Jim Van Meer
At the intersection of design thinking and design doing.

  • Strategic Development and Planning

  • Design Thinking

  • Marketing Leadership

  • Brand Development and Direction

  • Creative Direction

  • Advertising Campaigns

  • ​​Print & Digital Design

  • Digital Communications

  • Web & App Design Direction

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Experiential Design

  • UX/UI Design

I'm the guy behind the great ideas. And a professor, too.

Influential marketing and communications expert focused on the development of innovative branding and marketing strategies for complex organizations and initiatives. Accomplished at blending data-driven methodologies with sophisticated creativity, inspiring target audiences to connect and embrace messaging. Architect of multi-million dollar campaigns and programs, establishing and enhancing brands while uniquely positioning products, services, and ideas. Dynamic leadership and mentoring strengths with diverse teams. Savvy director of strategic planning, creative development, and execution of multi-faceted marketing efforts across varied channels, increasing revenue streams, engagement, and awareness. 


Founder and Chief Creative Officer  | Thinkpoint Creative  |  Burke, VA  |  January 2019 – Present 

As the creative director of Metro DC’s premier marketing communications agency, I’ve assembled an uncommon collective of powerhouse talent, with over 100 years of combined experience in branding, marketing, advertising, and design.

I’ve built a team of highly-skilled creative directors, strategists, design thinkers, writers, art directors, designers, and UI/UX experts. Using my influential and imaginative credentials, I am primarily focused on the development of innovative branding and marketing strategies geared toward results, for a wide variety of clients. I manage a diverse, hands-on team, and I am unafraid to dive into the deep end of the pool. I help create connections with audiences through a sophisticated blending of data-driven methodologies and creative vision.

Simply put, I get it.

I work with local, regional, national, and international organizations of all sizes and means. I operate in all of the creative and marketing realms, including print, digital, motion, 3D, experiential, and social. I am cross-channel and cross-platform oriented, shaping brands and messaging to draw audiences in. I tell my clients’ stories in new and insightful ways, giving them a unique position in the marketplace. I provide clarity in an all-too-often cacophonous world. In a phrase, I get people to stop, look, listen, and react.

I call what I do strategic creativity. At the intersection of design thinking and design doing is where I operate, forging connections with audiences that turn into lifelong commitments.

Adjunct Professor   |   George Mason University, School of Art – Graphic Design   |   Fairfax, VA   |   January 2015 – present

Writer and instructor for Professional Design Practices, an upper-level course addressing the nature of the professional graphic designer in terms of individual career development and self-marketing, visual presentations of design work, preparation of written materials, exploration of interview techniques, application of design thinking and UX design, and development of a professional portfolio of work. Special emphasis is given in class to the development of a design business, as well as freelance and pro-bono design work. Lecture, recruit guest speakers, recruit portfolio reviewers, advise and mentor students, write and present quizzes, and oversee portfolio review sessions. Twenty student class size average, including certificate, undergraduate, and graduate students.

Instructor for Digital Media and Web Design Capstone, an upper-level course providing students with opportunities to learn and apply advanced strategies for website design, content development, and user interaction and accessibility in website creation. Special emphasis is given in class to students interested in pursuing a career in digital media and web content design and management through the development of a professional portfolio of work that demonstrates their skills, competencies, and assignments produced throughout the minor.

Writer and instructor for Marketing by Design | Advertising Design, an upper-level division course, exploring the world of marketing and advertising from a designer’s perspective, guiding students on how to translate marketing plans into carefully crafted design solutions. This course provides insight and practice in the creative design process behind effective and memorable advertising and marketing campaigns. From strategies to tactics to accountability, Marketing by Design | Advertising Design provides students an inside look at marketing and advertising and shows why design is a critical part of any business. Emphasis is placed on strategy, marketing, design, and presentation of a portfolio-ready marketing campaign. Ten to fifteen student class size average, including certificate, undergraduate, and graduate students. 

Instructor and advisor for graduate-level coursework including Directed Project and Exhibition (AVT 798), Independent Project Research (AVT 612), and Graphic Design Project (AVT 794), principally in the fields of UI and UX for app development, branding, and experiential design. 

Senior Manager, Marketing and Creative  |  American Petroleum Institute  |  Washington, DC  |  October 1996 – January 2019

Creative Direction, Leadership, and Marketing Communications: Shaped and led the creative vision of marketing communications programs from concept through completion for $130 million global industry services division of the largest U.S. energy trade association. Drove collaboration, fostered smart adaptability, and championed customer-centric strategies in the B2B and B2C realm. Led and mentored staff designers, social media and marketing coordinators, freelance designers, outside agencies, and assorted marketing staff members.

Brand Development and Brand Management: Formed and guided creative strategies and initiatives to enhance brand recognition through direction and supervision of all marketing communications materials. Led in-house marketing communications efforts, enhancing and promoting corporate brand. Directed and supported implementation of branding by providing strategies designed to elicit positive response and increased awareness.

Advertising, Design, and Interactive Communications: Worked closely with executive leadership and product managers to formulate hybrid campaigns that leaped across communication platforms. Provided creative direction for all print, web, and interactive communications materials into focused messages. Utilized my pragmatic knowledge of design production, information architecture, UX and UI, plus B2B and B2C marketing methods.

Social Media Marketing and Engagement: Blended social media marketing methodologies with engaging content strategy to form unified B2B and B2C experiences, building communities, connecting customers to the brand, and spreading credibility to influencers.

Experiential Design and Trade Show Management: Directed the design, development, planning, logistics, implementation, and management of experiential environments, corporate exhibits, and trade show participation.


Creative Consultant   |   Van Meer Creative   |   Springfield, VA   |   August 1985 – October 1996

Crafted advertising and promotional programs for local, national, and international high tech, B2B, and consumer companies. Propelled ideas into reality by consistently developing highly effective marketing communications solutions that met and exceeded clients’ marketing goals. Utilized an unconventional approach to high technology and B2B marketing communications, helping clients break through the clutter and established them as leaders in their respective fields.


Vice President and Creative Director   |   The Paton Group   |   Alexandria, VA   |   September 1980 – August 1985

Worked side-by-side with agency President on new business development, account management, budgeting, and planning for a myriad of local, national, and international accounts. Developed and implemented advertising campaigns for high technology firms within tight budgets and deadlines. Supervised designers, account executives, administrative assistant, and various outside vendors.


Designer and Art Director   |   GEICO   |   Washington, DC   |   June 1977 – September 1980

Designed and art directed corporate communications projects ranging from quarterly employee magazine and bi-monthly newsletter to in-house TV studio sets and graphics.


George Mason University   |   Master of Fine Arts – Art and Visual Technology

American University   |   Bachelor of Arts – Design

Montgomery College   |   Associate of Arts – Advertising/Design


Experienced in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXPress, and MS Office. Accomplished in Social Media, Content Marketing, Lead Generation, Relationship Building and Networking, Digital Customer Experience, and Email Marketing techniques and approaches. Strong knowledge of UI, UX, Responsive Design, SEO, SEM, and Project Management. Fluent on  Mac and PC platforms.

Affiliations, Honors and Awards

Member, AIGA
Member, American Marketing Association
Member, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

2017, George Mason University School of Art Graduate Award for Academic and Artistic Excellence
2015, 2014, American Graphic Design Awards: Graphic Design USA: Creative Direction
2013, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 American In-house Design Awards: Graphic Design USA
2008 Silver Award, 2007 Silver Award, 2003 Gold Award, 2003 Silver Award, 2001 Outstanding Achievement Award, 2001 Silver Award: Association Trends – Excellence in Association Publications
2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 Signet AdProbe Award: Top 10 Ad Readership, Offshore Magazine
Merit Award – Brochures: Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 57th Annual Show
Merit Awards – Brochures and Stationery: Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 33rd Annual Show
Silver Award: 29th Annual International Association of Business Communicators Washington Awards
Golden Reel of Excellence Award: 12th Annual International Television Association Video Festival
Judge: 9th, 11th, and 12th Annual American Red Cross Communications Excellence Awards
Judge: American Trucking Association Advertising Awards
Judge: 13th Annual International Television Association Video Festival
Judge: Printing Industries of America Annual Exhibition Regional Finals
Guest Lecturer: Northern Virginia Community College – Marketing Studio Photography
Guest Panelist: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Division of Musical History Lecture Series – Direct Mail Layout for Fund Raising Organizations
Guest Panelist: Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington Roundtable – Design and Printing: Good, Fast, and Cheap