Lawrence O'Toole

New York, NY, USA
Lawrence O'Toole is a design director with experience that spans many industries and disciplines. His specialities include brand strategy, typography, visual identity, interaction design and new product development.

Raised in Philadelphia, he received a degree in Graphic Design from Drexel University. Upon graduating, he joined 160over90, where he developed the company’s award-winning identity. Later, at Scünci International, he led a team of 30 graphic artists to direct national and international product innovations in food, drug and mass retail markets. In 2005, Lawrence co-founded the multi-disciplinary brand firm PRIMER. As a partner, Lawrence was responsible for developing key client relationships and oversaw the studio’s creative work for the Wharton School of Business, SPEED Channel, Dickies Workwear and Mercedes Benz USA. In late 2010, Lawrence sold his share of the company to move to New York in pursuit of new creative opportunities. Since arriving, Lawrence has had the opportunity to create digital and visual experiences for community building, hospitality and financial services for the likes of Google, Interbrand, Rokkan, Euro RSCG, and others.

His work has been featured in numerous blogs and publications on experiential design, including Design and Design, Under Consideration and Communication Arts Magazine. Lawrence is currently working on a book about ghost signs, to be released in spring 2012 through History Press.

Work Experience


Partner and Creative Director

In early 2005, Lawrence co-founded a multi-disciplinary brand agency named PRIMER. Located just north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, PRIMER specialized in brand strategy, brand building, identity creation, print, interactive, photography direction, illustration, copywriting and more. The idea behind PRIMER was that a few well-rounded individuals could leverage their years of agency and in-house experience to build a studio that would help clients steer clear of the typical big agency, in-house and freelance pitfalls. The boutique size of the studio ensured the highest level of involvement, attention to detail, flexibility, and expediency. The experience of the principals, commitment to sustainability, award-winning work, strategic thinking, and monthly exhibits in the design-focused gallery space became the backbone of the corporate philosophy: champion good design.

As a partner, Lawrence was responsible for client interaction, project management and lead development, as well as the day-to-day operation of the studio. As creative director, Lawrence was responsible for the majority of the creative work product.
2005 - 2010 Hatboro, Pennsylvania, United States

Scunci International

Senior Art Director

Prior to the founding of PRIMER, Lawrence worked in-house at Scünci, the leading women’s hair accessories corporation also located in Hatboro. Lawrence directed multiple national and international brands such as scünci, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Suave, Denman, Boots, and more in the food, drug and mass arenas via product packaging, retail displays, marketing and promotional materials, advertising, photography, and interactive projects. Lawrence was also responsible for new product development, such as steamers, sports drinks, perfumes, and more. At it’s height, the position directed a team of about 30 graphic, production and 3D artists. During this time, Lawrence was awarded five patents as inventor of packaging solutions.
2001 - 2005 Hatboro, Pennsylvania, United States


Senior Art Director

A few days after graduating from Drexel University, Lawrence was hired by a video production firm in Philadelphia called Cutting Edge Media Group for the sole purpose of developing the graphic design services of the company. The company grew into an advertising agency and eventually a large interactive firm, and eventually shed the motion graphics aspect of the business. In addition to the interface design, post and moving image, and print-based projects, Lawrence was a key figure in relaunching the company as 160over90, developing their award-winning new brand, as featured in Print and Communication Arts magazines and winner of multiple Addy awards.
1998 - 2001 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States


Drexel University

Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design

Graduated Summa Cum Laude, cumulative grade point average 3.85/4.0
Nesbitt College Outstanding Senior Award for Excellence in Graphic Design
Nesbitt College Outstanding Junior Award for Excellence in Graphic Design
Nesbitt College Dean’s List, Honor Society Member, and Honors Program member
Student government College of Design Arts representative
City of Philadelphia scholarship recipient
September 1994 - May 1998 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States


Interaction Design , Packaging Design, Brand Strategy, Branding, Concept Generation, Corporate Identity Development, Design Platforms And Principles , Naming, Visual Communication Design, Visual Design,

Recent Contract Work

Amalgamated Advertising
Fahrenheit 212

Select Past Clients

Dickies Workwear
Evoke Interaction
US General Services Administration
Mercedes Benz USA
Oxygen Network
RCA / ThompsonSuave
Sony Music
SPEED Channel
Wharton School of Business


DESIGN and DESIGN Print Annual 2010
Six Design of the Day features, DESIGN and DESIGN
Best foil-stamped business cards blog
Where We Design blog
Unit Editions blog
Design Mafia blog
LiveModern blog
Workalicious blog
Under Consideration FPO feature
Keystone Edge Magazine feature article
DESIGN and DESIGN Print Annual 2009
Communication Arts Annual 73
Print Magazine A-Z Design
Five patents as inventor of packaging design 2000
Philadelphia Ad Club Addy Award 2000
Philadelphia Ad Club Addy Citation of Excellence 2000