Digital 40 Over 40 2017: Casey Sheehan, Design Partner, Work & Co

Casey SheehanCasey Sheehan
Design Partner, Work & Co

At most agencies, the more senior you are, the less hands-on work you do. That approach never made sense to Casey Sheehan.

Sheehan likes to get his hands dirty with the nitty-gritty of design. A colleague has described Sheehan as more of an artist than an executive, and coworkers are used to seeing Sheehan behind a DSLR camera or wireframing. That expertise has built trust with some top global brands, including Apple, Nike, Google and Target.

This Ottawa native was drawn to design at an early age. That’s partially due to genetics (his mother was an artist and big fan of skateboard culture). Sheehan attended a graphic design program in Toronto, but said he learned more on his own. He also taught himself to code.

In 2003, Sheehan moved to Los Angeles to work for Hello Design, where he worked on projects for Sony and National Geographic. In 2005, he joined SapientNitro, where he worked on Coca-Cola and HondaJet (the company’s luxe private jet.) One of Sheehan’s big accomplishments there was creating digital touchscreen vending machines for Coke to place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The project was so successful that Coke started mass-producing them globally.

Sheehan joined Huge in 2012, where he launched Elephant, an agency-within-an-agency for Apple, where he spearheaded the launch of two undisclosed projects for the company. Three years later, Sheehan joined the Portland, Oregon-based Work & Co as a partner.

At Work & Co, Sheehan’s focus is on core digital products, not advertising. The agency creates websites, apps and e-commerce platforms and other digital touch points for brands, which are becoming more and more important in the age of omnichannel communications. Perhaps the greatest evidence of Sheehan’s talent is that Apple trusts him so much.

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