Creating the Next Evolution of Design at Monigle: Q&A With New Executive Creative Director, Sean Coleman
Some may consider it unusual, even risky for an established branding agency like Monigle to hire an Executive Creative Director who hails from a non-traditional “purist” brand background to pioneer the next evolution of its design. But, that’s exactly what we did in hiring Sean Coleman, a visionary creative leader with 20+ years experience growing and leading design-centric agency teams in shopper marketing, advertising, and media.
Sean joins us from Integer, better known as a traditional shopper marketing agency where he held the mantle of Global Creative Director and led a team of 21 Associate Creative Directors, Art Directors, and Copywriters to create design solutions across all types of physical and digital brand experiences. As branding agencies evolve into an experience focus, Sean’s unique experience-driven design view aligns with the need of brands to come to life in the real-world.
In his role at Monigle, Sean will take responsibility for the overall creative vision, and execution of that vision across all manner of Design activities. Sean will work with Monigle’s existing creative leaders and designers to define and evolve the way Monigle approaches design and experience.
Justin Wartell, Monigle’s Managing Director, talked with Sean about what excited him to join, his design philosophy and what might be in store for today and tomorrow’s clients.
JW: Why Monigle, and why now?
I love design in its truest, finest forms. After 20+ years of leading design development and innovating new ways to touch consumers through environments and retail, it was time to focus back on my truest passion ― high design experiences. I thrive in creating beautiful things in life– brands that move people to act– and that is where I want to focus most.
JW: What’s your philosophy on design?
Sean: “Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.” ― Leonardo da Vinci. If anyone ever wants to sit and discuss this quote, let’s grab a coffee or beer!
JW: What can clients expect working with you?
Sean: Inspiration, beautiful, creative backed, strategic rigor, someone who welcomes a healthy and hearty debate and of course – most importantly, a good time. I value the partnerships and friendships that develop in being in the creative trenches together. My team and I won’t let you down when it comes to getting it right and getting real with one another. Working with P&G for nearly a decade taught me every day that beautiful work that doesn’t translate into results is simply art.
JW: Since you mentioned P&G, tell us about some of the other brand’s you’ve worked with?
Sean: Where to begin….my clients included Gillette, NyQuil, Coca-Cola (Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Vitamin water), MillerCoors (Coors Light, Banquet, Miller Lite, Molson), Schwinn Cycling and Fitness, and Burger King. There are many more brands that I have helped along the way, but these are the ones I’m most proud of for the impact they have on people’s lives and the results our work contributed to our clients’ bottom line.
JW: What’s your leadership style?
Sean: Direct, but most importantly transparent. My ultimate goal for “the work” is to take a solid, strategic idea and inspire amazing design that influences how consumers connect with a brand. To get to this goal, I am open to any form of creative discussion and dialogue. I always look to inspire and push creative to new levels. The emotional connection we create through art and voice is what we continually strive for and it doesn’t always come easily; it’s fostered through conversation, revisions, and evolving ourselves as creative thinkers.
JW: What can colleagues expect of you?
Sean: Sincerity and growth. I care about my team members, other people and building a strong culture.
JW: What have you got planned for first 90 days?
Sean: I like to start by asking a lot of questions and then shutting up and listening! Then, I want to connect with our teams to build on our strengths and identify our weaknesses and areas we can grow and evolve as an organization. I will offer new ideas and hear other’s passions and ideas to make sure we grow as a culture and not only individually. I want to motivate and inspire the entire agency to be excited about design, the power of an idea, and great work.
JW: Where do you see Monigle (or Monigle creative) to be in three to five years?
Sean: I see us growing not only as a team but also in our strategic connection to the design. We will build on the impressive foundation Monigle has created and move forward in the design community around the globe. It would be my finest career moment when we strengthen the Monigle name, so that other brand agencies and clients remark when they hear Monigle’s name — “I know them, I hear their design is amazing!”
JW: Tell us something interesting, funny or amusing about yourself?
Sean: I still love to be on a skateboard, I can karaoke the crap out of the song Africa by Toto (although you might want to cover your ears) and I build custom vintage motorcycles on the side.
Connect With Us to brand your identity with Sean, learn more about how he led the evolution of global brands like Gillette, and explore his full karaoke repertoire!