Independent creative agency Walrus has named Jeff Hale its first Head of Design. In the new role, Hale will oversee Walrus’s design output across both the agency’s full-service and design-only clients, including Lowes Foods, Los Angeles Magazine, Fair Harbor, Northwest Arkansas Council, EngageSmart and Quality Branded Restaurants.
Hale brings over 20 years of experience to the agency. For the past seven years, he has run his own design consultancy, working primarily on Tabasco, for which he redesigned all international packaging and brand identity, and Edrington International, for which he oversaw the national launches of its Noble Oak and Wyoming Whiskey brands, including Harrison Ford/Wyoming Whiskey’s “Wide Open Spaces” project for The National Park Foundation.
Prior to earning his MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle, he freelanced as a designer for the agency across most of its accounts, including Lowes Foods, General Mills and SlowMag Magnesium. He also spent the earlier part of his career at Mad Dogs & Englishmen, where he first met and worked with Walrus’s Deacon Webster. Along the way, Hale has held posts at Fallon/Duffy Partners, Nike, 77 Ventures Creative and Central Office Corp as a designer, design director, and creative director.
“Outside of any business opportunities this may represent, we simply love great design thinking and typography,” said Deacon Webster, Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Walrus. “Having someone as talented and seasoned as Jeff in-house will raise the bar on our work across the board. It’s our mission to put smart, fun, beautiful, useful things into the world, and the more people we can bring in to help us do that, the better.”
In addition to his professorship at PNCA, Hale taught drawing, color theory, design, and typography at RISD, Brown University and Rhode Island College. His award-winning work spans packaging, brand identity, signage & way-finding, naming, editorial, and illustration.
“I’ve always been drawn to Walrus for its ability to creatively problem-solve and find new ways to use humor to endear or tell brand stories,” said Hale. “They’ve managed to create a forward-looking agency model for creative advertising and design solutions for an extremely varied client base, which is a rarity in our industry. I’m eager to expand Walrus’s design practice in a way that explores the physical possibilities of design and exploits both the forgotten techniques and new technologies that make design tangible and effective.”