Meet Brad: DDC’s Senior Vice President of Creative Services
January 14, 2020
DDC Public Affairs recently welcomed Brad Whitford as our new Senior Vice President of Creative Services. We’re incredibly excited to have him on board, so we decided to sit down with him to hear about what he has to say about how he got to DDC, his passion for creative work in the public affairs space and why he’s excited about being at DDC.
How did you get into creative and design in the first place?
I always was into the arts as a kid. I knew I was somewhat decent in high school and I had a teacher who saw that same potential. She really fostered my love for creativity and encouraged me to enter a national art competition. I didn’t really think much about it, until at the art show I won the whole thing for the state of Maryland and my artwork was hung inside the U.S. Capitol for a year. That was the first moment where I honestly felt the confidence to take my passion of creating and design and pursue it into college and then into a professional career.
Why advocacy and public affairs?
My first two jobs after school were with a government contractor and the nonprofit In Old Town Alexandria. They were great jobs early in a designer’s career that taught me a lot, but I knew I was looking for more.
That was when I first discovered Glover Park Group, a Washington DC public affairs firm, where I worked for about 10 years starting as an Art Director and then eventually the Design Director for the team. From day one I realized this was exactly the type of design work I wanted to be a part of.
Being able to design for clients and issues that mattered, that were in the news, that were important, that meant something. I was designing materials for a woman’s health company that would literally be read by women before they went in for their preventive breast cancer screening or infographics that were being placed on the President’s desk to be used to help discuss the topic of infrastructure.
I felt like what I was doing and being a part of made a difference.
What are you excited to bring to DDC?
I’m looking forward to helping people get away from thinking of creative projects as checklists and more into conversations. By listening to other partners, clients and internal teams, we can gain a better understanding of all parts of the project and help us make more thoughtful design decisions when getting to work. So you could say I’m excited to bring a design-thinking – or emphatic problem-solving – mentality with how we approach all our projects.
For example, a social graphic for a client. The task may seem straightforward, but if we stop and empathize with the audience, we can approach the project with a different perspective. This can affect everything from image selections in the type of people or towns being portrayed, to color or type choice impacting the overall mood and feelings of the design. It’s those subtle yet incredibly important design decisions that take a design from just being acceptable into something that is exceptional.
Interested in learning more about what Brad and our creative department are up to in 2020?