About Robert A. B. Sawyer

Painting Portrait of Robert Sawyer
Portrait of Robert Sawyer (1982) by Rainer Gross. Tie: Gift of John Giordano.

Mine is a career that has been described as “haphazard but not indiscriminate.”

Robert Sawyer was born in Brooklyn, bought up in Los Angles, came of age in Santa Cruz, and entered the real world in New York City. There he spent 30 years creating advertising for some of the world’s largest brands, as well as some you’d need a séance to find.

He was invited to read in the 2017 Festival Internacional de Poesía en el Caribe, PoeMaRío, in Barranquilla, Colombia. Sawyer was a winner of the 2003 Discovery / The Nation Poetry Competition, and has had poems published in The NationMargie: The Journal of American Poetry, and New Millennium Writings. His poem “How I know She’s Coming Home” was selected by Natasha Trethewey for Meridian Best New Poets 2007.

He has also published work in Adbusters, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, and The New York Times.

If what follows persuades you that I may be able to help you build your brand, or create a new one, or simply engage in an interesting conversation, drop me a line through my Contact page.

When and Where

I have had the pleasure of working on staff, in a freelance capacity and as a consultant, on countless projects, for a number of businesses and advertising agencies, as well as graphic design, corporate identity and PR firms. I have worked here and there, front and center, and behind the scenes.

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Automotive and Other Things on Wheels

Chrysler/Plymouth • Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp. • Subaru of Southern California • Mitsubishi Tractors

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Beauty and Fashion

Aveda • Bergdorf Goodman Men’s Store • Cable & Co • Clairol • Dental Arts Manhattan • DKNY • Duckhead Khakis • Ellen Tracy • Erbe • Estèe Lauder (Aramis, Tommy Hilfiger, Lab Series, Havana) • Framesi • J. Crew • JhaneBarnes • John Masters • Jones New York • Paul Stuart • Sussex • Ray-Ban • Redkin • Revlon • Samuelsohn • Sulka •Sunglass hut

Alko Group • Bacardi • Chanto New York • Famous Amos • Gallagher’s Steak House • MarieBelle Chocolates • Our Place Restaurants • Oyster Bar & Restaurant • Restaurant Associates • Smith & Wollensky • Smok Specjal (Polish-Australian joint venture) • Spa Waters

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Corporate Identity, Products, Goods and Services

American Express • AT&T • Cendant Mobility (Domestic, International & Intercultural) • Ciba Specialty Chemicals • DHL Asia • Eaton • Felton Worldwide • Gallagher/Wold • go Management • Great Barrington Health • Hapag-Lloyd • Hitachi • Hoechst Fiber Industries • IBM • Lonza • Matrix New World Engineering • Millken & Company • OTIS • Piedmont Mining Company • Pepsi Cola Company • Polk • R/GA • Schuberth GmbH • Tai Ping • Xerox

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Interactive, Tech-tools and Software

IBM • Otis • NYTechExpo • R/GA • Roundhouse • Sharp • Sony • Springer (springerlink.com) • TDK • Timeplex Media • Ultimate Symbol • Xerox

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Financial Services, Banking, Insurance & Real Estate

Atlas Ventures • Alexander & Alexander • Alexander Re • Ardshiel/The Alpine Group • Chase Private Banking • EAB • IBM Global Financing • FirstLight Financial • Forest City Ratner Companies • FXSol • Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp. • MetLife • PricewaterhouseCoopers • Prudential Insurance • Prudential Investments • Rothstein • Kass • Siegel Rich • Soho Properties • Sperry & Hutchinson • Tower Perrin • Vedanta Capital

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Healthcare/Medical Devices

Acutis Diagnostics • Alaris Medical Systems • Apiary Medical • Case Medical • Becton Dickinson • Blickman Health Industries • gSource • KMedic • Mindray • Teleflex Medical

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Media: Broadcast / cable

A&E • AETN • Bloomberg Business News • BRAVO • Canadian Broadcasting Company • CBS Broadcast International • Cinemax • CNBC • E! Entertainment Television • iNDemand • Lavinia’s World • LifeTime Television • Showtime • Sony Classical • Sony Music • Time Warner Cable • The Discovery Channel • The Monitor Channel • The SciFi Channel • TNT • 20th Century Fox • Viacom

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Media: Print

BusinessWeek • Condé Nast •Cosmopolitan • Country Living • Field & Stream • Glamour • Martha Stewart Omnimedia • Mirabella • Steve Brill’s Content • TimeLife Books • Vanity Fair

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Not-for-Profits and Non-governmental Organizations

American Academy In Rome • Amnesty International • Spain (Castilla-LaMancha) • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center • Earth Island Institute (EPOCA) • The Gunnery School • Museum at Eldridge Street • National Council on Alcoholism • Nation Sawdust & Original Music Workshop (OMW) • Rainforest Alliance • Safe Horizon

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A Country Importer • Bergdorf Goodman Men’s Store • H. Stern Jewelers • Kate’s Paperie • Japanese Cultured Pearl Information Center • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia • Paul Stuart • Pratesi • Plissier Jewelers • Sam Flax • The Discovery Channel Store

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Advertising Industry Awards:

The Advertising Club of New York/Andy • International Advertising Festival of New York • CDA Excellence Awards • CTAM • John Caples International Awards • Graphic Design: USA American Graphic Design Award • How magazine • International Design Competition • Fragrance Foundation/FiFi Award

Poetry Awards

  • 2007 Meridian Best New Poets
  • 2003 “Discovery”/The Nation Poetry Competition


AMERICAN LULLABY: Poems by Robert A.B. Sawyer  Exits But No Escapes Press. NYC. (2014).

KISS & SELL: Writing for Advertising. AVA Publishing, UK (since acquired by Bloomsbury Publishing, UK).  (2004, re-issued, Sept. 2006, Spanish edition, Sept. 2006) Currently available in digital format.


 On This Side of the Window, performed by The Los Angeles Master Chorale Chamber Singers – Lesley Leighton, conductor, music by Philip White

Hong Kong Harbor, 1984, performed by the Angel City Chorale, June 2, 2012. Music by Philip White

DARK JOY at The WorkHouse Theater. Directed by Damien Gray, Dec. 4 –December 14

Published work

New York Times. Complaint Box|On Your Left “Idealism and New York Reality Collide in the Bike Lane.” Oct. 9, 2009.  Ahh, the bike lane. Another common-sense initiative to turn New York into a little Copenhagen. If only the city bred people as courteous as Danes. If only we had a culture defined by a friendly homogeneity of purpose, a place where content commuters shared the street with neighbors, friends and distant cousins.

Media Literacy” Special issue of Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, September 1, 2009. “Gorbachev in Disneyland” A critique of a Louis Vuitton ad, one critical of its use of Mikhail Gorbachev and “cold war” iconography to sell their luggage. The article concludes that the ad does not sell luxury but ironically, the death of luxury.

ADBUSTERS magazine. “Death and the Angry Black Man,” July 1, 2009. A vignette from a collection of very short stories titled “Six Little Deaths.” It tells the story of an unlikely friendship and its inevitable conclusion.


  • 2009. Master of Arts, Media Studies. New School University, New York City
  • 1978. B.A., University of California Santa Cruz, Double Major Aesthetic Studies/Psychology. Graduated w/ Honors

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