HEAD OF DESIGN BARRETT HOFHERR (B/H), SAN FRANCISCO CA
Ted reluctantly moved around a lot as a kid. Seeing the world was great and all but, being the perpetual new guy every two years was the worst! Looking back all that forced change and flexibility was probably good for Lil Teddy as the shy, quiet artist kid. The need to embrace newness and adapt was real — a learned skill just as critical today.
Ted has a desire to design and build great brands and be a co-conspirator to clients with big ambitions. He thrives on digging in with creative teams to make the best work of their careers — he’s a natural teacher and champion of talent. He’s won awards for art direction and design, and others have described him as a fastidious, hands-on type of nerd. He’s worked in both design and advertising creating award-winning brand identities, packaging, digital and global campaigns for brands big and small. He’s a T-shaped, left and right-brain thinker, and hates sleeping.
Ted is currently Head of Design at B/H. Prior to that he co-ran DIG, the Design and Innovation Group at Eleven in San Francisco. He was an Associate Partner and Creative Director at Eleven beginning in 2003. He’s had the opportunity to work with a wide range of clients including: Barclay’s, Gallo, Getaround, Google, JSX, Pella, Treasury Wine Estates and Visa. And, for nearly a decade, he worked with Virgin America. During that time, he and his team established the then new airline’s visual language, and, in the years following, created many campaigns and stunts. His work has been published in Comm Arts, Condé Nast Traveler, Graphis, The New York Times and Wallpaper*, and has received top honors from Creativity, D&AD, FWA and The One Show.
How did you become involved in socially responsible communications and why do you believe design can be an effective tool for this goal?
With the wide range of problems we face today, opportunities for designers to get involved are everywhere. At B/H we recently completed two bodies of work that did just that. The first was with the California Coastal Commission to help raise awareness around their annual coastal cleanup event. The visual approach was brought to life through a bright summer collage palette–pulling images from disparate sources and a new event-specific logo. The takeaway: “You are bigger than you think.”
The other was a project where we helped perpetuate positive change for the DTC meat company, GrassRoots Farmer’s Co-op. Their whole model is a challenge to the system — a radically old idea that positively impacts the planet’s health, and ultimately ours. We helped them build their brand strategy, redesigned their brand identity, and created a campaign with a fresh new visual language and a frank, witty tone of voice.
Given the confluence of events and challenges our society now faces, does this moment in time present any special opportunities, urgencies, obstacles to designing for good?
The challenges we face as a society are complex, multi-faceted, and ever more alarming. Solutions need to rise above the noise and rhetoric, and design is a powerful, universal tool that can be used to simplify messaging and introduce new ideas. The opportunity for design is this: The world is hungry — hungry for new thinking and optimistic proposals and tired of the relentless and repetitive sound bites. The job I see for designers working for good is no different than it ever was: creating work that breaks through the noise and builds an audience.