I Am In-House: Jim Woods

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Jim Woods is the Creative Director of Spectrum Brands PHG Aquatic division. He and his team create all the collateral materials for PHG’s industry-leading aquatic brands such as Tetra, Marineland, Instant Ocean, Jungle, or half a dozen other store brands, which means if you’ve ever had a fish as a pet, you’ve bought the work of Jim and his team. He also contributes to research and development, influences product design, and consults on business decisions outside the traditional role of graphic designers. He spends his extra time speaking at national and regional conferences and influencing young minds at Radford University. Jim’s hair is also Pantone 165 C, and he’s 6’5”, making him rather conspicuous in crowds.

  1. Where do you work? What does your company do?

    Spectrum Brands PHG Aquatic Division. The leading manufacturer of aquarium, pond and reptile products

  2. What types of services does your team specialize in?

    Packaging, advertising and marketing collateral. We also contribute to research & development, influence product design and consult on business decisions outside the traditional role of graphic designers.

  3. How many people make up your team?

    6 not including myself

  4. Your title/role within the company:

    Creative Director

  5. What was your very first job in this field?

    Graphic Designer, Clear Channel Communications

  6. Share a best-practice leadership experience:

    Know your business. The more educated you are about your companies product the more effective you will be.

  7. What are you working on now that you’re excited about?

    A new App that will revolutionize the way people interact with their aquarium call “My Aquarium”

  8. If you could share one piece of advice for an up-and-coming creative leader what would it be?

    You are an expert in your field, own it.

  9. What inspires you? People with passion!

    I am always eager and excited to work on projects with people that are passionate about what they do.

  10. What is the first thing you do each day to organize yourself?

    Drop my kids off at daycare. They are pure chaos in the morning.

  11. Have you noticed any changes or trends for in-house creatives in the past year?

    Many in-house teams are continuing to grow. As a result, they have had the opportunity to add project management and copywriting roles. These roles are extremely important, but are often seen as a luxury for in-house teams.

  12. What has been your greatest challenge as a creative leader?

    Keeping my team motivated. Working on the same projects with the same brands all the time can put you in a rut very quick.

  13. Describe the career path you have taken and where you see yourself next.

    I am always looking for a new challenge, inside and outside of work. Most recently, working on the My Aquarium App and teaching have been a great addition to my skillsets.

Written by Andy Brenits

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