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.
Helvetica, Copperplate, Garamond, Interstate
Google Maps, Pandora, Netflix
Best Made Co. and The Dieline
FAVORITE TV SHOW?
Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, American Horror Story, IT Crowd
The Fountainhead, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13
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
My greatest strength as a designer is providing inspiration, clarity and problem-solving through both word and image.
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.