R/GA has appointed designer and creative director Marc Shillum to build a branding arm at the digital-led group.
R/GA Brand Design will be based in New York City, but will operate globally. Shillum, a Royal College of Art graduate, takes the title R/GA director of branding.
Formerly art director for The Guardian newspaper, where he helped launch the design magazine Space, Shillum also worked as an assistant to the designer Tibor Kalman at M&Co in New York City in the late 1990s. His career took off at the Dutch design group Studio Dumbar in 1997.
Describing the rationale behind R/GA Brand Design, R/GA chairman and global chief creative officer Bob Greenberg says, ‘It became clear to us that there’s an untapped opportunity for brand experts who understand how digital behavior factors into a company’s brand. So we decided to formalise a practice led by Marc Shillum, called R/GA Brand Design, which we plan to integrate into our total agency offering.’
Shillum says, ‘The fundamental principles of branding still apply in digital marketing, yet there are also new opportunities that are not fully realised by other branding and advertising agencies.’
‘It’s common today for customers’ first interaction with a brand to be digital, so that experience needs to be a true reflection of the brand’s attributes and values. The main differentiator with digital branding is that it’s more dimensional. It takes into account the user experience – visuals, sounds, movement, navigation – in a way that traditional branding does not.’
Latterly Shillum opted to work out of the advertising industry, with stints at ad agencies BBH, Wieden & Kennedy and then most recently TBWA London, where he was creative director of Sony Playstation Software.