By the time you read this blog post, I’ll have retired from KRT Marketing after close to 40 years as creative director. I’m following in the footsteps of the agency’s founder, Keith Thomas, who retired from the agency back in 2016. Up until a few years ago, the idea of retirement was abstract to me. Even now, as I write this on my last official day in the office, the thought of not working as a creative professional in the days and years ahead is a surreal feeling. It’s also bittersweet. Part of me is excited for what the next chapter in my life might bring. I’m stoked that I’ll be able to spend more time pursuing my personal creative interests. The other part is sad in leaving a career I’ve enjoyed for many decades. I imagine that like any milestone in life, it’ll take time for all these mixed feelings to work themselves out.

After 40 years as an #advertising creative, Henry sets off on a new chapter. Read more of his story. Click To Tweet

Through the years, I’ve experienced many changes in the creative side of advertising here at KRT. When I first started at KRT as a graphic designer in the mid-1970s, there was no such thing as personal computers. Drafting tables, T-squares, Xacto knives, rubber cement, and Magic Markers were just some of the tools I used. Provided that client approvals went smoothly, the timeline for producing something like a full ad could take a week or two. There was no way to create and produce a print ad in a day or two since the process involved working with vendors like typesetters and photo stat shops for the final deliverables. I miss the smell of Magic Markers sometimes…

Of course, everything changed once the computer became the main creative tool in the late 1980s. What once took several days could be condensed to a few hours. The transition from film to digital has opened up new ways of creative expression, such as video and animation. The digital age also changed the way brands communicate and market themselves. With the internet and social media being such important parts of our lives, companies have to be open and engaged, and most importantly, they have to matter to people. The agency has kept pace with all these changes, and we have helped our clients navigate through the challenges of new technology.

Obviously, the core of what an ad agency does is to find creative and profitable solutions for its clients. Through KRT Marketing, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects in many different industries: retail, hospitality, shipping and logistics, high tech – the list goes on. In the past few years, our focus has been recruitment marketing. Through the leadership of Ryan Christoi, the agency has evolved to become one of the most innovative and well-known firms in the industry. Partnering with such a diverse list of clients over the years has professionally and personally enriched my life.

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I’ll miss many things about working here at the agency, but the one thing I’ll miss the most is the people I work with. It’s a very smart group of individuals who are passionate about the work they do and the clients they serve. To say that KRT is like a family may sound cliché, but it really is the real deal here. The people here empower and support each other professionally and personally. This is truly evident in the foundation of the agency’s philosophy: “At KRT, everyone’s contribution makes a difference, and the difference is everyone’s contribution.”

It’s been quite an adventure for me the past 40 years. Working with many awesome people and seeing the evolution of KRT Marketing through the years has been an extraordinary experience. I know that I’ll take everything I’ve learned and the special memories I have well into the next phase of my life. As you move forward in your careers, I hope that it will be just as rewarding and fulfilling as mine has been. Cheers and happy trails.