James Archer


Experienced marketing and design executive

James Archer is an executive, author, speaker, and expert consultant in marketing and design. He's worked with clients like Disney, Microsoft, Walmart, Motorola, Nvidia, Yahoo, and many others. He's worked on projects that have appeared in U.S. News & World Report, Fast Company, Business Week, Entrepreneur, The New York Times, AdAge, TechCrunch, and NPR.

James has spoken at more than a hundred conferences, workshops, and other events internationally, including appearances at SXSW, Creative Mornings, Phoenix Design Week, Method & Madness, MOBX Berlin, and the Business of Software Conference. He's also written more than a hundred articles about design and marketing for Inc. Magazine and other publications, blogs, and websites.


You can email me at james@jamesarcher.co or text me at ‪(480) 788-0291‬.


Chief Marketing Officer
LevelUp (multifamily smart tech) • Mar 2018 to present
Currently overseeing comprehensive marketing efforts that have transformed an underdog startup into a strong player in the multifamily smart tech space that's continuing to expand into new markets.
Director of Product Design
Infusionsoft (marketing software platform) • Mar 2017 to Mar 2018
Managed a team of 10 product designers, content strategists, and user researchers in designing new products (including AI/ML efforts) and overhauling the company's legacy flagship product.
Head of Design & Marketing
Crowd Favorite (international digital agency) • Jul 2014 to Mar 2017
Managed the company's Design, Content, and Marketing teams (working with clients like Disney) and oversaw the push toward a higher-performance culture throughout the company.
Chief Executive Officer
Forty (marketing and design agency) • Jan 2003 to Jan 2014
Founded and managed a team of up to 12 marketers, designers, content strategists, and software engineers providing design and marketing strategy for clients like Microsoft, Motorola, and Yahoo.
Program Manager
Rhino (web design and marketing firm) • Dec 2003 to Dec 2004
Provided strategic digital consulting and project management to a diverse portfolio of clients. Pushed for and oversaw the adoption of new web standards and design techniques.
Technical Manager
JDA (major supply chain software company) • May 2001 to Jan 2004
Managed a team of writers responsible for thousands of pages of educational and technical documentation across a portfolio of 20+ enterprise-grade software applications.


Truth Well Told: The foundational principle of marketing is "Truth Well Told," meaning that we use every advantage we can to communicate our message as effectively as possible, but at all times we ensure that what we're saying is honest and factual. If what you're saying isn't the truth, you're not marketing, you're just lying.

Psychology Applied to Business: Marketing is primarily the application of psychology in a methodical and intentional way to convey a company's positioning and messaging to their target audience taking advantage of everything we know about people's behavior, reactions, and interpretations to help us break through the noise and stick in their heads.

Qualitative AND Quantitative: Because marketing is built on a foundation of human psychology, any effort to distill it down exclusively to numbers in a spreadsheet will lead to poor performance. The greatest marketing campaigns of all time all have one thing in common, and that's that they took the human side of marketing into account as well as the numbers.

There's No Easy Marketing: The massive volume of marketing effort being put into every possible channel by countless businesses large and small ensures that every possible simple approach has already been saturated, meaning that an effective marketing initiative will always require creativity, strategy, cleverness, and originality in order to stand out and achieve great results.

Content is King: In an era when every marketing channel has become pay-to-play, reducing its effectiveness relative to the effort required, the production and distribution of powerful content that resonates with customers remains one of the most cost-effective and viable marketing strategies, as well the one with the best long-term potential.


Empathy is the Core of Design: Design demands a deep understanding of the people we're designing for. My approach is to immerse myself in their world, to grasp not just their apparent needs, but their unspoken ones too. Every design decision stems from this foundational empathy.

Design is About Solving Problems: Design isn't about art or personal expression, but rather about solving real problems in the real world, whether it's how to communicate a message, simplify an interface, or turn a poor experience into one that people love. Good design isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of results.

Design Drives Business: Because design fundamentally is a problem-solving practice, it's inextricably linked to business outcomes. Customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention derive directly from the experiences designed for them, and failure to intentionally craft those experiences results in colossal amounts of money left on the table.

Process Drives Design: Successful design emphasizes understanding and adherence to the fundamental process of design (empathize, ideate, define, prototype, test, and iterate), rather than focusing on skills, tools, or experience.

Good Design is Intensely Focused: Every element of an effective design, from color to typography to composition to motion to everything else, should be intentionally crafted to accomlish the specific goals of that design. Design is most effective when every element is focused in the same direction.

There's no Room for Ego: The best solutions to complicated problems require the enthusiastic collaboration of people from multiple disciplines, and that requires egos, assumptions, preferences, and biases be set aside in the name of solving bigger problems.


“When James Archer speaks, I listen, and listen well. Every time I've ever interacted with him, my mind is blown and my creative/design/human experience paradigms are shifted. He has a grasp on designing for humans that needs to be shared with the world.”

“James is a visionary. His insight into branding, design and even business operations is always remarkable. He expands conversations in a positive way, and helps people break out of paradigms and find options they wouldn't otherwise find.”

“James takes the time to discover the purpose behind questions, enabling intentional design that's elegant but meaningfully deep. Regardless of medium or situation, his work is consistently amazing.”

“James Archer is brilliant at what he does, but he's also a patient, enthusiastic teacher, willing to download his knowledge and vision into whomever asks for his input. The immense impact of his advice has benefited our company exponentially, helping us to translate our passion into a message that moves our potential customers.”

“Most of us look at design and can tell it's not right, but James can look at a design and know exactly what needs to change.”

“I've been working with James Archer since his company's founding ten years ago. He's an expert brand strategist and marketer, and design is an integral part of his approach. I'd listen to him, if I were you.”

“James freely shares more valuable marketing insight than anyone else I know. The insights are priceless.”

“James Archer is one of the best voices in branding today. He really understands that it isn't just about visual aesthetics, it's about the full experience, from market positioning to the smile on an employee's face.”

“James Archer is a powerful voice for design, branding and marketing in creative and leadership circles. He and his team at Forty are recognized as one of the top branding and experiential design firms in the state, and beyond. In addition to his work through Forty, James is frequently found mentoring other creatives through sound advice, writing excellent articles for well recognized online creative magazines, and presenting at creative events. He is a well-recognized and respected authority in the creative industry.”

“I knew James from the creative community, but didn't realize what a excellent teacher he was. He made complex ideas easy to understand with his concise and informed explanations. Our class was so enjoyable, with James's style of humor and wonderful, easy-to-follow presentations. I consider him one of the experts in this field, but without the annoying ego.”

“James's unique approach to brand and design projects differs from most, but proves time and time again to give us that distinctive advantage we need.”

“James was integral in helping our company communicate to our customers during significant changes in our services. His help in messaging resulted in only a single complaint out of the hundreds who were affected.”

“An impressive combination of left, right, and center brain, James consistently amazes me with his insights on design, marketing, and business process.”

“Excellent design combines not only current trends, but a sound understanding of psychological principles that haven't changed in thousands of years. James Archer is a studious pupil of both disciplines, and it's a pleasure to hear his thoughts on them.”

“When it comes to marketing and branding, I have found every interaction with James to be intelligent, experienced, candid, and deeply engaging. No doubt, his knowledge will be of tremendous value to anyone looking to move forward in this subject area.”

“James Archer is one of the most brilliant minds when it comes to marketing and branding. He's my go-to person for sure.”

“James's valuable insights have been extremely helpful in navigating entry into the digital world. His willingness to lend a hand and 'tell it like it is' candor make him an engaging voice of reason in a very noisy space.”

“James Archer is a deep thinker, grounded by a business savvy that few thought leaders in our industry possess. He has a fundamental insight into not only what makes a design work, but also what makes a design business work.”

“I've had the privilege to get to know James recently, and he's one of the most insightful (and delightful) souls I've been around in recent years. Great instincts and insights. You can tell this guy genuinely gets it!”

“James is a walking encyclopedia of design and marketing strategies.”

“James is a stickler about design and branding, and thinks more about these topics than many folks I know in the business. His ideas always, always make me think differently about how best to approach these challenges.”

“Quite plainly, James is a presence that inevitably brings out higher standards. I am certain that he has a personal time machine that allows him to accomplish as much as he does. Mr. Archer is a solid man that I hold in the highest respects.”

“James is a very talented designer with a great head for business, branding and marketing. He's a tireless worker with a head full of great ideas.”

“James has been a key mentor in my role. He will be quite firm when he is truly passionate...and gives due process to each situation he finds himself in, making him a great mentor and business owner.”

“James has an extremely steady head on his shoulders, and can easily switch from business mode, to design, to client, to friend, back to business all with equal aplomb. His professional attitude and work ethic were amazing to work with.”

“James is a multifaceted individual, plain and simple. He has mastered the art of multitasking and is still driving to make all of his ideas a reality. On top of that, all of his projects get the same amount of attention they need, and it shows. I admire his intelligence and drive.”

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