About Me

(That’s me on the left)

WHO IS THIS OWEN GUY?

I’ve been creative director, art director or lead designer at many consumer brands and organizational structures since 2004, and love inspiring, mentoring, growing and heck, being a part of design teams. I collaborate well with others, can ideate and iterate fast, and am a strong believer in the power of design thinking. I love brand building, connecting with and learning from a brand’s user base, continuous learning, creative ideation and strategic execution.

I attended Deep Springs College in the California desert and went on to study Graphic Design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). There I began my design collaboration with my future wife Samantha Troy*, and we founded Design des Troy together. I started my design career in consumer electronics, but in the last several years shifted to mission-oriented brand work and using design to work on the many issues facing us. I helped launch innovative preventive-health Medicare startup Clover Health, worked on marketing and advertising for STEM-educational toy company Osmo and rebranded then joined women-in-tech advocacy nonprofit — and Grace Hopper Celebration host organization — AnitaB.org as their first-ever Creative Director. My time at AnitaB.org and side projects for Be The Bridge, TechIntersections, WeIntervene, SidewalkTalk, XPedition Health and ProUnitas (references and work for each available on request) reflect my desire to help the reach of impactful movements. 

My strengths are in branding for relevance and resonance, creative ideation from insights, human-centric design and creative team direction/management. Whether a challenge is visual or experiential, coming from user insights or business needs, or ideally, all of the above, I’m excited to get in there with design thinking first and direction or design chops next. 

I’m a design leader that believes in a human, empathic approach towards the creative team, identifying their passions and encouraging their continued learning and flourishing. And critically important, making sure that the team all practice listening to and fostering empathy toward both the teams they cooperate with (who after all don’t often see things the way creatives do) and towards the audience/user for whom they are designing/writing (who almost certainly don’t.)

I take to heart ex-RISD president John Maeda’s challenge to designers (and Bruce Mau or Debbie Millman or IDEO’s strong examples) to use lateral and divergent thinking to take on larger problems.

*Yep, I took her name in marriage, in 2005. Part because I wanted the chance to repeatedly have a conversation about patriarchal double standards. Part because my given name was twice as long and started with a “Gj,” and part because Design des Troy was just too good a name to pass up for our collaboration. 

 

(That’s me on the left)
Owen was our second designer at Clover and was instrumental in developing the brand and leading the marketing design efforts.

I worked closely with Owen throughout our intense open enrollment selling season. He pushes for perfection, but understands when tradeoffs need to be made to meet timelines and move quickly.

Owen is also passionate about defining culture. His calm and peaceful demeanor is a welcome addition in a high-paced environment. Louisa Henry

Director of Product Specialists, Airtable

Owen was part of the core team at AnitaB.org that I worked with on an intensive user research project. From the project’s inception to our final presentation, Owen was a true partner and collaborator in our work. His commitment to serving the target audiences and users that could benefit from AnitaB’s resources was inspiring. As we embarked on persona development, he was always sensitive of the perceptions often placed upon underrepresented groups; and equity and inclusion was at the heart of all his recommendations and creative direction. Owen was truly a pleasure to work with every step of the way, and I look forward to when our paths might cross again!

Natania LeClerc

Senior Digital Engagement Strategist, ThinkShout

(more quotes under the skills section)

selected skills & aptitudes

Branding

From visuals to voice and tone to marketing funnel-appropriate creative, for brand resonance and relevance with audience insights

Creative Direction

Ideation, direction, creative team growth, mentoring, motivation and management; working with outsourced and agency creative 

Design Thinking/UX

My skills and knowledge of a user-insights based human-centered design practice are high, but my practice has mostly been in the “second diamond” of the double diamond model.

Experiential Design

From events and activations to packaging and point of purchase displays using behavior design principles and touchpoint-specific hierarchies and strategies

Copywriting

Naming, surprise/delight writing, brand voice and tone; I pair well with a skilled copywriter or (obviously, dear reader!) editor

Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud

Expert in Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom, proficient in After Effects, and XD

UI tools

Solid grasp of best practices and emerging trends. WordPress. Some experience with paper prototyping, Balsamiq, Sketch+Zeplin, Framer and Invision + HTML/CSS

Other

Google Ad Creator and SketchUp; art direction of photography and videography; letterpress and silkscreen; lettering and illustration; lots more

Owen is one of the most talented and creative people I have ever met. He is excellent at isolating what needs to be done on every single project, and his demeanor is professional at all times. I had the pleasure to work with Owen on several projects over the last couple years, and I can honestly say, I was NEVER disappointed. The quality of his work is outstanding. He is truly an amazing person.

Pilar Shephard, CMM

Director of Global Marketing and Events, Maxim Integrated

To say Owen would be a big catch for any organization is a vast understatement. Personally very sincere, thoughtful, and earnest to help his coworkers, Owen moreover is a truly gifted designer, thinker, and collaborator. I worked alongside him at a Medicare health insurance startup on a small marketing team, and though Owen’s specific role was Senior Designer, he lent on-the-spot project management skills to produce down-and-dirty marketing campaigns on tight timelines. When working with Owen, one has the feeling they’re being listened to, having their viewpoint authentically considered in depth. Owen’s professional skillset becomes evident immediately upon working with him. What’s more, I have Owen to thank for my introduction to mindfulness practices, as he was solely responsible for developing a daily meditation at our company, which was a staple part of several coworkers’ days and work-life balance. Owen is professionally talented, but more importantly, is truly his brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.

Brian Gilton

Senior Writer, Dropbox

Owen and I worked together for five years on his exhibit program. He is one passionate Creative Director. I loved his fresh, fun way getting across Speck’s brand personality at the CES trade show and other shows as well. He was great at coming up with creative ways for Speck to stand out in a crowded show both visually and experientially. He was an integral part of the booth setup each year. I admire how he rolled his sleeves up and worked with the team during set up to make sure everything was how he envisioned. Much appreciated in my line of work.

Kim Merkin

Director of Sales, Czarnowski

Owen has been an incredible support and consultant to my work at Cafe de la Culture in empowering women and promoting diversity. He is truly passionate in giving a voice to those who don’t have one. He understands deeply the value of community building and team work and is reliable and generous with his time and resources. I can wholeheartedly recommend Owen, it is a pleasure to work with him.

Cara Cruikshank

Artistic Director, Courageous Vulnerability: How Can Men Support Women to Speak Up and Be Seen?

To work along side a genuine creative talent is truly good fortune . . . and that’s how I view my time working with Owen. His unique, creative style and solution-based approach to marketing was pivotal in delivering growth and traction for our brand and products. Owen is a transformational leader and his design team thrived under an intellectual and collaborative environment. Further, Owen sought to support our field team in an influential way – by seeking to understand the retail environment; identifying opportunities in a competitive landscape, and producing collateral and merchandising to help establish our place in a cluttered field of products. Owen tackled each assignment with a sense of urgency, passion and thoughtfulness and made the creative process an inclusive and productive collaboration . . . and his contribution was instrumental in establishing the playful design, fun and recognizable brand we are today.

Terri Rago

Director of Field and Channel Marketing, Speck

There is nothing about Owen that doesn’t say Stellar. Both eloquent as a speaker and as a designer, his intelligence and finesse come through his words, work and professional demeanor. He is, undoubtedly, dedicated to pushing the level of his work. I truly feel that Owen is one of the most inspirational and modest graphic designers that I have had the opportunity to work with. 

On a project level, Owen has a way of filling gaps of information in a seamless manner that is only noticeable because of how smoothly his projects run. Over our working years, I was witness to his tremendous growth from a talented graphic designer to his success in a leadership role as an Art Director. Committed to seeking new answers to improve processes and push the limit with creative resolutions, his direction was invaluable to our team. 

I have learned so much from Owen over the years. His knowledge of typography, literature, pop culture, politics, science, and music is unbelievably immense: an effortless lexicon of wisdom. I have always felt that with Owen, no question goes unanswered. Always happy to share his thoughts, you can’t help but learn something new from him!

Kira Roher

Senior Designer, Madison Reed

Owen’s brilliance is unparalleled. From print design to brand strategy, his willingness to go one-step more, one-step beyond is only matched by his knowledge of trivial pop culture and British indie music. Working with Owen is a joy, because you not only can collaborate on projects, but feel you’re getting someone with not just the knowledge, but the know-how, too.

Kyle Duford

Digital and E-commerce executive , Elevar

WHO IS THIS OWEN GUY?

(That's me on the left)

Back in the days of blogs, I was one of the co-curators of design/culture blog The Experts Agree; at that time I was fast-following typographic news, emerging art and design trends. Shortly after becoming a creative director, though, my interests being in charge of a brand and a creative team began to migrate to things like

  • Understanding brand affinity in a Cluetrain world
  • Unpacking cognition and its errors
  • Organizational psychology and bridging the gap between designers' needs and business needs
  • Trying to get a grasp on our moment‘s rapidly shifting attention

I lead with digression, but mean to say: I am a passionate creative director. I love brand building, connecting with and learning from a brand’s user base, continuous learning, creative ideation and strategic execution.

I attended Deep Springs College in the California desert and went on to study Graphic Design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). There I began my design collaboration with my future wife Samantha Troy*, and we founded Design des Troy together. I started my design career in consumer electronics, and have since shifted to mission-oriented brand work, helping establish innovative preventive-health Medicare startup Clover Health, working on marketing and advertising for STEM-educational toy company Osmo and rebranding then joining women-in-tech advocacy nonprofit — and Grace Hopper Celebration host organization — AnitaB.org as their first-ever Creative Director.

My strengths are in branding for relevance and resonance, creative ideation from insights, human-centric design and creative team direction/management. Whether a challenge is visual or experiential, coming from user insights or business needs, or ideally, all of the above, I'm excited to get in there with design thinking first and direction or design chops next. I've worked collaboratively with many agencies, including Freeman, MadwellNY, ThinkShout, Mistress, Czarnowski, Roundhouse and George P Johnson.

I take to heart ex-RISD president John Maeda’s challenge to designers (and Bruce Mau or Debbie Millman's strong examples) to use lateral and divergent thinking to take on larger problems.

 

 

selected skills & aptitudes

Branding

From visuals to voice and tone to marketing funnel-appropriate creative, for brand resonance and relevance with audience insights

Creative Direction

Ideation, direction, creative team growth, mentoring, motivation and management; working with outsourced and agency creative 

Design Thinking/UX

My skills and knowledge of a user-insights based human-centered design practice are high, but my practice has mostly been in the "second diamond" of the double diamond model.

Experiential Design

From events and activations to packaging and point of purchase displays using behavior design principles and touchpoint-specific hierarchies and strategies

Copywriting

Naming, surprise/delight writing, brand voice and tone; I pair well with a skilled copywriter or (obviously, dear reader!) editor

Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud

Expert in Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom, proficient in After Effects, and XD

UI tools

Solid grasp of best practices and emerging trends. Wordpress. Some experience with paper prototyping, Balsamiq, Sketch+Zeplin, Framer and Invision + HTML/CSS

Other

Google Ad Creator and SketchUp; art direction of photography and videography; letterpress and silkscreen; lettering and illustration; lots more

SOME other people TALK ABOUT WORKING WITH me

Owen was our second designer at Clover and was instrumental in developing the brand and leading the marketing design efforts. I worked closely with Owen throughout our intense open enrollment selling season. He pushes for perfection, but understands when tradeoffs need to be made to meet timelines and move quickly. Owen is also passionate about defining culture. His calm and peaceful demeanor is a welcome addition in a high-paced environment.

Louisa Henry

Director of Product Specialists, Airtable

Owen is one of the most talented and creative people I have ever met. He is excellent at isolating what needs to be done on every single project, and his demeanor is professional at all times. I had the pleasure to work with Owen on several projects over the last couple years, and I can honestly say, I was NEVER disappointed. The quality of his work is outstanding. He is truly an amazing person.

Pilar Shephard, CMM

Director of Global Marketing and Events, Maxim Integrated

Owen's brilliance is unparalleled. From print design to brand strategy, his willingness to go one-step more, one-step beyond is only matched by his knowledge of trivial pop culture and British indie music. Working with Owen is a joy, because you not only can collaborate on projects, but feel you're getting someone with not just the knowledge, but the know-how, too.

Kyle Duford

Digital and E-commerce executive , Elevar

To say Owen would be a big catch for any organization is a vast understatement. Personally very sincere, thoughtful, and earnest to help his coworkers, Owen moreover is a truly gifted designer, thinker, and collaborator. I worked alongside him at a Medicare health insurance startup on a small marketing team, and though Owen’s specific role was Senior Designer, he lent on-the-spot project management skills to produce down-and-dirty marketing campaigns on tight timelines. When working with Owen, one has the feeling they’re being listened to, having their viewpoint authentically considered in depth. Owen’s professional skillset becomes evident immediately upon working with him. What’s more, I have Owen to thank for my introduction to mindfulness practices, as he was solely responsible for developing a daily meditation at our company, which was a staple part of several coworkers’ days and work-life balance. Owen is professionally talented, but more importantly, is truly his brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.

Brian Gilton

Senior Writer, Dropbox

Owen and I worked together for five years on his exhibit program. He is one passionate Creative Director. I loved his fresh, fun way getting across Speck’s brand personality at the CES trade show and other shows as well. He was great at coming up with creative ways for Speck to stand out in a crowded show both visually and experientially. He was an integral part of the booth setup each year. I admire how he rolled his sleeves up and worked with the team during set up to make sure everything was how he envisioned. Much appreciated in my line of work.

Kim Merkin

Director of Sales, Czarnowski

Owen has been an incredible support and consultant to my work at Cafe de la Culture in empowering women and promoting diversity. He is truly passionate in giving a voice to those who don't have one. He understands deeply the value of community building and team work and is reliable and generous with his time and resources. I can wholeheartedly recommend Owen, it is a pleasure to work with him.

Cara Cruikshank

Artistic Director, Courageous Vulnerability: How Can Men Support Women to Speak Up and Be Seen?

Owen was part of the core team at AnitaB.org that I worked with on an intensive user research project. From the project's inception to our final presentation, Owen was a true partner and collaborator in our work. His commitment to serving the target audiences and users that could benefit from AnitaB's resources was inspiring. As we embarked on persona development, he was always sensitive of the perceptions often placed upon underrepresented groups; and equity and inclusion was at the heart of all his recommendations and creative direction. Owen was truly a pleasure to work with every step of the way, and I look forward to when our paths might cross again!

Natania LeClerc

Senior Digital Engagement Strategist, ThinkShout

To work along side a genuine creative talent is truly good fortune . . . and that’s how I view my time working with Owen. His unique, creative style and solution-based approach to marketing was pivotal in delivering growth and traction for our brand and products. Owen is a transformational leader and his design team thrived under an intellectual and collaborative environment. Further, Owen sought to support our field team in an influential way – by seeking to understand the retail environment; identifying opportunities in a competitive landscape, and producing collateral and merchandising to help establish our place in a cluttered field of products. Owen tackled each assignment with a sense of urgency, passion and thoughtfulness and made the creative process an inclusive and productive collaboration . . . and his contribution was instrumental in establishing the playful design, fun and recognizable brand we are today.

Terri Rago

Director of Field and Channel Marketing, Speck

There is nothing about Owen that doesn't say Stellar. Both eloquent as a speaker and as a designer, his intelligence and finesse come through his words, work and professional demeanor. He is, undoubtedly, dedicated to pushing the level of his work. I truly feel that Owen is one of the most inspirational and modest graphic designers that I have had the opportunity to work with. 

On a project level, Owen has a way of filling gaps of information in a seamless manner that is only noticeable because of how smoothly his projects run. Over our working years, I was witness to his tremendous growth from a talented graphic designer to his success in a leadership role as an Art Director. Committed to seeking new answers to improve processes and push the limit with creative resolutions, his direction was invaluable to our team. 

I have learned so much from Owen over the years. His knowledge of typography, literature, pop culture, politics, science, and music is unbelievably immense: an effortless lexicon of wisdom. I have always felt that with Owen, no question goes unanswered. Always happy to share his thoughts, you can't help but learn something new from him!

Kira Roher

Senior Designer, Madison Reed

Let’s talk!

I would love to chat about your next project. Find me on LinkedIn, email, call or text.

415.533.1564

©2019 Owen Troy