Neil Riddell


Neil is the founder and CEO of Noun Ventures, a company that specializes in building maverick companies and purpose-built brands that positively disrupt their respective categories and are meaningfully connected to culture. Brands and products that people want to talk about and fall in love with. They operate across categories as diverse as transportation, wine & spirits, better-for-you foods & beverages, vertical farming, blockchain fintech, health & wellness, apparel, sports & entertainment, etc.

Neil brings extensive strategic & creative brand development experience having helped many Fortune 500 companies and small challenger brands find success. As an EVP during a 20+ year career at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Neil founded and led their product/brand innovation engine, where they developed many successful brands from launch to exit. Neil has won numerous awards for his work and in 2015 was named to Adweek’s inaugural Creative 100—America’s Most Inventive Talent in Marketing, Media + Tech.

Prior to CP+B, Neil spent time working at Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam, and Foote, Cone & Belding. Neil studied Art Direction & Design at the Miami Ad School and also holds a degree in International Finance & Marketing from the University of Miami.

As we pivot into a post-pandemic era marked by societal challenge and change, are you optimistic about the future of Graphic Design to support and shape commerce, culture and causes? Why do you feel the way you do? Are you optimistic about the future of your own firm?

These new societal, cultural and business challenges, though daunting, bring about new opportunities. They must be framed in that light. Design is uniquely positioned as a tool for solutions because of its ability to effectively communicate information, stir emotion and inspire meaningful change. It connects people in powerful ways that serve to unite and rally them around a goal. Design is truly a magical weapon to wield when confronting these challenges. When design, commerce, and purpose intertwine and align in the right balance, it creates a powerful multiplier effect that can not only solve the problems in front of us, but can also build better versions of existing frameworks and systems that aren’t working. I’m excited to continue that alchemy with more purpose-driven projects moving forward.

We are seeing an increased focus on Package Design to advance the brand, tell the story, amplify the experience, forge an emotional connection. Do you agree with this observation and, if so, what advantages does packaging have over other graphic communications?

I do. Packaging is the first touchpoint emanating out from the product. It provides an amazing opportunity to communicate and reinforce a brand’s unique spirit in a very tangible way. It serves as a canvas for storytelling and when you can make that experience thought-provoking, insightful and interesting, you’ve leapt beyond being transactional and into the realm of magic and wonder.