My motivation is to inspire teams to think and create beautifully simple designs and strategically smart experiences. I’ve been privileged to be the creative face to top clients from some of the world’s largest brands. I’m well versed in both traditional and digital advertising and have been invited to speak at a handful of design summits and other industry speaking engagements. I enjoy presenting work and am a bit of a Keynote ninja.

(a PowerPoint brown belt)

The Performance Institute

What do world class Olympic athletes and Bridgestone tires have in common. They're both built to perform. So we built a Performance Institute where we could showcase it. Content was also captured in a way that we could take the Performance Institute to the fans - one tweet, Facebook post, Instagram story and social influencer at a time.

Anatomy of Performance

A split screen video experience where users controlled the action.

(at 1,000 frames per second)

Behind the Performance

3 Olympic athletes. 3 Olympic stories. Full length video documentaries as well as shorter social influencer pieces.

Performance Trials

A mobile game featuring gauntlet-style play of more than 25 Olympic events. A social leaderboard allowed people from all over the world to compete with each other.

The Performance Institute II

With the success of the Performance Institute in the Rio Olympics, it was obvious that a sequel was in store for the 2018 Winter Games. However, in the two years that passed, we saw an interesting trend and opportunity - allow the fans to participate. So in addition to the athlete stories, we kept the cameras rolling, took a peek at performance behind the curtain and even let the fans play interviewer, directly influencing the athletes and content.

System designs. User experiences. Strategy.

Whether it’s creating mood boards, style tiles, digital brand standards or directing teams through whiteboard or agile design sprints, I’ve clocked a lot of time directing design and UX teams as well as worked with strategy and dev verticals to create beautiful and smart design system experiences. From scratch or part of a templated component library. Below is a handful of projects and challenges I've lead.

Scuf Gaming

Scuf Gaming makes beautiful gaming controllers for a very passionate audience. Being experts on the topic of control we needed to create a web experience that matched the beauty and intuition of their product. Working directly with the Scuf executive team, I was able to gather requirements and a wish list of functionalities. From there I worked with our design and dev teams to create a site experience that was as intuitive as it was pretty - the perfect package, right!? Polished design, sexy photography, a robust commerce system and a customized controller configurator.


Craftsman was in desperate need of direction. We were tasked with preparing the brand for a relaunch to promote the “new and improved” product lineup and service. Starting with key stakeholder and customer interviews, I worked with leads from other verticals to narrow in on key strategic concerns and the pain points of their core audience. With that valuable insight in hand, I was able to direct the creative and UX teams through: mood boards, style guides, wireframes, components and eventual comps. The result was a potent blend of strategy, UX and design, emphasizing the craft of their product, the assurance of their customer service and the heritage of their brand.

Strategy audit, graphics and annotated module library.

Mood boards.

Web brand standards.

The Ritz Carlton

The Ritz Carlton Reserve owns a handful of luxurious property retreats. Starting with their Dorado Beach Reserve, we were tasked with creating a consistent, yet flexible design experience. Since all the properties needed to run from a consistent white-label CMS, we worked on organizing and optimizing the overall site structure and then trickled all the way down to the brand elements (fonts, colors, iconography) of each property. From there we built an experience that followed an overall consistent site structure but also allowed for slight customization giving each property a hint of personality. The designs were flexible, clean, ritzy, on brand and crafted down to the button.

Site audit with annotated wireframes

Optimized grid system across breakpoints

UI/UX/design web standards library

Motion/animation prototypes

The Fresh Market

The Fresh Market came to us with a very dated and static site experience (literally, many of their pages were flattened PDFs). Their site was basically invisible from an SEO perspective. Starting with their brand style guide, I worked with teams to create a standard library of fonts, colors, UI, modules and fresh product imagery. We also created flexible and minimal component design library that would provide a cleaner, fresher look and allow the product to stay center stage. The result was a complete refresh of their old, cluttered site for a beautifully simple and fully responsive web experience. Not surprisingly, with all the content now dynamic, the site became a feast for search engines.

Weekly Circular -Before

Weekly Circular -After

Complete iconography/graphic rebrand.

Digital style guide with standardized grids, fonts and color libraries.

Flexible AEM component library.


Having been the Creative Director of record for two of the world’s largest tire brands, you might say that I’m a bit of a tire expert. The truth is, they’re a lot more important than we give them credit for. Everything you care about in your vehicle is riding on the surface contact equivalent to a sheet of paper. There’s a lot more to tires than rubber. This design project was meant to dial down the hard sale and dial up the passion of the product. Simple graphics, clean UI and slice of life photography. This design was definitely ahead of it’s time and has held up well. We even presented the strategy and brand standards in a custom-crafted, Michelin tire tread-etched book. (see below)

Web standards color palette creation.

Web brand font family.

Web graphics/iconography library.

NFL Rookie Premiere

Each year all of the NFL's rookies converge to one hotel in Beverly Hills. During this time, the media gets to have a field day with them. Despite the opportunity, they typically get the same ol' questions and give the same ol' canned answers. We wanted to break that mold so we introduced the rookies to a few challenges outside of their comfort zones. The content made for a uniquely branded series of snack-able social bites.


Making logos are easy. Making good logos are not.

Below are a few that at least came close.


Back in the days when print advertising existed, I did quite a bit of it and truthfully, kind of miss it. Below are a few pieces that I hold on to, for nostalgia's sake.

The Regions FanCam

How do you get over 70K fans to smile at once? Ask them to say cheese. During halftime of the SEC Championship game we took a 360° gigapixel photo of the Georgia Dome and everyone in it. We allowed fans to check-in, tag themselves and share their experience live. We also hid several Easter eggs prizes, in various locations. Find the prize. Tag the prize. Win the prize. Instantly.

The Fresh Market

The Fresh Market was having a not so fresh moment, with their recipes to be precise. While I'm sure Chef Mike was a boss in his day, the videos were showing some signs of shelf life. Not helping the fact was that they were over 4 minutes long, shot in a dimly lit basement and set to classical music. A dripping faucet in the background is an added easter egg. So we gave them a taste of what some newer, fresher recipes might look like. Little social bites. They were also efficient enough that we were able to make 6 for the price of one. No coupons required.



Regions Bill Pay

Regions Bank needed a to promote their new financial services. So we put together a couple short social videos to help make the connection.

The Regions Ready Handbook

Life is full of unexpected twists and turn. Whether it’s being swallowed by a whale during your morning row or inconveniently being abducted by aliens during a client work lunch. Thanks to the Regions Ready Handbook, you can be prepared for whatever comes your way.

Situation: Swallowed by a whale

Situation: Uninvited T-Rex

Situation: Alien Abduction

Situation: Volcano Eruption

page scroll achievement unlocked!

(just a few more conceptual pieces)

Coke Pay or Play

How to make the sweet taste of Coke even sweeter? By beating an Olympic athlete for it. Pay or Play is a social experiment where we equipped a vending machine with a live two-way camera feed into Olympic Village, allowing fans anywhere and everywhere to compete real-time and with real Olympic athletes. A triathlon of physical, mental and social challenges. Sure Michael Phelps has won several gold metals but can he beat Joe Shmoe for the one that really counts, a delicious 20 oz Coca Cola?

Play anywhere

Real time competition

Olympic athletes vs fans

Win a Coke

CIGNA Calories as Calories

A pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which is exactly what we set out to do, prevent childhood obesity by burning up pounds. Calories as currency was a movement that encouraged activity by allowing participants to pay for food with exercise instead of cash. Teaching the value of a calorie and proving that there is such thing as a free meal, if you're willing to work for it.

Select your food item then select your payment method.

(not all foods are created equally)

Run for it

Bike for it

Dance for it

Freestyle for it

Eastminster Dog Show

First impressions can literally be life or death to a pet in an overcrowded kennel. So, to increase their odds of being adopted we started the first ever Eastminster Kennel Club. Opposite the Westminster Kennel Club, which can be a bit stodgy and out of touch, the EKC was created to help everyday dogs in need of a good bath and some lite grooming for potential adopters to see their full potential. The project even included a mobile mutt unit that would visit shelters and events around the country. After all, beauty should be more than fur-deep.

Say it to my face

Featured in AdWeek, Say it to my face was a social experiment to push back against cyber bullies. This experiment exposes a simple truth, that cyberbullies feed on anonymity. So, what happens when you take away the cloak of anonymity and force the offender to confront the offended in a public setting? Kinda like an amped up version of Mean Tweets - well before Mean Tweets.

© 2017 - Steve Laing.