Robin Bullard has worked as an art director/designer since 1990. He lives in San Francisco.



When it comes to advertising, it's the big idea, not the new platform or the fancy UI that sells your product. All of my best ads started with strong concepts. Once I can figure out what the key idea of the communication is supposed to be, the ad that follows from it has a chance to be noticed. If an ad doesn't have an idea in it, it won't be remembered for 30 seconds. We are positively swimming in images these days. I'm always on the lookout for clients who want are at least as interested in ideas as they are in bleeding-edge technology. 

Beautiful design should not be suppressed however. Design is what gives your idea sophistication. And sometimes the sophisticated look is best expressed with a crayon or a piece of chalk. I always try to remember who we are trying to reach and what the context of the communication is going to be. A lot of people have preconceived ideas of what an ad—any ad—should look like. These people are always hard to budge, even when their predictable ad get zero response. I'm looking for clients who don't simply want to reach their target audience. They respect their intelligence enough to try to build a relationship with them.

Agencies where I have been on staff: 1. Anderson & Lembke; 2. McCann-Erickson; 3. OneWorld Communication; 4. Kane & Finkel; 5. DAE (Asian American Advertising); Agencies where I have freelanced for extended periods: 6. Denis Ko (note: Goodby, FCB, and JWT were among D.K.'s clients); 7. Leagas Delaney; 8. Compass Marketing (Lafayette, CA); 9. Eleven Inc.; 10. Giant Creative Strategy; 11. DDB Remedy; Also note: 2003-2006, I had my own client list and operated out of my home studio.

Awards [Medical Communications]: 1. 2009 In-Awe Award GOLD: 6-Minute Walk Time Kit; 2. 2009 Web Health Awards GOLD:; 3. 2009 In-Awe Award BRONZE: Cochlear Brochure; 4. 2009 RxClub AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: 6-Minute Walk Time Kit; 5. 2009 RxClub AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: Insights Patient Education Kit; [Consumer]: 6. 2007 Addy Award: OneWorld Communications Self Promo piece; 7. 2007 Addy Award: CSU Dominguez Hills advertising campaign; 8. 2001 Harvey Communication Award: Microsoft Small Business Server “George Rocks” ad; 9. 2000 Mobius Award: Microsoft MSN Carpoint Out-of-home; 10. 1999 Icon award GOLD: Encarta Geoguide ad campaign

Brands [a partial list, oldest to newest]: Norwegian Cruise Lines; Del Monte; Sprint; Carl's Jr.; Union Bank; Sun Microsystems; 3Com (computer networking); Autodesk (autocad); Creative Labs (digital sound); Microsoft; Nestles; adidis; Monterey Bay Aquarium; Saloman (snowboards and gear); St Mary's College; Exclusive Resorts (members-only vacation homes); Centinela Freeman Hospitals, Queen of the Valley Hospital, El Camino Hospital, San Ramon Medical Center, Doctors of USC Hospitals, California College of Integral Studies; VIZ Media (Japanese comics and video); Ameristar Casinos; SMA America (solar panel inverters); CSU Dominguez Hills; Gilead Sciences (biotech); Cochlear (hearing implants); Dendreon (biotech); Wells Fargo; Southwest Airlines; Cathay Pacific Airlines; Recology (waste management and recycling); Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; Genentech (biotech); Biosense Webster (medical devices); Cordis Incraft (stent graft systems); Mentor Worldwide LLC (breast implants/expanders)