It’s a well-known fact that in the fashion business, most of the top art directors are European-born. Steven Baillie’s talent helped him make the opposite commute: his vision not only earned Baillie accolades from powerhouse American brands including MTV and The New York Times, but its also won him a unique reputation overseas. (Indeed, Baillie remains the only American art director ever to work for trend-setting British publishers Wagadon. Publishers of The Face, POP, Arena, Arena Homme+)
From Steven Meisel to Nick Knight, Baillie has also worked with some of the biggest names in photography. The breadth and depth of Baillie’s vision has helped him move easily from high-concept editorial work as Art Director of Arena Homme+ (a special men’s fashion edition of Arena) to sexy advertising for GAP, Target, Prada, and Penguin.
Baillie’s capacity for balancing a sharp sense of corporate branding with an unfailing sense of visual beauty, has kept his career on fast-forward ever since he joined a small Philadelphia-based ad agency called Gyro (now Quaker City Mercantile) ten years ago. When Baillie walked in the door, Gyro was a mom and pop operation with a few local accounts; when he left, the company’s roster included Philip Morris, Annheuser-Busch, and MTV. In fact, his design work at Gyro was so fresh and eye-catching that MTV snatched Baillie up and made him an Art Director in their prestigious in-house agency. There, he created a series of award-winning ad campaigns and promotions for the music television giant, including the design of graphics for the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV Movie Awards.
Baillie’s work at MTV won raves from the Broadcast Design Association, Art Directors Club of New York, and the Type Directors Club. It was Baillie’s gift for type that took him across the Atlantic to London, England. Where, he was hired by Arena Magazine to art direct special editions of the brand called Arena Homme+ (a position later filled by design legend Fabien Baron) Whilst art directing Homme plus Baillie soon became a contributing art editor at The Face magazine, where he help construct some new typefaces for the the brand. Following in the footsteps of design guru Neville Brody, he was hired to recast the look of Arena magazine and become its creative director.
Back in New York, Baillie’s particular gift for bold, conceptual art direction caught the eye of The New York Times, who made him an Art Director of Fashions of the Times, a quarterly magazine that accompanies the Sunday Times now called ‘T’.
Bringing a diverse range of influences to his work from hip-hop’s streetwise irreverence to the elegant minimalism of mid-20th century Swiss graphic design, Baillie has never failed to create work in which the interplay of form and function exist in perfect balance. Baillie has subsequently produced creative work for a wide variety of clients. His advertising clients are a who’s-who of power brands including: Target, Gap, MTV, Maybelline, Diageo, Sony.
As a photographer he has continued to work for diverse and exceptional clients including: GQ, Playboy, Complex, Penguin, LoveCat, Cedarlake Modern Ballet.