mentor, gaining the respect of my peers and winning the trust of my clients. Whether I’m nurturing young talent or simply interpreting the client’s request versus their need, the ability to forge relationships and communicate has been key. It’s been extremely rewarding leading creative talent to win awards and helping clients reach their business goals.” Outside the office, Rob enjoys spending time with his sons Robbie and Jimmy, and using his creative talents for charitable causes.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?

The tactics you design for will change constantly – the need for good design will remain constant. Always have a passion for what you do – it will show in your work and your professional relationships.

HOW DOES WHERE YOU WERE BORN, GREW UP OR LIVE NOW EFFECT YOUR DESIGN SENSIBILITY OR STYLE?

I’ve always lived in New Jersey, just outside of Manhattan. I was fortunate to have access to great mentors and the best museums and culture. This helps me appreciate the aesthetic, while creating direct and relevant communications that must cut through the clutter and connect in a meaningful way.

FAVORITE COLOR?
Black

FAVORITE TYPEFACE?
Helvetica, Copperplate, Garamond, Interstate

FAVORITE APP?
Google Maps, Pandora, Netflix

FAVORITE WEBSITES?
Best Made Co. and The Dieline

FAVORITE TV SHOW?
Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, American Horror Story, IT Crowd

FAVORITE BOOKS?
The Fountainhead, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13

FAVORITE MOVIES?
The Godfather, The Apartment, Waking Ned Devine

FAVORITE MUSICIANS OR BANDS?
The Beatles, R.E.M., Stevie Ray Vaughan, Oscar Peterson, Louis Prima

FAVORITE FINE ARTISTS?
Vincent Van Gogh, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci

GREATEST STRENGTH?
My greatest strength as a designer is providing inspiration, clarity and problem-solving through both word and image.

WEAKNESS?
Not having the patience to finesse to perfection

TALENT YOU WISHED YOU POSSESSED?
I wish I could play the piano.

IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A history teacher

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Don’t be the problem — be the solution.

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