Making new tech at home in yards


This geothermal innovator wanted to make the heating and cooling technology, familiar in Europe but relatively unknown in the US, feel friendly, natural, and welcome in American homes.

Inspired by the company’s unique drilling, straight downward like a dandelion’s tap root, the name aims to feel familiar and comfortable year round.

Finding a new metaphor for beacons

A new developer-focused platform for beacons needed a name with a backstory and an approachable feel. Named after a British lighthouse that was rebuilt with the latest technology of its time (three times due to the tumultuous English Channel), the name hints at the rock-like shape of the beacons and also sounds like a person’s name.

Its logo evoking the beacon’s shape as well as a lighthouse beam.

Not every project is a good fit for a suggestive/empty name, but with deep developer relationships and a need to feel different from a variety of xBeacon industry names, the Eddystone team opted for a long term approachable direction.

Descriptive (but they also want it “cool”)


Creating a new website publishing platform is a challenge. It needs to be clear and trustworthy for users and imply the benefits (speed and improvement) in an exciting way for publishers.

Accelerated Mobile Pages is a descriptive name, putting the benefits of speed and mobile-friendliness front and center, with a fun and memorable acronym built right in that also implies the benefits.

Hilton Hhonors

How do you make blackout dates an emotional difference?
How do you tap business travelers in the heart when they’re on the road?

Her Love Has No Blackout Dates
Print ad

Paradise Doesn't Worry About Blackout Dates
Print Ad

Fun Doesn't Have Blackout Dates
Airport Out-Of-Home

You're Not Looking For Blackout Dates

So Hilton Hhonors doesn't have blackout dates

Points + Miles + No Blackout Dates

Art Director: Gaston Yagmourian
Creative Director: Christopher Lehmann
Web/Motion: Jeremy Fortes

Making inspiration practical

You don't have to get it to love it

People who love art museums love art museums. People who don’t go to art museums often think of them as stuffy, irrelevant, or don’t know how to interact with them.

This campaign sought to stretch nonprofit marketing dollars with an unexpected tone that fit the ad placements, all outside of your traditional arts & culture section of the paper.

It’s not enough to say “we’ll spoil you” to jaded film crews – you’ve got to prove it

The Serrano Hotel was a boutique hotel that had a good reputation for supporting film crews shooting in San Francisco and wanted to focus on that lucrative repeat business by emphasizing how they went above and beyond for them.

Ran in "Variety"
Ran in “Variety”

Ran in the LA Times
Ran in the LA Times

Slated to run in the New York Times anniversary edition (cancelled due to the events of 9/11/2001)
Slated to run in the New York Times anniversary edition (cancelled due to the events of 9/11/2001)


Art Director: Janny Yang

Creative Director: John Marin


When a last ditch effort becomes a huge success

The Pacific Palisades Hotel needed a severe boost to occupancy. They had a small marketing budget and were surrounded by big chains that had much more brand recognition. So we looked at what we could do for them. We opportunistically bought cheap, last minute ad space in the local newspapers left over when other advertisers canceled. We wrote ads that were designed to get attention by speaking to the competition, the context and pushing an edgy personality that none of the other hotels could copy in order to draw in the younger, hipper tourist. The results? An unheard of 80% boost in occupancy – and a campaign that got talked about throughout the city.

Pacific Palisades


Ran on Friday the 13th
Ran on Friday the 13th

Creative Director: Dan Elmslie

Art Director: John Marin

Creating a record label on the strength of a music school

EP_records_2When Pyramid, a San Francisco music production school, wanted to create its own music label to give its students wider exposure and a chance to be discovered, it needed a name that sounded like a big record label – and had a serious story.

I led the effort and was the sole namer for the project. After a round of work, I presented the word “epiphyte” – a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic – which was a wonderful story about growth and about the students leveraging the strength and power of the school behind them to get their careers growing. It had a relation to neophyte. It also had the added nod of starting with “EP” – a reference back to the industry that the designer leveraged by combining a sense of musical notation and a turntable.


Extending a healthcare leader into a pharmacy leading brand

WellPoint was getting its pharmacy benefits management brand in order. Not only were they giving it a new structure as part of WellPoint rebranding, they were adding new offers that changed the way the category would be seen.

resize_nextrxI led the effort to develop the deceptively simple, but always memorable brand “NextRx.” The market loved the brand and the customers intuitively understood it was their pharmacy insurance when they received their next healthcare card.

The effort to give NextRx its own personality in the market was so successful, in fact, that it was targeted and acquired by the biggest player in the industry – Express Scripts. Thus sometimes a great name is so successful that it leads to its own retirement.

The work on NextRx built a relationship that allowed me to pitch and win a much larger engagement for our company with the WellPoint master brand for design, voice and brand training.