Chris MIHAL

Creative Director | VARIETY

Chris Mihal is a Creative Director, Art Director, Designer, Illustrator and lover of typography and bourbon. Currently the Creative Director of Variety overseeing art, photography and design across all brands, he grew up in Northwest Indiana and studied journalism graphics at Ball State University. Working at various newspapers in Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and the Northeast, he has lead numerous redesigns, rebrands in editorial, marketing and advertising, but has yet to pick up a Southern, New Jersey or California accent. Chris has been recognized by Society of Publication Designers, Society for News Design, American Photography, American Illustration and Communication Arts.

influences

questionnaire

What was your very first job?

My first job was designing the front page and special projects for a newspaper in Phoenix, Arizona that went to a half million subscribers daily.

Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.

My job is directing a group of highly creative colleagues to visually convey the message and stories produced daily at Variety in print and online. This includes a weekly magazine along with supplemental special issues, variety.com and it’s social media outlets. 

How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?

I couldn’t hit a curveball. 

In all seriousness, I think I always knew I wanted to be in a creative field. That combined with growing up near Chicago and being surrounded by different media, those two ideas came together into something I was passionate about.

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?

For me, I find inspiration in people. Whether it’s the brainstorming process to solve a problem, working with a new artist or photographer or talking through something over a beer at the bar; collaboration is what keeps me going week to week. 

If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?

It is probably our Emmy supporting actor covers with Aaron Paul, Allison Williams and Christina Hendricks. What began as a solution to putting three subject on a cover that weren’t photographed at the same time, ended up becoming these beautiful pieces of art by Peter Hapak that resulted in three of our most memorable covers to date.

jury

Creative Director | BCBGENERATION
Creative Director | PANDORA MEDIA, INC.
Partner, Chief Creative Officer | BSSP
VP Creative Director | ADIDAS
SVP Exec. Creative Director | RAPP
Director, Global Creative Operations | OAKLEY
EVP, CCO | WALTON ISAACSON
Vice President of Creative | COLD OPEN
SVP, Creative Marketing | E!, ESQUIRE NETWORK
Chief Production Officer | 72ANDSUNNY
VP Creative Services | GUESS?
VP Global Production | PEREIRA & O'DELL
Photo Art Director | AMAZON.COM
VP Group Creative Director | RAZORFISH
Chief Digital Officer | DAVID&GOLIATH
Chief Brand Officer | SEGA
VP Creative | HAUTELOOK / NORDSTROMRACK
Chief Creative Officer | TEAM ONE
VP of Marketing | 7 FOR ALL MANKIND
Global Head of Production | AIRBNB
Partner, Chief Creative Officer | OMELET
Creative Lead | GOOGLE
#1 FAN | BEATS BY DR. DRE / APPLE
Director of Art Production | 72ANDSUNNY
Global Creative Director | HEWLETT-PACKARD
Partner / CCO | BATTERY AGENCY
Vice President, Creative | SONY PICTURES
Senior Art Director | PAUL MITCHELL
Production Director | FALLON
VP Executive Creative Director | SEPHORA
VP Creative Director | PAUL MITCHELL
Vice President Integrated Production | INNOCEAN
Creative Director | THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Creative Director | VARIETY
Executive Creative Director | BBDO
Managing Art Buyer | STARBUCKS
Senior Designer | LYFT
Senior Designer | JAMES PERSE
Creative Director | VISA
Dir. of Creative Dev. | 20TH CENTURY FOX
Co-Founder | THE LOST EXPLORER
Global Head of Creative Design | DREAMWORKS
Chief Creative Officer | WEBER SHANDWICK
Co-President | BLT+ / BLT COMMUNICATIONS
VP ECD | E! ENTERTAINMENT
CEO / CCO | AMUSEMENT PARK ENT.
Executive Creative Director | WIRED
SVP Executive Creative Director | RPA
Executive Editorial Director | M.A.C COSMETICS
Editorial Art Director | MYHABIT / AMAZON.COM
Global Creative Director | FOREVER 21
SVP Design | FX NETWORKS
VP Executive Creative Director | DOLBY LABS
Photo Art Director | ATHLETA / GAP
VP Executive Creative Director | SAPIENTNITRO