Founding Partner ASHA
Marksteen has gained an international reputation for being an inspiring creative strategist and problem solver, advising global companies, governments, countries and charities on brand strategy and brand behaviour. Marksteen was Global Creative Director of Interbrand and joint Director of its worldwide steering committee, building and overseeing the creative teams in London, Amsterdam and New York before making the move to set up ASHA in 2002.
He is a visiting D&AD college lecturer and conference speaker, writes articles, and is frequently on television and radio.
Marksteen’s award-winning work as Global Creative Director of Interbrand includes: ‘Welcome to Estonia’ (a unique brand identity project commissioned by the Estonian government to re-brand and re-position Estonia); the brand identity for PWC; the global brand refresh for Orange, and the multi-D&AD award-winning Niceday brand identity for WH Smith. He was also responsible for the rebrand of the RaboBank in the Netherlands, Guinness Mahon Private Bank, and helping set up, brand and name the global movement – WeAreWhatWeDo.
The awards have continued for his agency and more recently ASHA was ranked in Design Week’s Top 100 as one of the most awarded agencies in the UK.
As well as overseeing all creative work, brand strategy, innovation and driving the business direction and social objectives of Agency ASHA, Marksteen also has personal projects he works on in-between client and family commitments. Some of these include:
Co-founder of The New Life Secondary School in Tanzania.
Founder of The Big Cold Turkey Foundation.
Co-founder and Trustee of The Cheltenham Design Foundation and Festival Creative Director.
King’s – Community coffee house.
‘Behold The Man’ – Study of addiction and homelessness.
‘The Stations’ – Project tracing the emotional journey of refugees.
‘PEEL’ – A study of identity created by young people.
‘The Sober Parrot’ – Alcohol free venue in Cheltenham.
Marksteen grew up on a mission station deep inside the savannah of Tanzania. Working across the world, he has lived in Denmark, Holland, the US and the UK. He speaks four languages, writes a fifth, is a keen cyclist and motorcyclist and an avid collector of many things. He believes that everyone has the ability to be creative and is committed to teaching young people how to express their imagination and ideas through creative thinking. He also writes music and plays numerous instruments. He lives with his wife Louise in Cheltenham and has four children, a cheeky Patterdale Terrier and two cats: Tom and Jerry.