We were founded by a strategist and a creative.

David Barraclough

Creative Partner

David loves to work at the intersection of strategy and creativity. Using his skills built up during his time working in both advertising and design, he is comfortable with words as much as pictures. His participation in the early stages of projects adds colour to strategy, helping to create clear directions and compelling communications. David uses his broad range of experience to direct our diverse team of creatives.

Before co-founding Squad, David was an early recruit of the Manchester creative hotshop Cheetham Bell. Following their merger with JWT, he set up their first specialist branding division and regularly consulted for JWT London and JWT Europe. During this time, he worked with: Alton Towers, Axa, Berghaus, Casio, Kellogg’s, Magnet, National Railway Museum and Umbro.

David is a big believer that (for him anyway) daily exercise is an excellent catalyst for creativity. He loves the great outdoors, be it out in the hills of the Lake District or open water swimming. When he’s not outside, he knows his way around a kitchen, and tackles cooking with the same creativity and commitment he applies to pretty much everything else.

Rob Gray

Strategy Partner

As a student, Rob pursued an early interest in design and spent his holidays working at the renowned creative consultancy, The Chase. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good at drawing—as his art teacher made plain. Luckily, he found his way onto a graduate training scheme at TBWA\, which provided the opportunity to think creatively about business, without having to draw. He became the lead strategist on global brands and won two IPA Awards, before joining a startup strategic consultancy where he consulted for clients including Royal Mail, Sage and Asda.

Rob’s affinity for both business and creativity led him to co-found Squad. He believes that design and communication have tremendous power when embraced in the boardroom and used throughout organisations. This belief has shaped his career at the intersection of strategy and creativity. Rob helps clients develop incisive strategies and then works with creatives of all disciplines to turn thinking into reality.

Outside of work, Rob has built a Scandinavian-inspired house in the Peak District, where he loves running and walking in the hills, before rehydrating in his local. He’s still trying to convince one of his three children to support Preston North End. Rob writes frequently for the marketing press and delivers keynote addresses, workshops and talks for a range of events.

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