Creative Class: Steve McGowan and Dan Reynolds, Brave Berlin


For our April 2017 issue, we examine how creatives are remaking the Queen city.

Ages: 53, 49

Company: Brave Berlin. “Brave is the kind of client we want to work with, [those willing to try] something new or untested. Berlin is an amazing city full of dualities that define it so deeply. The art seems to seep from the sidewalks there and they embrace it as if it’s their salvation,” says Reynolds.

Jobs: Owners/partners

The goal: To push Cincinnati’s creative culture. “We left Landor in 2013 to embrace being the weird guys. For years at Landor, and FRCH before that, we were the guys who handled the projects nobody else wanted or knew what to do with,” says Reynolds. “Some days we describe ourselves as artists on a mission to experiment with new art forms, other days we are a creative branding agency,” says McGowan.

Steve McGowan

Portrait by Aaron M. Conway

The gig: For McGowan, it’s setting the vision as the big-picture thinker. For Reynolds, it’s handling the details. “We complement each other while maintaining our individual specialties,” says McGowan. “It’s a partnership that’s greater than the sum of its parts. We’re united by a love of the show and an absolute reverence for a story well told,” says Reynolds.

Isn’t it ironic? “We traveled to Esalen in Big Sur to meet with Alanis Morisette. We arrived late at night and were rushed into a tent to join a group meditation session she was leading,” says Reynolds. “That was fun.”

Dan Reynolds

Portrait by Aaron M. Conway

Their advice: “Fear will keep you from doing,” says McGowan. “Courage and a strong sense of who we are and what we wanted to pursue motivated us to simply go for it. Take equity in your talents and be fearless and confident in your execution.”

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