Career Evolution Series: Timothy Brennan

Career Evolution Series: Timothy Brennan

What’s one thing every storefront needs? A great sign. And luckily, Timothy Brennan is in the business of helping businesses secure one. As the creative director and sign writer for Great Not Good Co., Timothy creates the hand-painted signs that are all the rage today. If you’ve been to any notable restaurants in the Greater Phoenix area — any of the Fox Restaurant Concepts, Chula Seafood, Hash Kitchen, Scoopwell’s Dough Bar, and Clever Koi to name a few – you’ve most likely seen his work.

His work doesn’t stop with the restaurant industry. With a background in fine art and a long history in advertising design, Timothy’s creations span a diverse range of styles and applications. His only goal — to create a visual dialogue capable of communicating a message that will hopefully be appreciated for years to come.

As our second PHXDW “career evolution” blog installment, Timothy’s past, present and future is a great testament to design’s ability to transform. See for yourself:

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I’ve been working in the design/advertising industry since 2009. In 2017 I quit my agency gig to pursue passion full time. With my new venture, Great Not Good Co., I specialize in Heart Made Brands & Hand Painted Signs™. My official title is creative director and sign writer.

What was your first introduction to design?

I was always into art (drawing, painting, creating) and I did my first logo at age 17 but didn’t realize it was considered “design” at the time. I just thought they liked my art. It wasn’t until design school that it really clicked — EVERYTHING is designed. From products to packaging, to adverts, to wayfinding signs, to user interaction, to brands — you name it, it’s been designed. So, on a subconscious level, my first introduction to design would’ve been my first pair of diapers?

How has your career continued to evolve?

To evolve is to learn. I feel like I’m learning something new every day. Whether it’s a new brush technique, illustration style or type of letter construction, there’s always a better way to do it –– and we should always be open to trying new things. Another factor is the amazing people in our creative community who continue to inspire and keep us on our toes, helping us to grow in our practice.

Why did you make the transition into design and what steps did you take to get where you are?

I grew up in construction and moved to Phoenix for a job opportunity working as a site superintendent. After a number of heatstroke incidents, I realized it might be time for a career change. I remember taking my general contractor’s test which shared the same parking lot as The Art Institute of Phoenix. After taking that test, I walked over and applied. The rest is, as they say, history.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Anywhere and everywhere. I use a lot of reference and resource books and love, love, love vintage and antique ephemera, old signs and adverts.

What do you hope people feel when they look at your creations?

This is twofold. First, I hope that the client feels over the moon with the end product, whether it’s a brand, a hand-painted sign or a mural. Second, I hope that the consumer feels a sense of appreciation for, and affiliation with, the end product –– namely the craftmanship and the presence the visual brings to the space.

What would you say to someone who’s never been to PHXDW?

You’re missing out!

To learn more about design’s influence and the power it has to shape careers, we encourage you to come to the Evolve Design conference (October 12 and 13) or attend one of PHXDW’s community events, which will take place throughout the following week!