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Recognized for boldly envisioning the future and then designing for it, effortlessly leading his agency through decades of strategic change.
As the chairman and CEO of R/GA, Bob Greenberg has traversed four decades of tremendous flux in the design and communications industries with uncanny
prescience. From modest beginnings, R/GA—formerly R/Greenberg Associates—first made its name in movie production and effects in the 1980s, then evolved
into an interactive ad agency in the mid-1990s before becoming the integrated digital-products and services company it is today.
With Nike, Samsung, L’Oréal Paris, Coca-Cola and other Fortune 500 titans on R/GA’s current client list, Greenberg now presides over 1,400 employees
worldwide, across thirteen offices in eight countries. While many larger American corporations and smaller studios reached for their seat belts (and sick
bags) during their early forays into digital media, marketing and branding, the ride for this tireless, enthusiastic innovator has been first class, due to
his leadership of the agency.
As a child, Greenberg struggled in school. He believes that his dyslexia, which wasn’t diagnosed until he was 35, gave him enhanced imagination and
visualization abilities. Working as a producer and cameraman at the time he founded R/GA with his brother, Richard, in New York City in 1977, and an avid
motorcyclist today, Greenberg’s knack for anticipating change at speed has served him and his clients’ global audiences and consumers well: This dynamism
characterizes both his creative work and the structure of his business. Since R/GA’s inception, an eye for motion, and for the potential of networks, have
informed Greenberg’s purpose.
In its first incarnation, R/GA developed cutting-edge film titles and effects for movies—everything from Alien to Zelig to Superman. To date, R/GA has also crafted more than 4,000 television commercials. Responding to the web’s emergence in the
early ’90s, Greenberg oversaw R/GA’s next stage of evolution, turning it into an interactive agency and shifting the design focus away from Hollywood and
television networks and toward connected technologies.
Having embraced networked media in its infancy, he took it upon himself to make sure it would grow up to be better looking and more dependable, if no less
disruptive. And flourish, it did: Most recently, on the success of Nike+ and the Nike+ FuelBand, Greenberg has written the script on functionally
integrated digital business, and has gone on to add a consulting arm and an accelerator to the R/GA empire, to cultivate future product innovation and
Off-line, Greenberg remains just as energetic and no less connected: On the board of five design and technology schools and
passionate about fostering the talents of his staff, his legacy will be far-reaching, wide-ranging and long-lasting, should he ever get around to retiring.
When I asked him about his personal creative outlets (“Do you ever get time to draw?”), Greenberg responded, “I ride my Ducatis, and I’m building a glass
house in upstate New York, inspired by Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, to be shown at the next TED conference.”
Greenberg’s contribution to the profession is the fusing of interdisciplinary design, business, strategy and technology. He is dedicated to design
fundamentals, the creative principles from concept to craft, experimentation with new tools and collaborating to attend to complexity. R/GA delivers over
and over to audiences who don’t necessarily live and breathe design but appreciate it when it’s done just right.
Greenberg has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to maintaining creative integrity, adhering to a core, design-focused mission and people-centered
values. His AIGA Medal will no doubt take pride of place among the Academy Awards, Cannes Lions and countless advertising industry trophies that adorn the
lobby of R/GA’s New York headquarters.
Bob Greenberg will be presented with the AIGA Medal at The AIGA Centennial Gala on April 25, 2014, in New York City.
AIGA’s design community will gather in New York City for “The AIGA Gala,” a celebration honoring the 2015 AIGA Medalists and supporting national design initiatives.
Section: Events and Competitions -
The distinguished AIGA Medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements in the field of design.
Section: Inspiration -
AIGA Medal, design educators, students
Graphic illustrating important bike accident facts and safety information.
After centuries of subservience, visual communication is reasserting its value. But is everyone getting the message?
Section: Inspiration -
In 1964, Saul Bass hired me as a strategic logo design planner, account
manager, and director of new business contacts. I was young, just a few
of UCLA, and I was attracted to Saul's rational approach to great
logo design in the ‘60s. Saul was captivating as he described his
reasoning why his great
designs worked: thoughtful planning first, design next. Then it all
came together which I call credibility-based logo design. This new
resulting process happened one night in Saul's office.
A brand should have a sense of purpose, and is not just your logo, your letterhead, or your web site: it is every piece of communication that is created to explain who you are.
Section: Why Design
Many of the best brands that have emerged from our work with designers focus on names that combine strong linguistic clues with the right amount of cleverness and personality. So how can you guide your team to develop a name with true design and branding potential? And what about the URL?
Section: Tools and Resources
RT @AIGA_UTA: REMINDER that our Spring intro meeting is tomorrow in room 358 at 5pm!!! http://t.co/7t74JjFtOD
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