Samuel S. Rhodes

Tokyo, Japan

Rough timeline
1981-2009 Shrouded in mystery
2009-2011 Freelance illustration
2011-2013 Athletics NYC
2013-2015 Google Creative Lab (NYC)
2015-2016 School of the Visual Arts, NYC 
2015-2017 Freelance Design & Direction, NYC 
2017-20?? Freelance Design & Direction, Tokyo

insta: @samuelrhodes, @week.end.romance
twitter: @samuelrhodes

Press & Interviews
Tyopgraphics T Magazine vol. 304 (Feb. 2023),
外から見た和文 (Japanese)

I'm not going to refer to myself in the third person, and I'm going to avoid grandiose, de facto turns of phrase like 'shape culture'. My idea here is: let's start off genially.

I originally wanted to become a designer because my first idea (i.e. not having a "real" career) was hard on the feet. A job where you could both sit down and be cool? This is why I'm opposed to standing desks. The office chair is a major badge of accomplishment. (I was mistaken about being cool...but there's still time)

I had a philosophy degree and no design work experience, so I had a hard time getting a resume looked at when I moved to NYC in 2008. While working hospitality and retail I started off doing freelance editorial illustration and icons—which requires no prior experience, just a portfolio (Flickr, in my case).

My timing was good on a cold email and I lucked into a long term gig with Athletics, initially working on stuff way out of my league and eventually managing to tread water as I learned as much as I could from some of the best, most creative (and most underrated) designers in the biz. I loved being part of that collective, and when growing the studio mandated a more formal structure, it seemed like a good time to start a new chapter of my own. There's no question that anything I know about doing this job professionally I got from Athletics, but don't hold that against them. (I should also mention that J Ellis, who originally floated the idea of me sticking around after our initial project, later founded Public Announcement.)

Through an Athletics project with Google Creative Lab NY, and then via my pal Brantley Barefoot, I landed a short stint at the Creative Lab. "A few weeks" turned into 2 years, which at the time was as long as you could legally "permalance," and while it was a great experience, I didn’t feel I was ready to commit to a full-time gig yet.

I co-taught Digital Design at School of the Visual Arts in NYC with Matt Delbridge. The ultimate hubris was thinking I have anything of particular significance to impart, but I can definitely talk uninterrupted for over an hour. Matt is a genius, and definitely the brains and talent behind our little operation.

In 2017 I moved to Tokyo with my lovely wife and very dopey dog. Masa is also a designer; we work together occasionally as RUINS. Pine's "creative impulses" mostly consist of destroying cardboard boxes loudly while someone's on a business call. It's all hands on deck over here...

If you're interested in working together (for fun or profit) please email me!