John Norman

John Norman

Chief Creative Officer at Havas Chicago
Amsterdam, Netherlands

About me

When I was a boy, the ability to draw a horse or Speed Racer's Mach 5 was an easy way to impress a girl or to make a friend. I was raised as an only child by my grandmother and sometimes struggled to find my place in the world. In high school, my two passions were basketball and art. I had an art teacher and a coach who made lasting impressions on me.

Now, 23 years into my career, I still feel lucky every day that the boy who loved to draw got to grow up and get paid to show people his drawings. What a wonderful life.


Chief Creative Officer
Chicago, United States
March 2019 - Present (4 months)
Partner, Chief Creative Officer
New York, United States
February 2014 - September 2018 (4 years 7 months)
Since 2014, John has been the Chief Creative Officer and Partner of Translation LLC, a multi-focal agency that combines pop-culture relevancy with insightful brand insights. During John’s tenure, the agency has won the NBA, the NFL, Weight Watchers, HBO, A&E, while leading work for State Farm, Kaiser Permanente, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. During John’s tenure, Translation has won its first Cannes Lions and many other medals for Value City Furniture, the NBA, State Farm, Kaiser Permanente, and the NFL work. John has been instrumental in building and introducing a multidisciplinary model across the company to accommodate a changing more nimble market.
Chief Creative Officer
Los Angeles, United States
2012 - 2014 (2 years)
From 2012 to 2014, John was the CCO for TBWA/Chiat/Day in Los Angeles where he worked for clients including Adidas, Gatorade, Nissan, and Pepsi. Under John’s leadership, the agency won the Southwest Airlines account. Also during this time, the Jeff Gordon Test Drive film for Pepsi MAX garnered over 43 million views on YouTube. Under John’s leadership, the Adidas World Cup global campaign “All In or Nothing” was launched, beating the far more heavily-financed Nike campaign in signing up more young soccer fans than Nike.
Chief Creative Officer
Richmond, United States
2010 - 2012 (2 years)
From 2010 to 2012, John was the Chief Creative Officer of The Martin Agency, where he was instrumental in winning major clients such as ExxonMobil, Comcast, Kraft, Mentos, Norwegian Cruise Lines, LivingSocial, TracFone and Nespresso. He also led the agency in winning the interactive/digital work for existing client Walmart, and led the creative effort that saw Walmart win its first-ever major advertising award at the 2012 One Show. Also, under John’s leadership Martin won eleven Cannes Lions and an Emmy for existing client, the JFK Presidential Library.
Executive Creative Director
Amsterdam, Netherlands
2005 - 2010 (5 years)
John was the Executive Creative Director of the Amsterdam office of Wieden+Kennedy from 2005 to 2010. During his tenure there, he and his teams won six out of seven pitches including work for BASF, Honda, Pirelli tires, Tanqueray gin, and Heineken. The Amsterdam office also won Coca Cola’s global business and created the multi-award winning “Coke Side of Life” campaign and the “Open Happiness” campaign, one of the most heavily awarded ad campaigns in history. While in Amsterdam, he also led the creative team on work for Nike Running, Nike Women and two World Cup initiatives: “Joga Bonito” and the highly acclaimed “Write the Future” campaign, which won an Emmy and the Cannes Film Grand Prix, to name but two of all the top international awards. While in Amsterdam, John completed two additional major initiatives: The first was the relocation and renovation of Wieden’s new offices, which were awarded one of the Netherlands highest architectural accolades. The other was the implementation and growth of the fully integrated and very successful interactive design group.
Group Creative Director
San Francisco, United States
2001 - 2005 (4 years)
From 2002 to 2005, John was Group Creative Director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. There he helped launch the highly-awarded and innovative Hewlett-Packard “+HP” campaign. He also created a new visual identity for Hewlett-Packard, while generating and supervising work including television commercials, multipage print campaigns, media installations, out-of-home advertising and innovative interactive campaigns. This work was awarded Campaign of the Year by Creativity magazine, Adweek’s Spot of the Year, the prestigious Vision award by the New York Art Director’s Guild, The Grand Prix Epica, as well as numerous Cannes Lions and other awards.
Creative Director
United States
1999 - 2001 (2 years)
From 2000 to 2002, John ran his own advertising agency in Dallas, Texas with partner Todd Tilford. Tilford:Norman was featured on the cover of Adweek during its first year and acquired accounts including Spyder skiwear, Pizza Hut, Footaction, Chili’s, the Limited, and Adidas Originals.

Design Director
Benetton Group
1998 - 1999 (1 year)
From 1998 to 2000, John lived and worked in Treviso, Italy as the Design Director for Benetton, Spa. At Benetton, he directed advertising and retail identity design projects for the company’s sports brands, which included Rollerblade, Killer Loop, Nordica and Prince. While in Italy, John also served as a director of the Benetton international design school, Fabrica.
Art Director
Amsterdam, Netherlands
1996 - 1998 (2 years)
From 1996 to 1998, John worked as a Senior Art Director for Wieden & Kennedy in the Amsterdam office, where he developed print and television campaigns for Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Nike. While in Amsterdam, John created the controversial, award-winning outdoor campaign for NikePark, a soccer experiential environment that debuted in Paris at the 1998 World Cup.
Senior Designer
United States
October 1991 - June 1996 (4 years 8 months)
During his early years, John worked as a designer for almost ten years getting his start at the Richards Group and later Nike Design in Oregon. John created logos for the Wyndham hotel group, the American Indian College Fund, and Nike footwear identities that are still in use today. John began working at Nike in 1989. His projects ranged from developing graphic identity to corporate and retail installations. John worked with the famous Tinker Hatfield on the identity system for the Air Huarache. While based at Nike in Beaverton, John was the lead designer for the internationally recognized Hooptown complex in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan, an innovative, retail basketball environment designed to introduce Nike basketball to Japan.


Bachelor's degree - Fine/Studio Arts

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