Riley Hayes Evolves its Brand With New Creative Director, Steve Tenebrini

Riley Hayes

Riley Hayes Evolves its Brand With New Creative Director, Steve Tenebrini

Steve Tenebrini has been named Creative Director at Riley Hayes, bringing a new level of creative horsepower to bear upon the agency’s evolving brand and aggressive growth trajectory. These changes come at a time when the company is refining its service offerings while expanding its reach.

In a century-old brick building, nestled among the industrial ruins and renaissance of the St. Anthony Falls district in downtown Minneapolis, a new engine is revving in the headquarters of Riley Hayes. 

With a rich history of nearly 30 years to draw upon, the independent creative agency is fueling its future with a new creative director, a new brand and a bold new vision. 

“We’re in a different place now as an organization, with more talent and a sharper focus than we’ve ever had,” says Creative Director Steve Tenebrini. “Right now we know exactly who we are, and where we want to go.”

To get there, Tenebrini’s first assignment after taking the creative wheel was to lead a rebranding for Riley Hayes that better reflected the agency’s market-leading position, culture, passion for innovation and collective energy. 

The result is stripped-back and basic, a look and feel that reflects the Riley Hayes philosophy of solving complex problems with simple human insights.

“The most interesting person at a party is usually the one who’s quiet, not shouting the most immediate answer but ready to roll the moment the right one presents itself,” Tenebrini says. “In that sense our brand is like a classic muscle car. It’s unassuming and uncluttered. Almost quiet. But open it up and it completely hauls ass.”

For his part, Tenebrini brings an extensive background in creating campaigns, experiences and content for brands like Harley-Davidson, Polaris, U.S. Bank, Indian Motorcycle and Subaru. With his art collective Squad19, now entering its twentieth year, he couples this big brand experience with an entrepreneur’s inventiveness in finding ways to get great work done, no matter the scale.

“I’m thrilled to have Steve join us,” says Dan Hoedeman, VP Engagement. “His experience combines design and digital thinking within a systems mindset to give our present and future clients ambitious approaches that make an impact in the modern multi-touchpoint environment. Steve’s enthusiasm about human nature and motivation matches Riley Hayes’ philosophy and has been immediately contagious within our office and with our clients.”

According to Tenebrini, the new brand and website is just the beginning, a first of many steps to come. But the stage is now set. The road ahead is mapped. And the first light just turned green.