The Carlton Creative Story

For over 25 years, Walter Carlton has brought creative thinking, technical know-how and a collaborative spirit to long-standing clients that include Fortune 500 companies, top academic institutions, labor unions, non-profits and advocacy groups. He is valued for taking the time to understand an organization’s priorities and communication goals, advising on appropriate solutions based on a diverse background of practical knowledge, and ultimately producing the most visually impactful results on budget and on deadline.

His expertise straddles both the print and digital realms, and he has continually adapted to rapid shifts in the technological landscape while holding true to the timeless principles of good design. His projects encompass logos & visual branding, annual reports, magazines, book & album covers, environmental displays, social media & web design and more. A sampling of his recent work can be found at here.

Majoring in history at The College of William & Mary prompted him to spend nearly a decade in Eastern Europe in the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was there that he began work as a designer at weekly English-language newspapers in Prague and Warsaw. Constant deadline pressure enabled him to quickly master his computerized tools and to develop a no-nonsense approach to managing process, while still maintaining the highest standards of visual refinement. Ultimately, he was hired by one the leading studios in Poland to serve multinational clients such as Toyota and IKEA, before returning to the US around the turn of the millennium.

After several years at a top DC-area studio, where he began to delve into the emerging digital platforms of the Web, he formed a partnership and took on all new challenges as a business owner. With a reputation for strong client communication, respect for schedule and budget constraints and, above all, design excellence, Walter brought the same client-centric focus when he struck out on his own in 2017 with Carlton Creative. To this day, he measures meaningful success by long-running relationships built on trust and positive outcomes achieved through bright and engaging design.

A love of music actually helped launch Walter’s design career, via his hand-drawn posters for live music events in college. Music continues to be a major passion of his off-hours, from a record collection slowly consuming his basement to the weekly Rock & Roll Rabbit Hole show he co-hosts on Takoma Radio. He also enjoys photography and continues to travel as far and as frequently as he can.

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Walter Carlton, Principal Creative


Carlton Creative
Silver Spring, MD
Principal Creative, 2017-present

Spark Design
Silver Spring, MD
Principal & Art Director, 2006-16

Concept Foundry
Bethesda, MD
Art Director, 2000-06

Washington, DC
Principal & Senior Designer, 1999-2000

Studio Q
Warsaw, Poland
Senior Designer, 1996-1998

Warsaw Business Journal
Warsaw, Poland
Production Director, 1995-96

Progrnosis Weekly
Prague, Czech Republic
Designer, 1994-95


College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, VA
BA History, 1991