With strong writing skills and a passion for developing brand experiences that drive an emotional response, I have successfully managed budgets, production schedules, and print specifications, and have a proven ability to create and produce high-quality 360-degree marketing campaigns.
Throughout my career, I have consistently demonstrated my ability to create and implement effective strategies, resulting in numerous industry awards and tangible business results, such as increased sales, deposits, and job creation.
In my current role as a Creative Director, I specialize in managing a highly-skilled and dedicated team of designers in creating cutting-edge merchandising designs that consistently increase sales and profits for our clients in the music and entertainment industries.
Effie Award – Co-managed creative team in developing a bank acquisition/name change campaign for a regional bank resulting in an increase in deposits and virtually no loss of customers (versus 10% attrition considered average in a bank merger)
Created TV commercial that increased tourism inquires 17% and won an International marketing award
Created economic development campaign that netted the state a 23% increase in jobs created by new businesses and a 15% increase in new business startups, at a time when new business creation experienced a seven percent drop-off nationally.
Led creative team in designing beverage packaging design that increased sales 826%
Created financial print ad which brought in over $1.5 million in CD money and opened 172 new bank accounts.
Led confidential launch initiatives, maintaining security and secrecy throughout the duration of the project, resulting in a successful and smooth launch
Managed production budgets totaling $500,000, consistently staying within scope and on track, resulting in a 5% cost savings.
Created a search engine application for Twitter that helped identify a drive-by shooter – leading to their arrest.
Futureshirts, Nashville, TN 06/2022 – PRESENT
- Manage art team in creating custom illustrations and designs for merchandise in the entertainment and music industry
Freelance Art Director / Designer
Kristof Creative, Inc., Nashville, TN 11/2001 – 06/2022
- Led confidential launch initiatives, maintaining security and secrecy throughout the duration of the project, resulting in a successful and smooth launch.
- Managed production budgets totaling $500,000, consistently staying within scope and on track, resulting in a 5% cost savings.
- Built strong relationships with multiple partners, resulting in a streamlined and efficient production process.
- Developed and managed projects consisting of over 10,000 assets, resulting in a comprehensive and successful final product.
- Managed a diverse team of creative professionals, including Art Directors, Graphic Designers, Illustrators, Copywriters, Web/Mobile developers, 3D Designers, Video Editors, and Social Media contractors.
- Created effective marketing and campaign strategies for print, digital, and social media resulting in a 30% increase in engagement and a 20% increase in sales.
- Designed and developed mobile applications and WordPress designs, resulting in a 25% increase in user engagement.
- Taught creative problem solving workshops, resulting in a 15% increase in participant innovation and idea generation
Projects include; Annual reports, Book Covers, Branding, Brochure design, Email Newsletters, Flyers, Infographics, Landing Page design, Logo design, Long-form video scripts, Magazine and newspaper advertising, Outdoor campaigns, Packaging designs, Posters, PowerPoint Presentations, Presentation folders, Radio commercials, Trade-show booths, and Website development.
B2B and B2C Clients included; Banking & Financial Institutions, Education, Entertainment and Film, Food & Beverage, Global Research & Advocacy, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Public Relations, Sports, Travel & Leisure
Freelance Senior Art Director
Intouch Solutions 12/2021 – 01/2022
- Print campaign development and using my UI/UX skills in Adobe XD to design and create website and mobile designs for a Pharmaceutical client. Fluent understanding and experience using Microsoft team
Graphic Design Coordinator / Creative Director / Instructor
Nossi College of Art, Nashville, TN 09/2016 – 02/2020
- Discovered financial discrepancy, resulting in annual savings of $27,000 for the school in marketing expenses.
- Directed creative team in creating a comprehensive advertising campaign for a local educational non-profit, resulting in $18,000 in donations, 40% more programs taught, and reaching 95.87% more students.
- Managed Bachelor degree programs for Graphic Design and Web & Interactive
- Recruited and managed 18 Adjunct instructors, resulting in a more diverse and experienced teaching team.
- Managed creative team, interns, and external vendors, resulting in a streamlined and efficient production process.
- Taught all levels of advertising, branding, graphic design, typography, social media, and marketing courses, resulting in a 20% increase in student skills and knowledge.
- Rewrote curriculum to include cross-discipline projects, preparing students to manage real-world projects and resulting in a 11% increase in student engagement.
- Rewrote 10 courses, updating requirements to meet current industry skills and standards, resulting in a more relevant and applicable curriculum.
- Discovered gaps in program curriculum and created three new courses to fill them, resulting in a more comprehensive and well-rounded program.
- Introduced Design Thinking and UI/UX processes into courses as a foundation for creative development, resulting in a 21% increase in student creativity and problem-solving skills.
- Created video tutorials for teaching Instructors how to use Moodle LMS, resulting in a more efficient and effective learning management system.
- Successfully led, developed, designed, and launched new brand campaign for the college, consisting of print, outdoor, digital, video, social media, collateral, and experiential elements, resulting in a 20% increase in brand awareness.
“Mr. Kristof is a true professional. He took over the Graphic Design Department at Nossi College three years ago and instituted many changes to advance the quality of the program. On top of managing the department, teaching courses and revising syllabi, Mr. Kristof acted as the in-house Creative Director for the college Marketing Department. During his tenure at Nossi, he created a unique brand identity and brand position for the college, tapping into the essence of why a creative chooses an art college for their education. I’ve worked with many designers over the last 25 years. Mr. Kristof taught me how important communication THROUGH design really is.“
— Cyrus Vatandoost, Executive Vice President, Nossi College of Art
Associate Creative Director
Arnold Worldwide, McLean, VA 04/2001 – 11/2001
- Effie Award – Co-managed creative team in developing a bank acquisition/name change campaign for a regional bank resulting in an increase in deposits and virtually no loss of customers (versus 10% attrition considered average in a bank merger)
- Managed creative team consisting of four Art Directors and one Copywriter
Accounts; Mobil Oil, Mobile On-the-Run, STIHL, PNC Bank, McDonalds, and Citizens Bank
Associate Creative Director
AdMine.com, Herndon, VA 04/2000 – 12/2000
- Managed and directed a team of 10 creatives, resulting in a more efficient and effective production process.
- Conceptualized, directed, and wrote copy for 52 campaigns in 8 months, including print, outdoor, television, and radio, resulting in a 30% increase in brand awareness and a 20% increase in sales.
- Designed and executed online requests for creative, including the development and writing of creative work plans, resulting in a more cohesive and effective online presence.
- Created and initiated advertising sales program, generating online sales and promoting business services, resulting in a 17% increase in online revenue.
- Developed and implemented an internal process for managing creative advertising submissions, resulting in a more organized and streamlined process.
- Created and managed online production tips and procedures for the submission of creative content, resulting in a 11% increase in efficiency.
- Developed internal production network of file structure and organization, streamlining processes and increasing efficiency by 32%.
- Managed daily operation of production department, resulting in a smooth and efficient workflow.
- Worked directly with Mark Ein, CEO of Venturehouse Group, a venture capital firm that funded Admine.com, resulting in a successful partnership and successful project outcomes
Art Director > Senior Art Director
The Ramey Agency, Jackson, MS 06/1995 – 10/1998
- Developed and directed successful advertising campaigns for clients in various industries, including Tourism, Banking,
- Financial, Car Audio, Healthcare, and Travel.
- Spearheaded economic development campaign that resulted in a 23% increase in jobs created by new businesses and a 15% increase in new business startups, at a time when new business creation saw a 7% decline nationally Created financial print ad that generated $1.5 million and opened 172 new accounts.
- Earned Fortune magazine’s “Best Read Ad” award for year-end, double-issue investment guide.
- Won four “Best of Class” awards and one “Superior” award from the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) annual conference
- Received a “Platinum Award” from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association for a 30-second TV ad, which competed against over 1,650 entries from 55 countries.
- Managed and mentored a creative team of junior designers, art directors, and production artists.
Accounts; American Diabetes Association, Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development, Mississippi Division of Tourism, PROMUS Hotel Corporation, Southern Audio Systems, St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital, Taste of the Nation, Union Planters Bank, and USA Pawn.
- London International Advertising Awards
- New York Festivals
- Creativity Annual
- Communication Arts Design Annual
- Collegiate Advertising Awards – Awarded 1 of only 7 Gold awards amongst all colleges in the nation.
- Numerous local & regional ADDY’s
- Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
- Jay Chiat and Lee Clow endowed scholarships based on creative portfolio
- 2nd Degree Black Belt, American Wado Karate-do Black Belt Association
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
AA Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement
Palomar College, San Marcos, CA
AA Liberal Arts
Palomar College, San Marcos, CA
Police Reserve Academy Graduate
Palomar College, San Marcos, CA
Computer and Technology Skills
Audio & Video
Adobe Premiere Pro
Sonicfire Pro 6
Adobe Creative Suite
ON1 Photo Raw
Web Design / Coding
HTML, CSS, and PHP
Landing Page Design
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
WordPress Theme Design
WordPress Plugin Development
Client Experience (Short List)
American Cancer Society
American Diabetes Association
American Home Foods
Houston Power & Lighting
International Budget Partnership
Johnson and Johnson
New York Telephone
March of Dimes
Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry/National Agriculture Aviation Museum
Mississippi Department of Economic & Community Development
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
On-the-Run Convenience Stores
PAM Cooking Spray
PROMUS Hotel Corporation
Sara Lee Branded Apparel
St. Dominic/Jackson Memorial Hospital
Taste of the Nation
Trustmark National Bank
Union Planters Bank
United States Army
United States Cruise Lines
United States Mint
United States Postal Service
Vanderbilt Medical Center
Associations & Societies
Audio & Video
Banking / Mortgage
Consumer Packaged Goods
Health & Fitness
Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Internet products & Services
Logistics & Shipping
Not for Profit
Pet Care (Supplies)
Safety (& Security)
Travel & Tourism
Wine & Spirits