Rory McGuigan, Designer in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Rory McGuigan

Verified Expert  in Design


San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 22, 2017

Rory is a customer-obsessed design leader with deep experience building best-in-class teams that deliver exceptional work. Strategic and solutions-oriented, with a 20 year track record that exceeds expectations, Rory is a high-EQ, low-ego cross-functional leader adept at problem-solving and building strong relationships. He is willing to roll up sleeves every time to get it done.


Work Experience

Senior Creative Director

2017 - PRESENT
  • Led all creative efforts at this Alphabet-backed company. Reported to the CMO and served on her marketing leadership team. My role focused on ideation, strategy and planning, problem solving, optimization, and driving company-wide results.
  • Built and led a successful national team of creatives, increasing impact year-over-year.
  • Developed, designed, and maintained company-wide creative operations and standards.
  • Launched new brands and consumer-facing products across multiple platforms, driving alignment and efficiency, setting expectations, and delivering to a deadline.
  • Partnered cross-functionally with other senior leaders on company-wide strategic initiatives.
  • Elevated and enriched company brands, leveraging innovative strategy and ideation skills.
  • Directed the company’s LinkNYC brand, with 76% of consumers now stopping to observe content on the product after a brand refresh: an increase of 40% in 12 months.
  • Coached and mentored wider creative staff, cultivating culture and values.
Technologies: Sketch, Adobe CC

Creative Director

2012 - 2017
Paper Zebra
  • Founded and operated a design, UX and creative consultation company. Clients included Booz Allen Hamilton, Domino Records, The World Bank, Amnesty International, Starbucks, The International Rescue Committee, Red Mango, and Gilead Sciences.
  • Created award-winning multi-platform user interfaces and experiences.
  • Developed brand identity, advertising, and marketing solutions for brands, agencies, and SMBs.
  • Led internal and remote teams of designers, developers, editors, and project managers.
  • Managed portfolio of global clients, regularly pitching and presenting to executive stakeholders.
  • Led brainstorming sessions that fostered team collaboration and produced innovative solutions.
Technologies: Sketch, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

Art Director

2010 - 2012
PML Group
  • Headed design at industry-leading out-of-home and digital advertising company. Clients included Kellogg’s, Diageo, Nestlé, L’Oréal, and Kraft.
  • Led cross-functional partners in ideation and development of top-tier marketing solutions.
  • Managed and developed company brand identities and marketing campaigns.
  • Managed a creative team, projects, and processes.
Technologies: Adobe Creative Suite

Lead Designer

2006 - 2008
  • Designed graphics for an industry-leading Australian advertising agency. Clients included: Nokia, Subway, Lexus, Panasonic, and Telstra.
  • Directed all creative services, managing contractors and freelance talent.
  • Oversaw agency-wide brand identity, developing internal brands and creating all external promotional materials.
  • Supervised copy and video production, gave presentations, and directed all commercial photography.
Technologies: Adobe Creative Suite

Junior Designer

2005 - 2005
  • Collaborated closely with the creative team on a range of web and print-based marketing projects, focusing on UX for entertainment industry clients.
  • Developed creative materials for web, advertising, infographics, brochures, and presentations.
Technologies: Adobe Creative Suite
2004 - 2005

Master's Degree in Visual Communication

Birmingham Institute of Art & Design - Birmingham, UK

2001 - 2004

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in Graphic Design

University of East London - London, UK

2000 - 2001

Diploma in Art & Design

Southern Regional College - Newry, Ireland


InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Sketch 3, Photoshop CC, Adobe CC, Sketch, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Creative Suite



Industry Expertise

Real Estate, Restaurants & Dining


Art Direction, UI Design, UX Design, Mobile App Design, Print Design, Illustration, Branding, User Interface (UI), Wireframing, Responsive UI, Award-winning, User Experience (UX), Brand Identity, Logo Design, Outdoor Design, Billboard Design, Interaction Design (IxD), Outdoor Advertising, Out-of-home (OOH) Advertising, Ad Campaigns, Ad Design, FMCG, CD Album Design, Vinyl Design, Album Artwork, Cartoon Character Design, Wall Art, Typography, CafePress, Brand Development, Style Guides, Consulting, Management Consulting, Office 365, Intranets, Responsive, Lifestyle, eCommerce, eCommerce UX, App UX, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), Amnesty International

Collaboration That Works

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