An AIGA member for 15 years, Banks Wilson is also the President and Creative Director at UNION. UNION is a digital marketing agency founded in 2002 and headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Considered a digital marketing leader, UNION collaborates with many of the Southeast region’s top brands to achieve business objectives through strategy, creative, and technology. The agency specializes in crafting digital marketing platforms, content, and campaigns that deliver meaningful and measurable ROI results.
What attracted you to the design profession? Did you have any particular mentors or experiences that opened the door to the profession for you?
I was always into art and enjoyed drawing, painting, and sculpting. This love for visual arts steered me in the direction of design but I was also fortunate enough to have several mentors that provided a lot of guidance. One of them was Kelly Somey, my high school art teacher. Mr. Somey was an incredible teacher that was constantly pushing me to explore various art forms. In fact, Mr. Somey was such an inspiring teacher and mentor that we recently started an annual digital marketing scholarship in his honor.
Ron Randle has been another great mentor. During high school, I interned with a local advertising agency, Price McNabb, where Ron was the Creative Director. Under Ron’s guidance, this experience really opened my eyes to the possibility of design as a career path.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Without a doubt, my proudest accomplishment has been building a digital marketing agency. When I was 21 years old, I started the agency with the goal of creating an environment where talented and like-minded people would enjoy working on highly creative projects. Throughout the years, we have remained true to that vision and I’m extremely proud of that.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A dream I’ve always had is to get into the film industry, possibly as a director or producer. I absolutely love the immersive experience of going to see a movie and being transported to another place for two hours. If I were to get into another profession, I would love to be a part of creating that experience.
If there is karaoke at the next office party, what song will you be singing?
“Long Haired Country Boy” by the Charlie Daniels Band. The “If you don’t like the way I’m livin’; you just leave this long haired country boy alone,” has always resonated with me.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Early in my career, I was advised to never sacrifice quality and that if you do good work, it will lead to great opportunities. Over the years, we have always adhered to this advice and it has proven effective time and time again. For example, we have had projects that we’ve lost money on but still delivered high-quality work. In the long run, these projects have often resulted in new opportunities for us.