CO-FOUNDER & CREATIVE PARTNER, ROOK NYC
FOUNDER & PARTNER, R/Co VENTURES
NEW YORK NY
Mark Christou is the Co-Founder & Creative Partner of Independent Creative Agency, ROOK/NYC and Founder & Partner of R/Co VENTURES, a fund created to invest in and work closely with emerging CPG companies that require brand and capital partnership.
ROOK/NYC specializes in branding, packaging design and creative production. The company works as a creative partner that develops and deploys impactful, actionable creative to build awareness, drive consumption and impact culture through collaborative partnership with their clients.
In 2016, ROOK/NYC formed and grew an internal brand-side creative team to rapidly scale and deploy elevated output in partnership with Bain Capital and Sundial Brands’ Executive Team; they scaled a team of 4 to a team of 30 creatives in less than a year. Within that time, they executed viral social media campaigns, redesigned and repackaged a full portfolio of brands, repositioned point-of-sale, launched new beauty brands in Sephora and Ulta and deployed a national advertising campaign. Sundial Brands was acquired by Unilever in 2018; Mark served as internal Creative Director pre- and post-acquisition.
ROOK/NYC’s success led Mark to create an investment arm of the company called R/Co Ventures. R/Co Ventures makes focused investments in CPG portfolio companies that require brand and capital partnership. The company is involved with Love Corn, Culture POP Soda, IRIS NOVA (Dirty Lemon), Q Mixers and more.
Mark’s 20 years of experience both in London and New York in the creative industry has included roles as the internal Creative Director at Sundial Brands (Acquired by Unilever), Creative Director at Pearlfisher, New York and Design Director at The Brand Union (Superunion).
Looking forward, are you optimistic about the role of graphic design in business, society, culture and causes?
Absolutely! Visual communication is as important as ever given the way the world is changing in terms of the way we work, consume media, engage with brands, shop and socialize. Succinct and successful graphic design communications are paramount to quickly tell a story, engage, convince and sell consumers.
Have the challenges of the past two years changed the way you approach your work?
Life remains unpredictable and again teaches us that the future has no format. The design industry will forever be changed. At ROOK/NYC, we have always been nimble, but we now know we have to stay nimble and flexible to adapt to the ever-changing world. Tactically, we are more cognizant of balancing our client portfolio with a healthy mix of startups and more established brands.