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?


2012 – 2019  Edelman – SF    SVP, Creative Director

As a Creative Director at Edelman, I inspired and directed multiple creative and account teams to create engaging and effective digital, social, video, event and experiential marketing campaigns for a number of global brands, including Adobe, Charles Schwab, HP, Juniper, Lagunitas Brewery, Starbucks and PayPal. In my seven years 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.

2006 – 2012  Yahoo – SV    Senior Art Director

As a Senior Art Director, I created  and directed multi-faceted digital campaigns for the internal Brand Creative Group and other business units such as Yahoo Labs, Yahoo News, and Yahoo Small Business. I also designed many large events for the brand, such as the live Yahoo Sports venue during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver 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

Innovative design and concept for a wide range of award-winning advertising, both traditional and digital, for agency clients such as Corona beer, Clos du Bois, Hyatt Hotels, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, New Holland Construction, RadioShack, 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]