I’m Anna Gerber, a Peabody Futures award-winning Creative Director, working at the intersection of design, technology and editorial, to bring engaging and accessible narrative experiences to peoples’ lives. For over 20 years, I’m proud to have worked with talented teams across global companies including Google, H&M, Penguin, Mercedes and WeTransfer.

I am passionate about making beautiful work with cultural integrity in order to create as many shared storytelling experiences for as many people as possible. I like to call myself a "realistic utopian" and I bring my experience across design, editorial and digital to create a more affirmative vision of technology.

I was born in Paris to an engineer Dad and a fashion designer Mom, moved to Los Angeles when I was seven, where English became my third language. I quickly adapted to California and grasped that I don't need to understand everything in order to understand the world around me: a key skill that has stayed with me and has made me very good at simplifying complex ideas.

I studied Political Philosophy at Occidental College, gained an MSc Philosophy at the London School of Economics and discovered true creative freedom while on the MA Communication Design degree at Central Saint Martins, which inspired my first book, All Messed Up, an exploration into how mistakes and accidents are a positive force in creativity. I went on to teach design at London College of Communication, Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art which inspired numerous articles and a further two design books.

By 2010 the death of the physical book was weighing on everyone’s hearts. Having co-founded a new MA course on Design Writing Criticism at London College of Communication (with Teal Triggs), I began to explore stories as visual expression which inspired an article for Print magazine. This planted the creative concept seed for a business, Visual Editions, co-founded with friend Britt Iversen, a Mother London strategist, to publish stories that look as enchanting as the stories they tell.

Visual Editions launched with two books: a re-energised version of literary classic Tristram Shandy and a new book by Jonathan Safran Foer, Tree of Codes, with a different die-cut on every page, a book most printers said would be impossible to make, that Vanity Fair (and others) quickly headlined as “very, very cool”. The book sold out repeatedly, won numerous awards and was later adapted into a ballet by Wayne McGregor with music by Jamie XX.

Six years and books later, the business hit headlines, won awards and each book proudly joined the permanent collection at The Art Institute of Chicago. We continued to push how far we could stretch IRL narrative experiences creating the first ever mass living reading museum event with the V&A Museum and an in-room hotel audio experience for Ace Hotel and their culturally discerning guests.

By 2016, as the world became less anxious about the threat of the Kindle, we turned our gaze to creating new narrative-driven user experiences. We asked ourselves: what would happen if we moved the user experience away from clinical function and towards a story approach that could be both beautiful and enjoyable. This optimistic, innovative viewpoint caught the attention of Google Creative Lab and dear friend Tea Uglow and together we dreamed up an experimental platform for mobile-native stories called Editions at Play.

As part of the Editions At Play playground, we made the first ever blockchain book, a book that uses Google Street View to travel the world and a ghost story that knows where the user is. Creepy? Yes, totally. With Google Creative Lab, we pushed the user experience beyond linear narratives, inviting audiences to personalise their own stories and explore beautiful illustrated landscapes. These experiments won us a Peabody Futures Award, hit more headlines and led us to develop the Emerging Formats program with The British Library, where each of our Editions At Play projects is now part of the permanent collection.

We went on to partner with global brands working at the intersection of product development and creative direction: streamlining 50M publications into 3 templates to create a scalable bespoke mobile native suite of creator content tools for Issuu; created a global campaign for the holiday season for fashion brand COS across in-store installations, social and audio to create moments of cultural generosity for customers; developed a mobile native story in partnership with Google ZOO and Mercedes-Benz to demonstrate Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC technology and its dynamic handling in challenging driving conditions; and lead on Editorial Digital Content across social, web and events for the global Self Love campaign by The Body Shop for young activists everywhere.

When Covid-19 seized the world in 2020, together with Google Creative Lab, we took the immediacy of spoken word and created original voice activated stories by writers around the world that audiences could hear in their homes through Google Assistant. The project, Stories of Splendid Isolation, elevated the value of home devices beyond the weather or news by offering unique, tailored audio content, inviting audiences to engage with their devices in new, connected and emotional ways through cultural reflections.

I have given talks on the intersection between design, culture and technology around the world (UK, US, France, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia), served as a D&AD Judge, D&AD Judge President, D&AD New Blood Jury member, Webby Judge and AIGA judge and held the role of External Examiner at the Royal College of Art.

Today, I bring my 20+ years experience, my agility to adapt to technological shifts and sensitivity to evolving cultural landscapes to lead on global creative, editorial and branding projects that create serially never seen before ‘wow’ moments for audiences. I live in West London with my teenage daughter, my writer husband and our rescue dog Nancy. And my life motto is “Wouldn’t it be cool if.”