Karl Heiselman is the CEO of Wolff Olins and the driving force behind the company’s ambition for clients and optimism for the world. He leads the global business by shaping its strategy for growth and encouraging excellence in its creative work. With over 20 years of branding and design experience, Heiselman has helped create game-changing work for Wolff Olins’s clients including (RED), Skype, GE, PwC, Unicef, Current TV, New York City and Mercedes-Benz. He has expanded the company’s capabilities to include product development, brand-centric innovation and creatively led business strategy.
Trained as a designer, Heiselman firmly believes in the value of creativity to drive positive business and social impact. Prior to joining Wolff Olins, Heiselman founded the San Francisco–based design studio The Farm, where his clients included Apple, American Express, FedEx, Swatch and HP. He also spent two years as the executive creative director of the Swatch Lab in both New York and Milan. During his two-year tenure there, Heiselman directed four 60-piece collections which were credited with revitalizing the Swatch brand around the world. And earlier, Heiselman was a design director at Apple where he first learned the importance of design in business. Heiselman attended the Rhode Island School of Design and studied graphic and industrial design.
An audio interview with Debbie Millman in the Design Matters series, a thought-provoking internet podcast at Design Observer, which profiles industry-leading graphic designers, change agents, artists, writers and educators.