How I Work: Michael Tabtabai, Google Brand Studio

As executive creative director of Google Brand Studio, Tabtabai discusses his day-to-day and the responsibilities he has in leading a team to drive change

Michael Tabtabai is executive creative director at Google Brand Studio, where his main task is to bring Google’s brand values to life through technology, storytelling and creativity. The Brand Studio is made up of a roster of talented creative directors, designers, writers, researchers, editors, UXers and IAists. 

Some of the many projects Tabtabai has worked on since joining in 2015 include the annual Google’s Year in Search film and digital campaign, Google’s global coronavirus resource site when Covid-related shutdowns began to happen, a series of immersive tours of US National Parks, and brand identity work for Google Workspace. Last year also saw Tabtabai and his team use Google Search Trends data to bring a new perspective to important issues in a series of videos such as Searching For An End To Racial Injustice, Most Searched, and Where There’s Help There’s Hope. This forms part of Tabatbai’s ongoing commitment to improve diversity and inclusion in the industry and his mission to “do good with [his] creative skills”.  

Before joining Google, Tabtabai was creative director at Wieden + Kennedy in Portland for four years and before that he also held positions at Saatchi & Saatchi, Chiat/Day and CP&B. Moving from the ad world to a tech company, the third biggest in the world, was a big adjustment for the creative and here he tells us how he had to shift his thinking. He also discusses the importance of collaboration in a company like Google, and why brands have a big role to play when it comes to representation.