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Renard Ragsdale

As CDO of the Ragsdale Design Group, Renard is responsible in creating high-level interactive experiences that live across all screens.

Interview with the 2019 MUSE Creative Awards Winner - Renard Ragsdale

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I received my B.S from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida (Graphic Design).

After graduation, I returned to Atlanta and worked for BKV advertising for 7 years. I founded RDG in 2008 and positioned the company as a media production studio with a heavy emphasis on flash design and animation.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
We function in a couple of different spaces. We partner with larger ad agencies and operate in a vendor capacity. We also work directly with brands and companies that need help navigating the complex digital landscape.

Our core offerings include interactive microsites, landing pages, branded content including social media executions and short form videos. We are also known for our legendary display and rich video production capabilities.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 Muse Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
We are so very excited and proud to be recognized by such a prestigious organization! We take pride in every project we touch so it’s always nice when your peers take note of your efforts and shine a positive light in your direction.
4Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
Our winning entry was a logo/branding effort for The Vacation Haven. The Vacation Haven is a brand-new construction luxury retreat in Montego Bay, Jamaica that caters to vacationers that are seeking a more bespoke experience.

They originally approached us to help develop an informational microsite that was both informative and offered full booking and scheduling capabilities. As the conversation progressed it became obvious our approach was a perfect fit for their vision. While still doing user testing and wire frames our design team began mocking up logo concepts behind the scenes. When we felt we had a few strong designs we formally presented them to the client and they loved them! Based on the client’s reaction and how hard my team worked, I felt it was a great opportunity to share our work with the Muse Awards jury.
5What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The original concepts came together relatively quickly. However, we went through many iterations before we finally landed on visuals that everyone felt captured the essence of the brand.
6How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Winning this award serves as affirmation that our peers recognize our hard work. It’s also a morale booster for the team to be recognized for their talents. Lastly, who doesn’t like a chance to humble brag and showcase a cool statuette?
7What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
1. Sheer amount of raw talent and creativity that exists in the world. 2. Ever-changing trends and patterns that emerge in both design and technology. 3. The fact that popular culture runs a common thread through all mediums (film, fashion, art, design, sports & music).
8Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
I feel that with the onset of automation and globalization the curtain has been peeled back and the cost of entry into this field has been greatly reduced. I come from a time when all 3D work could only be performed on an SGI workstation, which cost upwards of 20K(!).

Presently, anyone with a laptop can pick up an open source software application like Blender and dive right in. The same logic applies to the music and film industry. With the advancements in technology, you can quickly create content that can instantly go viral and change the world right from your phone. This was not possible even ten years ago, and I see this accelerating even more in the next five to ten years.
9If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Muse Award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Give it your all. No matter how small the project, do not stop until you have explored every option and exhausted all efforts. You never know who will end up seeing the final work and where it will take you. Always put your best work forward.
10What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
Read something every day. Create something every day. Keep a pad and pen handy and write down your thoughts and ideas as they come to you.
11Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
My friends and I were one phone call away from being the opening act for The Fresh Fest Hip Hop tour in 1984. We had our routine, outfits and music down pat. Unfortunately, a last minute decision bumped us from the rotation and left us watching from the audience. To this day I’ve always wondered what would’ve happened if we had gotten our big break!
12Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My mom has been the biggest inspiration in my life. She’s always been a huge supporter and her work ethic was unparalleled. I would not be here without my wife as she has been with me since the beginning of this journey and has offered unwavering support.
13What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Micro-speed and macro-patience. I learned this from Gary Vanyerchuck and he is absolutely spot on with this advice. Attack short-term projects and goals expeditiously. Conversely, you need to embrace the journey and allow the process to happen.
14Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to highlight my teams effort and hard work. Also, special shout out to Julia Greene (@juliagreeneey) for acting as design lead on the Vacation Haven project.

Winning Entries

Vacation Haven Logo Design | 2019

Vacation Haven Logo Design | Ragsdale Design Group | Muse Awards
Vacation Haven is an exclusive retreat located in the Rose Hall district of Montego Bay, Jamaica. The primary location is brand-new construction that boasts ocean views, 24-hour security, and concierge service. (read more)

Renard Ragsdale

RDG is a full-service digital media boutique that specializes in user experience, rich media advertising and branded content. Founded in 2008, they create high-level interactive experiences that live across all screens.