Feature Friday: Dan Rowland

So often, creatives work in environments where part of their job becomes to push for the right process to create great work. With 20 years in the design industry, Dan has experienced quite a few perspectives and took it upon himself to start an agency that works around the process he supports. Living and working in the small city of State College Pennsylvania, he knows that great work can be made from anywhere and he is out to prove it. We are proud to feature Dan in our series this week.

AIGA Central PA Dan Rowland

Who are you, what’s your title & where do you work?
Dan Rowland, Thinker/Doer and Owner of Rowland Creative
Rowland Creative is a design and marketing agency focused on strategic solutions for business-to-business technology companies.

How long have you been in the field?
I have been working in the industry for over 20 years.

Where did you go to school? What for?
I went to Ohio University and graduated with Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design.

What important milestones do you credit to getting to where you are now?
A number of milestones come to mind, some obvious, others less so. There was my first design job where I learned the nitty gritty……the long days (and nights) as a junior designer at a growing mid-sized agency……marriage, kids, dog, house, and realizing that along the way that house became “home”……the decision to take job at a smaller boutique design studio for a different perspective…….the interview for great job that I thought was my next big move, only to find that the position disappeared at the final stage (I was crushed)…….deciding to take leap to start my own agency that does work in a way that matters to us as creatives, as well as impacts our clients….and…..finally hiring my first full-time employee and realizing that it was only the beginning. It has been challenging, fun, exhausting, and extremely rewarding. And, I’m still looking forward to tomorrow.

Why did you start Rowland Creative?
I started Rowland Creative because I believed that I could build a agency in a great town that completed top-quality creative work. I have always been disappointed with the perception that many have that you have to enter a large urban city market to find top-level creative work. I believe that is not true, and feel that the quality of life that a city like State College offers keeps creative thinkers fresh and poised to do their best work. I’m really proud of the process we have developed and where we are overall as an agency. We have great momentum and are really looking forward to great things in the future. It is a fun time.

What made you get involved with AIGA? Why should someone be a member?
AIGA offers a great resource for connecting to peers in the industry and gaining perspective on issues that come up. We don’t make it to as many events as we would like…but the ones we attend are always valuable.

Why Central Pennsylvania (verses a larger city or other location)?
Central PA is a great place to live/play/work, and I feel fortunate to call it home.

What advice do you have for young, practicing designers or students graduating and entering the work field?
Keep the big-picture in mind for your clients and be sure to focus on their target audiences. If you can stay objective and clearly identify the target audiences, creating successful designs is far easier.

What’s your favorite part of the job?
Every day brings a new client with a new challenge…which is great. I also work with a great team of creative thinkers that really care about the work we do. When have that kind of team on your side, goals are far more attainable.

Published December 11, 2015
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