Sylvain adds Michael Kaye as chief design officer

06 May 2021 2 min. read
More news on

Sylvain, a New York-based strategy and design consulting firm, has hired Michael Kaye as its first chief design officer.

Kaye will be responsible for leading and growing the firm’s design practice. He brings more than 30 years of experience in design and advertising, having worked with many of the world’s largest brands.

Kaye previously spent 12 years as a partner and creative director at Mother Design, a branding and design studio he cofounded in 2006. He supported high-profile clients such as Microsoft, Marriott, Revlon, and Target.

Before founding Mother, Kaye was a senior creative director at ad agency AR New York and an associate creative director in the brand integration group of Ogilvy & Mather. Earlier in his career, Kaye worked as a creative director and designer at several publishing companies, including Penguin; Little, Brown and Company; and Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. He designed the covers for numerous popular books, including Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club” and Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point.”

According to a release from Sylvain, Kaye’s hiring will help the consultancy fuse its design and strategy work.

Sylvain adds Michael Kaye as chief design officer

“As companies increasingly look for creativity further and further upstream, we believe it's important to continue centering design in everything we do. Brands are no longer static and innovation moves at a feverish pace, and so there has never been a more important moment for strategic design,” said founder and CEO Alain Sylvain. “I have known Michael for years and can’t think of a better person to help us realize this vision.”

Founded in 2010, Sylvain has three service lines: innovation strategy & design (ideation, product & packaging design, experience & service design); brand strategy & design (brand purpose & positioning, brand architecture, and brand storytelling); and organizational strategy & design (corporate purpose, growth planning, change management, and training).

The company has more than 60 employees across offices in New York, Richmond, VA, and Amsterdam, and has advised clients such as Google, Pepsico, GM, American Express, and Hilton.

"Today there are no guarantees that a brand or its identity will last forever. Technology and society move too quickly,” said Kaye. “I’ve always aimed to explore future tense brand solutions where insights drive invention and help businesses walk the delicate balance of designing for maximum impact now, while preparing for and ensuring their brand's place in the future.

“The opportunity to further this thinking with a company as open and progressive as Sylvain is exactly what I was looking for."