Design Annual 2014 Silver Winner Spotlight: Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts – San Diego to Orlando / New nonstop flights

When Dave Roberts was a kid, he had a penchant for drawing. It’s paid off.

In first grade, thanks to inspiration from his mom, he sold drawings to his classmates for 25 cents.

“On a good day, I went home with a dollar in change,” he told Graphis. “And I’m guessing my friends drank less milk in those days.”

When Roberts was in fourth grade, his teacher ripped a drawing of Gene Simmons from his hand. She told him that the devil’s work didn’t belong in her classroom.

But that didn’t stop Roberts from pursuing a career in advertising and design. In 1993 Roberts graduated from East Carolina University and began his career on the east coast.

He worked at several shops in North Carolina — including Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow, where he learned advertising under creative director Michael Winslow.

Seven years ago, after stints at Mires Design (now MiresBall) and Vitro Robertson (now named Vitro after it merged with Skinny), Roberts joined Greenhaus as its art director and currently works as an associate creative director for the firm.

Recently, Roberts designed an advertisement for new nonstops flights from San Diego to Orlando.

“Not to diminish the process of developing this image, but sometimes ideas just rush into your mind without much effort. This was one of those times,” he told Graphis. “California=avocados. Florida=oranges. The Golden State meets the Sunshine State. It made for a good mashup. The retouching and photo compositing was the real effort here. I did the digital work as well, in collaboration with photographer John Schulz.”

Art Director: Dave Roberts | Agency: Greenhaus | Client: Bil Zelman | Title: Isolated Gesture

Roberts is most proud that an ad he created for S.A.F.E, a nonprofit in San Diego that assists designers in the advertising industry, was included in Graphis Annuals. The image of a broken pencil with the words “No. 2 HAPPENS” on its side earned a gold award in the Photography Annual 2008. “It’s the simplicity and power of that image that I am most proud of,” he told Graphis.

Roberts designed a fine art photography book for photographer Bil Zelman called
“Isolated Gesture.” The book, a street photography project that spanned 12 years of Zelman’s career, won a merit award in last year’s Art Directors Club competition.

Currently, Roberts is working on an account for a real estate development in Todos Santos — Baja California Sur, Mexico.

“This account combines two of the things I love most in the world—art/advertising and the great outdoors,” he said. “I have never worked so hard to get something right, out of respect for the place, the people and the land in Todos Santos.”

Roberts offered advice to students who aspire to work in graphic design.

“Decide early on if you have the passion and stomach for it,” he said. “It’s a crazy-fantastic-wonderful-tortured life.”

To view more of John Schulz’s work, click here.

Additional California Design and Advertising firms that have contributed to Graphis include Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Craig-Teerlink Design, Michael Schwab Studio, 
The Refinery,
Chico Creative Services, Cold Open, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, 
Apple, Studio Hinrichs and Craig Frazier Studio. Graphis Masters from California include James A. Cross, Michael Cronan, Michael Vanderbyl and Kit Hinrichs.

The design competition features the most compelling and influential work of the year. Gold and Platinum awards, along with winning entries, will be published in the Design Annual 2015. For additional inspiration check out past Design Annuals here.

Author: Matt Castello

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