Executive Creative Director (The 3rd Eye)
HBO. ROCAWEAR. PUMA. WU-TANG. SONY MUSIC. You may recognize these names as fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle brands. Ney Pimentel, brand identity design expert, recognizes these brands as just a few of his many clients over the course of his decorated 15+ year career.
Ney always had a passion for art and message behind design. And growing up in New York City during the early 80s among the Latin-infused streets of Harlem, Washington Heights, and South Bronx, Ney expressed his creativity through break dancing and graffiti art as an escape from the crime-ridden streets and school he attended, George Washington High School. He then graduated from Montclair State University with a degree in Graphic Design and a concentration on Brand Identity.
After graduating, Ney began his career as a Senior Graphic Designer with Faber Castell (formerly Eberhard Faber) . A few years later he was Senior Graphic Designer at Bentex Kiddie Corporation, designing merchandise for children-favorite brands Warner Brothers and Walt Disney. Ready to leave the child’s play behind, Ney founded DesigNey, Inc. in 1997, where Ney put his talents to use as Art Director. The business put Ney and his design team on the map, handling corporate identity development (including logo, web, and print design) for clients such as A&E, The History Channel, Wu Wear, Capital Records, LL Cool J, Kenneth Cole, and FUBU.
From the enLiGHTenment of DESIGN comes the wisdom of PERCEPTION. ~ .’. Ney Pimentel
While DesignNey handled corporate branding for these powerhouse clients, Ney was leaving an indelible mark on the hip-hop community by working with some of the genre’s most iconic artists. He was instrumental in the business development of Rocawear as well as designed the first wave of the Rocawear clothing line, which CEO Jay-Z went on to sell to the Iconix Brand Group for $204 million in cash in 2007. During that same time, Ney also signed on as clothing designer for Wu-Tang’s debut clothing line, Wu Wear, where his marketing talents were responsible for getting Wu Wear placed in major retailers like Macy’s. Within a few years, Wu Wear would reach $15 million in annual sales.? In addition to handling their fashion line, Ney named and designed the artwork for the rap group’s 2nd studio album, Wu-Tang Forever, which sold over 4 million records, their best-selling album to date.
As DesigNey grew, Ney began a side project, Latinflava, the Internet’s first Spanglish magazine, covering entertainment news for the urban Latino community. This “side project” turned out to be one of Ney’s most successful endeavors when Urban Box Office took notice of the multimedia lifestyle site and quickly realized its reach and potential. In 1999, UBO approached Ney with a multimillion dollar deal to close DesigNey, Inc. and push Latinflava to the next level, making it the most prominent and engaging urban-based Latin resource on the web. Within a few years, UBO was poised to become a distribution and marketing company. Latinflava was then transformed into Latinflava/Clavo Music, UBO’s own in-house record label. In 2002, Ney became the Senior Visual Designer and Senior VP of A&R of the label, working with such notable artists as Sergio Vargas, Fernandito Villalona, Brian McKnight, and Elephant Man.
Placing Ney’s talents and vision at the forefront of Latinflava/Clavo Music helped launch the success of Latin Hip-Hop/Reggaeton in the United States. His team’s unique approach to marketing allowed this niche genre to reach some of New York’s top mainstream radio stations. Using a non-traditional distribution system, they distributed music to over 10,000 bodegas and mom-and-pop shops at an affordable price, extending the reach of Latin music labels to the masses.?While building on the success of Latinflava, Ney continued to provide freelance design work for some of his largest clients from past projects. Working with Russell Simmons, he prepared the original concept design mockups for the mogul’s first energy drink. Together they presented the idea to the beverage’s parent company, which gave Russell Simmons the green light to eventually launch The Russell Simmons Beverage Company’s DefCon3 energy drink, in 2003.
As the music industry coped with plummeting physical album sales due to piracy and the popularity of digital music, Ney parted ways with UBO in 2006 and started his the Brand Anarchy Group. As the Brand Identity Designer, Ney pushes creative boundaries to build memorable brand images for clients such as A&E, Heineken, Madonna, The Wailers, Hennessy, PUMA, WICOtv and Beats by Dr. Dre. In fact, six of his logos have been published in four prestigious identity design books. These internationally recognized books are considered premiere industry resources for logo design. His ability to see beyond the restraints most designers work within is what has made him such an integral part of the success his clients experience. As he so succinctly puts it, “From the enlightenment of design comes the wisdom of perception.”