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Day 05.01.2012, 8:18am

A Question of Identity : An Interview with Tom Suiter

Tom Suiter is a unique individual – a devoted father, highly curious, a collaborator and a talented designer and leader. He is able to bridge business issues and different types of strategies to inform powerful and immersive brand experiences. This all happens through a very accessible interpersonal style.

We met in San Francisco when I was leading the user experience group for the Chicago office of USWeb/CKS and he was Chief Creative Officer. Tom asked me to work directly for him auditing and evaluating the creative capabilities of the company nationally. My memories of working for Tom was that he was a thoughtful listener, communicated clearly and had his priorities in order – to find the best people to do the best work. This has been a continual theme throughout his career.

The evolution of Tom is one of learning the craft of design and then enhancing these skills by wanting to expand corporate identity into wider spheres of influence into what Peter Behrens referred to as a total imagistic panorama where integration at all levels create experiences that are both powerful and relevant. His design response in many different industries has allowed him to concentrate essential core values of brand, brand articulation and brand management – but without all the stifling quantitative language that gets in the way.

Professionals that can lead, shape and implement branded experiences are few, and the number of people that Tom has identified, mentored and collaborated with is a powerful marker to the level of creative excellence that any company would want to strive for. As Steve Jobs once said to Tom – It’s Perfect.