30 Under 30: Ryan Bannon

The future of Canada’s marketing industry will be shaped by its youngest talent—the super-worldly, plugged-in, brilliant and creative youth who are already making a name for themselves. Marketing put out the call to the industry to find the top 30 standouts under the age of 30 who have already made their mark on the industry. […]

The future of Canada’s marketing industry will be shaped by its youngest talent—the super-worldly, plugged-in, brilliant and creative youth who are already making a name for themselves. Marketing put out the call to the industry to find the top 30 standouts under the age of 30 who have already made their mark on the industry.

From PR to advertising to media and beyond, our 30 Under 30 showcases the smartest, bravest and most creative ones to watch in the business

Ryan Bannon, 25

Creative director, managing partner, Playground Inc.

When the Toronto Standard launched its website in 2010, it was the first large scale implementation of responsive design on WordPress.

The design was courtesy Ryan Bannon, creative director and co-founder of the creative agency Playground, and his team.

The Standard originally asked for seven apps for each major mobile device. Instead, Bannon and Playground sold the website on responsive design, a format fit for both browser and mobile.

“There were a lot of things we did with the Toronto Standard that hadn’t been seen on the web before,” Bannon says.

The site was listed as one of Dot Net Magazine’s top 10 sites of the year and won three Canadian Online Publishing Awards.

After cutting their teeth on designs for a slew of startups, Bannon and Playground landed big clients, including York University, Canada Goose and Random House.
In line of with the startup ethos, Bannon works 13 to 18 hours days. He spends what time remains as an instructor for Ladies Learning Code, a Toronto-based organization that teaches women web skills.

“Despite the fact he has a million things on his plate, he takes time to develop lessons and lead workshops,” says Heather Payne, founder of Ladies Learning Code. “He’s been an amazing asset to us.”

The lack of women in is an obvious problem to Bannon, who notes Playground has only one woman on its 13 person staff.

“I see it as a way to hand off information I’ve acquired and help get an underserved market excited about what I love,” Bannon says. “It’s the best thing you can do with your life—make the internet.”

Ryan Bannon hosts a series of meetups called the Secret Design Club for graphic designers in Toronto. The idea is to pool together talent to push the city’s design scene forward instead of looking to New York or Silicon Valley for inspiration.

For lots more of the 30 Under 30, pick up the the Sept. 10 issue of Marketing magazine.

Photo: Mike Ford

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