Steven Baillie is an art director and photographer.
Early life and influences
The son of Scottish immigrants who settled in the U.S. in the 1960s, Steven Baillie is the youngest of four brothers raised in Long Branch, New Jersey. Throughout their childhood, the children accompanied their parents on return visits to Scotland, where Steven discovered i-D magazine, and soon began going to great lengths to collect it and similar publications like The Face and Blitz.
In 1985, Baillie formed the alternative goth band, Screaming for Emily, with a group of his childhood friends. Playing in Asbury Park, N.J., and in New York City clubs like the famed Danceteria, Baillie’s U.K. influences carried over into his music. Music magazine Propaganda declared, “The home-grown act that emerged looked and sounded like they had just been flown in from central London.” The band reunited more than a decade later for a tour and album release.
Education and early career
After graduating, he took a job at the advertising agency GYRO, which later became Quaker City Mercantile. “While I was there,” says Baillie, “we managed to make a lot of noise.” The small agency was written up in the New York Times, among other publications, because of its innovative approach and results. At an early age, Baillie became GYRO’s main art director. They landed MTV as an account while he was there, and eventually, Baillie went to work for MTV directly.
As an Art Director in MTV’s in-house advertising department, Baillie worked under MTV creative director Jeffrey Keyton. He remained there for a number of years, winning awards both from the Art Directors Club and Type Directors Club of New York.
London and publishing
Baillie then got the opportunity to work on the new, bi-annual offshoot of the men’s magazine, Arena: it was Arena Homme Plus. After two years there, Baillie became Homme Plus’s art director, and worked with editor Ashley Heath, and stylists David Bradshaw and Karl Templer, who remain two of the major players in global fashion today.
During his time at Arena Homme Plus, Baillie worked with some of the biggest names in photography, including Nick Knight, Juergen Teller, Mario Testino, Steven Klein, and David Sims. Designer Peter Saville, one of Baillie’s adolescent idols, was also a contributor to the magazine. “This was a dream come true for me, considering I grew up not far from where the Jersey Shore is filmed,” Baillie says. “I was the only American who ever worked there, in the beginning—most the people who weren’t British in this scene were European.”
The publishing company at the time, Wagadon, was something of a pop culture mecca: They published Arena, Arena Homme Plus, The Face, and later, Pop magazine. As well as creating all of the typefaces used in Arena Homme Plus, Baillie also made contributions to The Face, including a typeface called Ruscha that the publication employed for a number of years.
New York and advertising
As Arena Homme Plus gained prominence and influence, Baillie was hired back to New York to work for the New York Times’s The Fashion of the Times (later T magazine), and Fabien Baron took over AD duties at Homme Plus (later succeeded by Doug Lloyd, M/M Paris, and Neville Brody). For three years, Baillie collaborated with Amy Spindler as Art Director of the fashion, home and lifestyle titles—while still maintaining ties to Arena.
While working for the New York Times, Baillie began making the transition back to advertising by freelancing at various agencies, and was soon working on global campaigns.
After returning to the U.K. for a year to work at British GQ, Baillie turned to professional photography. By integrating photography into his freelance repertoire, Baillie became something of a one-stop shop. He helped take the Original Penguin brand global from its relaunch. He also consulted with Marc Ecko’s Complex magazine during this period, shooting a majority of its covers, and also landed some campaigns. Baillie maintained his ties with the publishing world, also working for American GQ and a few other European publications.
- CMJ, “I scream, you scream...,” October 23, 1987
- Asbury Park Press, “Popular goth-rockers ride again,” September 8, 2006
- "About Us". Quaker City Mercantile. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
- Art Directors Club Award, 1995, MTV Movie Awards Booklet and Promotional Materials
- Type Directors Club Award, 1995, MTV Movie Awards Booklet and Promotional Materials
- DM Weekly, “Bailie Takes GQ Back,” May 21, 2003.
- Press Gazette, “GQ May issue celebrates 15 years of the magazine,” March 28, 2003.
- AllBusiness.com, "To Cut Costs, Complex Magazine Brings Photos In-house", September 30, 2004.
- Adland.TV, "Converse: Everyone is a Star - (2008) :30 (USA)."