My father was a samurai and my mother was a grizzly. The word samurai 侍 means “to wait upon.” It’s about serving people, not money. Take care of your clients, customers and employees and the money will follow. I use this principle to foster client relationships that last and to build brands people love.

If you’re going be a bear, be a grizzly. Be the best. But with growth comes responsibility. In my career, I have mentored countless young creatives and account people with the goal of lifting them up—to make them better people. Now imagine applying this philosophy to a brand and how they treat their customers and you’ll see how I can grow a business. To make them relevant, meaningful and engaging.

I bring a combination of these unique perspectives into everything I do. So, what can I do for your business?


2020 – NOW  Art Director, Creative Director

Creating in-your-face concepts and designs for a variety of clients including Facebook, ExtraHop and myself. I write and publish my own Dungeons & Dragons adventures with a long history of terrifying players—with pretend monsters, not IRL.

2012 – 2019  Edelman – SF    SVP, Creative Director

Lead multiple creative and account teams to create award-winning digital stuff for a number of global brands, including: Box, Charles Schwab, HP, Juniper, Lagunitas, LinkedIn, PayPal, Starbucks and Volkswagen. Oh, also in charge of leading the 5B dollar Adobe count and tripling their user base in a span of 7 years. During my tenure at Edelman, I was the most awarded Creative Director in the company’s history—winning over 50 awards for both advertising and PR—including multiple Cannes Lions and one trivia contest during happy hour.

2006 – 2012  Yahoo – SV    Senior Art Director

Jumped to the client side to help the number one digital company in the world (well, it was number one at the time) by creating lots of purple campaigns for the Brand Creative Group, Yahoo Labs, Yahoo News, Yahoo Small Business. Also designed many large events, such as the Yahoo Sports venue at the Vancouver Winter Olympics which beat out ESPN for number one coverage of the games online.

2004 – 2007 Academy of Art University – SF    MFA Instructor

Inspired, mentored and taught Masters students in design for 4 years. A good teacher asks “What did you learn?” but a great teacher asks “What did you teach me?” Many of my former students have gone on to be inspirational designers and leaders in the advertising community.

2004 – 2006  Freelance Art Director

Developed innovative designs and concepts for a few award-winning advertising agencies in San Francisco and Chicago. Clients included Corona, Clos du Bois, Dell, Hyatt, HP, Kia, Microsoft, New Holland Construction, Sonoma Land Trust, Jamba Juice, and Smith & Hawken.


Academy of Art University – SF    Advertising Concept & Design

The Ohio State University – OH    English with minor in Russian



Phone   415 • 378 • 6641

Email   projectjohnson [at]