SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
WEST CARY GROUP
I am Rodney Crimes, a Senior Art Director at West Cary Group and entrepreneur currently living in Columbus OH. As a hybrid designer, working within many team dynamics, from agencies to large corporations solving problems across digital and print mediums. I teamed up with small start-ups to global brands, including IBM, Nationwide, Mattel, DSW, Abbott, Chase, and Capital One. I bring a well-versed approach and skill-set to each project helping bridge the gap between products and people.
I love creating tangible experiences and admire well-thought-out digital platforms that make life enjoyable. Outside of my daily gig, I run a small faith-based brand Win With God; and create meaningful T-shirt designs I sell on my Cotton Bureau shop. One impactful designs to date is my (Freedom ain’t free) T-shirt design. It sold over 500 units worldwide. I always strive to create meaningful work based on culture, faith, and human rights. It was mind-blowing to see people wear my design supporting Black Lives Matter protests worldwide. I see clothing apparel as a means of communication to help build awareness of world issues and confidence in fellow believers of Jesus Christ. I also love teaching; my first corporate job was teaching inner-city youth graphic design and videography in 2009 while living in California. I have since taught multiple courses like streetwear history, photography, and branding 101 at The Wellington School in Columbus, Ohio. I have adopted the motto — the best way to learn is to teach. And I look forward to teaching adjunct classes at my alma mater, The Modern School of Design, soon.
Looking forward, are you optimistic about the role of graphic design in business and society?
I am particularly excited about the role graphic design will play in society/culture. We now have platforms like social media that allow us to see and hear creatives worldwide speaking up about injustice and other causes. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best “Almost always, the creative, dedicated minority, has made the world better.”
Have the challenges of the past two years changed the way you approach your work?
In general, finding companies that value diversity has been a challenge. Hopefully, having access to more remote opportunities changes the trajectory. Allowing; minority creatives like myself to team up with companies that align with their core values. The disproportion of black creatives occupying higher creative roles is staggering. Specifically, knowing that black culture is prominent throughout advertisement and marketing.