Sr. Director, Creative & Branding, McGraw-Hill Education LLC
As Senior Director, Creative and Branding, David serves as brand steward for McGraw-Hill Education, and is responsible for the overall brand vision and creative direction. Prior to his current position, David was the creative director for the print and digital publishing unit of McGraw-Hill Professional, where he led a team of 12 designers in print, digital, and trade show design.
David has held creative positions in several agencies, worked as a freelance designer, and was Art Director, Advertising and Promotions, at John Wiley & Sons. He has won several design awards, as well as judged design awards. David holds a bachelor’s degree in visual communications from the University of Bridgeport, an MBA from Adelphi University, and is currently working towards a certificate in Brand Management from NYU.
What is the best thing about working in-house?
The ability to move within an organization and collaborate with cross-functional teams. I gained business acumen, leadership, and team-building experience working in-house that I don’t think I would have gained otherwise. And from a strictly design perspective, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with creative teams of our many business units, exposing me to projects in digital and mobile design.
What are the biggest challenges?
In the past, I would say getting buy-in and money for software and hardware upgrades. But with many design successes and self-promoting of the creative department, I’ve been able to prove the value of the creative department to the C-Suite. Still, money isn’t just handed over: you’ve got to do the dog and pony show, but now it’s just one performance.
What important trends do you see in the industry?
We’re moving from a print business to a digital subscription model, so for the creative teams, it’s a shift from print design (not dead yet) to digital. And not just static digital designs: interactive design. I think Condé Nast is doing a great job with iPad versions of their magazines. I read Golf Digest, Wired, and Bon Appétit exclusively on my iPad. And in the education space, we’re making all our content available online and on mobile devices.
What piece of advice has guided your career?
One of the best pieces of advice I received was from the president of one of the divisions I worked for at McGraw-Hill. The advice was, promote your team within the organization. This single piece of advice elevated the visibility of my team, and myself as both a creative leader and an integral part of the executive team. It led to cross-divisional recognition, and when a project came up in corporate that required design, the C-Suite turned to me for help.
What are you currently reading, watching and listening to?
I’ll forever listen to the Dead and classic rock. I also listen to the PEAK 107.1 here in NY – I’m hearing this crowd style vocals in a lot of new songs these days, like “Mountain Sound” from Of Monsters and Men. It gets your blood pumping! TV: How I Met Your Mother; My wife and I just finished watching the first three seasons of Downton Abbey. I love the sets, costumes and style from that era. And I’m going to miss 30 Rock.
What websites can you not live without?
Honestly, I spend so much time in front of my computer, I don’t spend a lot of time at websites except for design ideas and inspiration (and banking and occasional shopping). Although lately, I have taken an interest in colorassociation.com. Their daily email is often something I’m interested in looking into further.