Behind the Octopus

Stefan Poulos is the founder and lead creative of Poulos Collective, a design studio and partner network specializing in digital products and experiences.

Stefan has an unusual multi-disciplinary background that he brings to the work today. A native Floridian, he attended Ringling College of Art & Design where he studied fine art, illustration, sculpture and design communication. First starting at Robrady Design, a product and industrial design company and then at C.S.A. Design in Minneapolis, working alongside the renown Charles S. Anderson.

Stefan held the position of Creative Director at Discovery Channel and Science Channel, where he was responsible for all disciplines of work including print, outdoor, interactive, social media and working seamlessly with the on-air team to ensure creative consistency across all platforms. His acclaimed work on brands such as Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, Planet Earth and Shark Week has reached a global audience in 170 countries.

Prior to founding Poulos Collective, he was Executive Creative Director at Pappas Group where he led the work for Virgin America, Voyce, Syfy, Geico, African Wildlife Foundation and SpaghettiOs.


I have been working along side Stefan for just short of 5 years and they've been the most impactful years in my career so far. He's the only person I know in this business who somehow manages to perform like a machine and at the same time stay human. He's a leader, a mentor, an inspiration, a boss, a friend and a hero and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for everything he's done to help me learn and grow. He works harder than anyone I've ever known and cares deeply about the work we do. He's incredibly passionate, has his finger on every pulse of our industry and has a wealth of inspiration and knowledge that's impossible to keep up with. He makes me want to be a better creative and a better person, every day. And I'm so incredibly fortunate to work with him.

Alison Yard Medland, Senior Communication Designer at IDEO

Stefan is one of the most creative and strategic thinkers I have ever worked with. A great attitude and entrepreneurial spirit. Stefan isn't afraid to put in the long hours to get the stellar work out the door. I really miss working with him on a daily basis. I highly recommend him and his company.

James Hitchcock, Chief Creative Officer at Esri

I've had the professional pleasure of working with and for Stefan and his creative group associates for many years, and he consistently insists on and delivers quality - in his work results, in his relationships, in his management of others. His ability to maintain a positive and calm outlook even under pressure is a key asset, and as a vendor-partner, he's an ideal client and someone both his peers and I look up to. Any organization that demands a high-level of creative vision coupled with professional execution across any media would be lucky to have him. I'd hire him in a second and I'm proud to know him.

Paul Van Winkle, CEO Function Marketing
Public Clients & Partners