Bilton Joins Powell in N.Y.

During his search for a creative chief, Neil Powell knew exactly what he wasn’t looking for. “I didn’t want someone who was just a designer, who was just an art director,” said the founder and president of Powell. “I didn’t want a specialist.”

Nick Bilton, who was recently named the shop’s senior creative, fit the bill. At 26, he has designed credits for Miramax films such as Bringing Out the Dead, relaunched a Web site for Denny’s and directed a documentary about designer Myra Kalman that is slated to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

He joined the five-person team at design boutique Powell, here, after two years as a creative director at Lowe in New York, where he worked on Denny’s and Dell Computers. Prior to that, he was senior art director at Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners for one year.

The affable Bilton, who was raised in England and moved to the U.S. after high school, said that in his previous ad-industry posts, he was too often drawn away from his creative duties by account business and client meetings. “The great thing about Powell is that I have all these different skills—photography, branding, film—that I’ve picked up … at other shops,” he said. “I can still do the creative stuff here.”

“Nick is one of the sweetest, most egoless people I have had the pleasure to work with,” said Powell, who launched his shop in 2001. “It’s unusual [for] someone of his talent to be so humble.”

Bilton oversees a team of up to 10 freelancers and reports to Powell. Among his first efforts for the shop is a guerrilla-marketing campaign aimed at relaunching Rheingold Beer to a younger, hipper crowd. He is now steering the reintroduction of Miss Rheingold, an initiative from the 1950s and ’60s that allowed New Yorkers to vote for their favorite model as Miss Rheingold.

Powell’s clients also include American Standard luxury faucets and Penguin Books. —