My goal is simple; to do great work with great people, for great people.

 

I possess a wealth of experience from working at the highest levels of the creative industry at some of the most innovative and influential agencies around, (including my own) creating, designing, and managing global brands for Fortune 500, 100, and 50 companies across a diverse range of industries.

 

I've also collected several awards along the way and have been a keynote speaker at numerous design and industry-related symposiums, both here in the US and internationally. I lead both through inspiration and by example. I am very hands-on as I have an insatiable thirst for well-thought-through and executed design. It is my central and driving passion. It's not a job, it's a way of life.

 

A confident and articulate presenter, I am adept and skilled at leading clients (and internal teams) through the creative journey and jungle, from strategy, execution, and implementation. I am a big exponent of the 'creative strategy and strategic creative' philosophy.

 

I'm a West London lad, and my 'official' career in branding began in 1985 with a wonderful eight-year engagement with Wolff Olins, London, where I was fortunate to work with some of the most talented people in the business and on some really ground-breaking work.

 

In 1993 I was head-hunted by Omincom's branding stable-mate, The Schechter Group, to join them as Associate Creative Director in their corporate identity division.

 

A year later, after the Schechter Group was merged with Interbrand, based on my abilities and talents, I was appointed Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director. I then became responsible for building, managing, and directing Interbrand's north and south American creative resource, including corporate/brand identity, packaging, and retail.

 

In 1997 I became Executive Creative Director and a managing partner of CoreBrand (now Tenet), and in 2001 I was appointed Executive Creative Director of Publicis' branding division, The Brand Optimization Systems Group.

 

In 2004 I felt it was high time to branch out independently. So I established Brandinglife as a virtual agency, creating cadres of branding specialists on a project-need basis to serve clients domestically here in the US and around the world.

 

Whereas branding is definitely at my core, it's not the only thing I do. For the last 15 years, I have also been an award-winning photographer and videographer.

 

I hope you enjoy what you see and can get a good sense of my abilities and the scope of my work experience. If you wish to hire me, either full-time, remotely, or on a project basis, drop me a line or hit me up on Linkedin.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

Wolff Olins
1985 - 1993
Creative Director

 

The Schechter Group
1993 - 1994
Associate Creative Director

 

Interbrand NY
1993 - 1997
SVP, Executive Creative Director

 

CoreBrand (now Tenet)
1997 - 2001
Executive Creative Director, Managing Partner

 

Publicis Brand Optimization Systems Group
2001 - 2004 
Executive Creative Director

 

Brandinglife
2004 - To Date
Global Creative Director

Gerald Berliner
Clients
Photography

Adobe InDesign
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe XD
Logic X
Adobe Premiere
Nikon D850, D810, D800e

Microsoft Word
Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Excel
Adobe Acrobat
Final Cut Pro
DaVinci Resolve
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Media Encoder
WordPress
Elementor Page Builder
Screenflow
Road Cycling - I love my Cervelos

FDR Hyde Park Foundation

Agency: Brandinglife

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Hyde Park Foundation promotes the legacies of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by supporting the preservation and enhancement of the National Historic Sites at Hyde Park, New York.

Their mission is to advance the Roosevelt legacy and support the National Park Service in conserving and enhancing the lands and buildings associated with the Roosevelt family on four sites in Hyde Park, the 32nd President’s home.

I was engaged in helping create broader awareness of the organization and stimulate supplemental funds through donations via a new website, newsletter, social media, email marketing, and promotional videos. The logo was not mine.

Promotional Video for the Morgan Property Acquisition

Mohonk Preserve

Agency: Brandinglife

Mohonk Preserve is New York’s largest member-and visitor-supported nature preserve. The mission of the Mohonk Preserve is to protect the Shawangunk Mountains of New York by inspiring people to care for, enjoy, and explore the natural world.

I was asked to undertake a logo optimization project to help them overcome reproduction issues with their existing logo, such as legibility at small sizes and consistent color reproduction.

Once the logo optimization was completed, I created an entirely new brand identity communications system that would be applied to all of their marketing communications, along with a comprehensive set of brand guidelines.

Aventis

Agency: CoreBrand

Aventis was born from the merger of France’s Rhone Poulenc and Germany’s Hoechst life sciences businesses to form a global leader in the field. The name is derived from the Italian ‘Avanti’, meaning ‘let’s go.’

The challenge was to create a compelling and relevant new identity system that captured the spirit of the brand positioning: Uniting Science for Life. The solution was a new logo that was abstract and gestural in execution, suggesting the unification of the sciences, pharma, agro, and biologics. The symbol also takes on the form of an exuberant, expressive human figure, celebrating the joy of life.

Boyden

Agency: Brandinglife

Founded in 1946 by Sydney Boyden, Boyden global executive search was the first firm to focus entirely on retained executive search. Boyden has over 70 offices in more than 40 countries, led by resident professionals adept at working in a global economy and remaining a world leader in the field.

Since 2006 I have ostensibly been Boyden’s worldwide creative director, handling all aspects of their brand communications and created a new identity to align with their brand strategy and positioning; ‘The Right Leadership. Worldwise.’ This included creating a comprehensive identity system for their global brand communications.

The new logo is a contemporary, elegant logotype, with visual punctuation of the ‘o’, representative of a portal; the world of Boyden and their ongoing relationships with clients and people. 

Identity Launch Video

Estée Lauder

Agency: Brandinglife

Estée Lauder is one of the world’s leading prestige cosmetic brands. I worked with their Global Education Department, which creates a wide range of educational and communications tools that teach their 15,000 Beauty Advisors worldwide the best way to learn about and sell Estée Lauder beauty products. 

I was asked to re-design their flagship publication, The Estée Lauder Beauty Book, a global communication created for their beauty advisors to educate them about existing and new products. It is published three times a year, for Spring, Fall, and Holiday. Following its success, I was then asked to re-design their two other publications, InTouch and the Trend Report.

Discovering Ellenville

Agency: Brandinglife

Branding a Town, a Village, and a School.

Established in 1823, the Village of Ellenville is part of the Town of Wawarsing in Ulster County, New York, along with the hamlets of Cragsmoor, Napanoch, and Kerhonkson. It is also part of the Ellenville Central School District (ECSD).

With a population of around 4,000 people, Ellenville is nestled in the Rondout Valley, flanked to the west by the lower Catskills and to the east, the majestic Shawangunk Ridge, which the Nature Conservancy has kisted as ‘One of the last 75 great places on Earth’.

The late ’50s and ’60s saw Ellenville’s heyday, a thriving area, and community with many recreational attractions and businesses, such as the famous Imperial Schrade knife factory and Channel Master, who first introduced cable TV to the US. Ellenville was also renowned for being part of the Borscht Belt and close to many famous Catskill clubs and resorts, which drew many people into the area from far and wide.

However, the ’70s onwards saw a slow decline in its fortunes, and it began to fall on hard times. Like many ‘small-town America,’ it struggled to keep pace with changes in social tastes. As a result, its businesses and industries could not compete with cheaper imports, and either went out of business or relocated to different parts of the country for cheaper labor.

Since 2007, however, the tides of fortune have begun to turn back in its favor, with eco-tourism starting to reflourish once again and new small businesses and restaurants starting to spring up.

Consequently, I was selected to work with the Village, Town, and School boards to capitalize on this momentum to create a multi-disciplined marketing campaign and a single visual brand identity to unite the three entities and promote the following key areas; eco-tourism, people attraction, and events.

After a comprehensive visual audit, I recommended creating a visual identity that evolved the school’s existing ‘Tree of Knowledge’ logo to create a symbolic interpretation of a tree representing the surrounding forests. The original settlers used the woods to fuel the furnaces of a glasswork factory, out of which the village and community first grew back in the early 1800s.

The new symbol also reflects its unique geographical location in the shadow of the Shawangunk Ridge and the role water played in expediting the growth of the town, village, and community through the building of the D&H Canal and its surrounding reservoirs, waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. The town name ‘Wawarsing’ is derived from the Lenape Indians, meaning ‘A place where the river bends.’

The new identity was applied across communications, traditional and new media, vehicles, uniforms, websites, social media, and wayfinding signs.

Running in tandem with this initiative was creating the Discover Ellenville campaign to promote the village and the many great things to do and see in Ellenville and the surrounding area, including producing numerous event and attraction videos.

Attraction and Event Videos

Marist College

Agency: Brandinglife

Founded in 1929, Marist’s 210-acre campus overlooks the Hudson River in the heart of the historic Hudson Valley, midway between New York City and Albany, the state capital.

Marist hired me to bring a new, fresh look to their faculty-led marketing communications, including design and photography.

I completed a new re-design of Marist Abroad Programs’ (MAP) annual flagship publication ‘Globetrotter’, a forty-seven-page magazine containing articles and essays written by faculty members and students, documenting their adventures around the world on Marist Abroad Programs.

Marriott

Agency: Publicis Brand Optimization System Group

SpringHill Suites is one of Marriott’s Select Service hotel chains and part of their CFRST portfolio of hotels; Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, and TownePlace Suites.

In response to growing competition from aloft (Starwood Hotels) and Hyatt Place, I created a new brand strategy, positioning, logo, and visual system.

The brief required that the existing SpringHill logo should be evolved to reflect the new strategy and positioning yet still be able to co-exist visually with the other CFRST portfolio brands.

The solution evoked a ‘sense of space’, taking the form of the original logo and evolving it to suggest an all-embracing three-dimensional space and customer experience.

Palizzata

Agency: Brandinglife

Palizzata Marketplace & Eatery is a family-run restaurant and shop located in the historic Stockade District of Kingston, NY, bringing the regional culinary traditions from Northern Italy to the Hudson Valley via locally sourced food and drink. We partnered with them to create a brand aesthetic for the restaurant.

This entailed working with the interior designers on the customer dining experience and also working with local artists to produce original artworks on permanent display to add to the ambiance and mood.

I used some of these paintings as part of the visual brand aesthetic to create the mood of an upscale, contemporary vibe, married with the regional traditions of northern Italian cooking.

I created the logo and all the photography/video, communications materials, menus, an e-commerce website, and ephemera.

Logos

A collection of some of the logos I have created over the years.

Zurich

Agency: Publicis Brand OIptimization Group

Zurich is an insurance-based financial services provider. Founded in 1872, it has a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and other markets. Its 60,000 employees serve customers in more than 170 countries. 

Responding to a key directive from the CEO, “How can my organization lead the category through marketing excellence?” I worked with them to develop a new strategy and positioning. The journey began with an evolution of the existing Zurich logo culminating in a new global visual system applied to all their media communications and advertising worldwide.

Elevation Surveyors

Agency: Brandinglife

Formerly Beaumont Surveyors, Elevation Surveyors is one of London’s leading firms of Chartered Building Surveyors.

Seeking more significant market share and differentiation from their competitors, they hired me to work with them to create a new brand with a new name. A comprehensive peer audit showed that the industry was very turgid and dense in how surveying companies connected with their audiences and clients. I saw a great opportunity to create something more contemporary and engaging with a ‘simple is smart’ approach.

Working from the positioning of ‘taking surveying to the next level’, Elevation was born. Drawing inspiration from a related discipline’s visual aesthetic, architecture, I created a contemporary, elegant logotype and design system. As a secondary branding device, I used the customized ‘A’ letterform to connote precision, accuracy, and upward movement.

I also put together a team of simplified writing experts to work with Elevation to make their survey reports and communications far easier for their clients to comprehend and understand.

The identity was applied across their communications, including designing and developing a new website.

British Telecom

Agency: Wolff Olins

After privatization and a reputation for poor customer service, British Telecom’s new CEO and senior management decided it was time to recast and reenergize the brand into a global leader in telecoms.

The new ground-breaking identity, which I conceived, traced its roots to the earliest forms of communications used by humans.

The figure is both calling and listening. This new identity helped facilitate BT’s new positioning as a leader in communications solutions; responsive, customer-focused, and global.

GenRe

Agency: CoreBrand

GeneralCologne Re came into being due to the merger between the US-based GenRe and Germany’s Cologne Re, two major reinsurance giants.

A new transition identity was created to unite the two companies and be relevant for their global and local markets. Eventually, ‘Cologne’ was dropped to make the brand GenRe.

As part of the identity launch communications, a brand book was developed to educate staff about the meaning and implications of the merger.

Building on the positioning, ‘The People Behind the Promise’, the book celebrated the new organization’s most valuable assets, its people.

The book focused on individuals within the company and their professional and personal lives. Each of their pastimes, hobbies, or interests was used as a metaphor for the spirit and attributes of the new brand.

MasterCard

Agency: Intrerbrand

Creation of the MasterCard International brand and identity system.

Standard Register

Agency: CoreBrand

The key objective was to evolve the old, dated Standard Register logo to a more contemporary form and create a communications system to reflect Standard Register as a leader in business transactions.

Thomson Financial

Agency: CoreBrand

My relationship with Thomson began with creating a logo and brand architecture system to bring consistency and synergy across Thomson Financial and its businesses.

The solution’s success prompted The Thomson Corporation (which Thomson Financial was one of several companies) to revisit the entire organization’s identity, nomenclature, and brand architecture worldwide.

The starburst logo, which unites Thomson Financial and its businesses, is symbolic of their leadership position in the markets they served.

United Nations Federal Credit Union

Agency: Brandinglife

Sometimes referred to as ‘the world’s bank’, the United Nations Federal Credit Union began the process of transforming its identity to be more appropriate for its audiences.

The UNFCU provides an array of integrated financial services for its 45,000+ UN members and their families worldwide.

The old identity, which incorporated the UN building, had lost its relevance in today’s world and society. Although an icon, the building was deemed no longer appropriate for the global community or how the UNFCU wanted to be perceived.

The new logo I created was a dramatic break from the past and represents the unity, security, and personal services the UNFCU provides its members to serve their financial goals and needs.

Bcom3

Agency: Brandinglife

The merger of the Leo and MacManus groups – followed by a significant minority investment from Dentsu – created Bcom3, a top-tier global advertising and marketing communications organization comprising more than 19,500 people working across cities in 90 countries and with combined revenues of nearly $2 billion.

I was tapped to design its global progress and financial reports until Publicis bought it out.

Voyager

Agency: Brandinglife

Voyager HospiceCare is a start-up company funded with over $40MM by Saunders, Karp & Megrue in Stamford, Connecticut. The vision for Voyager is to acquire and/or partner with established hospice providers in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, or Mid-West to build a robust organization to meet the rapidly growing needs of this unique healthcare arena.

With Medicare agreeing to fund hospice services in the 1980s, the growth of this health category has been significant. But more recently, as awareness of this alternative to curative care when terminal illness has been established, the demand for hospice services has grown even
faster than facilities that can serve the need.

Voyager brings together a team of highly experienced healthcare and hospice managers who have the operational and marketing experience necessary to serve this market.

MagnaCare

Agency: Brandinglife

MagnaCare is a $1.3 billion health plan management company serving both the commercial and organized labor fund marketplace.

I repositioned MagnaCare as the advocate for members’ health needs and created a new identity to reinforce the new positioning.

Flaum Technologies

Agency: Brandinglife

Flaum Technologies is a Microsoft partner, offering companies around the globe Excel-based sales compensation and tracking solutions.

I created a new identity for the company and have repositioned them in the market to build better awareness and understanding of a rarely discussed but critical financial tool.

Sprint

Agency: Brandinglife

Brand Guidelines

Taco Bell

Agency: The Schechter Group

My first logo and identity upon arriving in the US in 1993.