We are strategists, designers, and developers

OBATA is a creative agency in St. Louis focusing on sustainability, branding, and digital communications.


Our expertise lies in developing effective strategies, creating compelling content, designing visually appealing materials, and managing production. Additionally, we offer customized sustainability training.


Founded by Kimio Obata in 1948, Obata is the longest-running creative agency in St. Louis.

Our team has extensive experience in various areas, including sustainability, ESG and annual reports, sustainability training, branding, website design and development, video and photography, and digital communications.

We are highly skilled and knowledgeable in these fields, which enables us to provide expert guidance and solutions to our clients.


Simplify complex communications to maximize understanding and inspire meaningful audience-driven action.

Award-winning Design in Strategic Communications

We take pride in our creativity, always looking for design and strategic communication approaches that positively impact our clients’ brands. Our creative work has been recognized for excellence by industry peers and investor organizations.

OBATA has been recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators, APEX Awards for Publication Excellence, MarCom Awards, Hermes Creative Awards, Davey Awards and League of American Communications Professionals, as well as local organizations such as the St. Louis Ad Club and St. Louis Art Directors Club.

Certified Expertise

Our leadership team is certified in digital marketing by the Digital Marketing Institute and American Marketing Association, ESG fundamentals and disclosures by the Corporate Finance Institute, and sustainability professionals who are GRI-certified.

Industry Expertise

B2B Experience

  • Electric & Gas Utilities
  • Energy
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Industrial
  • Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Oil & Gas
  • Private Equity
  • Professional Services
  • Technology

B2C Experience

  • Financial
  • Healthcare
  • Consumer Packaged Goods
  • Retail
  • Professional Services

Leadership Team

Our leadership team has a combined 75 years of experience in corporate communication, sustainability reporting, branding, and marketing communications.

Rich Murphy, CEO & President
Photography & Video Director

Rich Murphy

CEO & President
Photography & Video Director

Rich leads our team with a business focus. He has over thirty-five years of experience serving OBATA clients with his marketing and business communications.

His commitment to best practices in communications methodology, forward-thinking, and progressive technology provides clients with best-in-class integrated solutions.

Rich leads videography and photography services for the organization. He has travelled to over 30 countries around the world, gathering visual content for clients. He is certified in digital marketing by the DMI and AMA.

Paul Gassett, Vice President 
Marketing Director

Paul Gassett

Vice President
Marketing Director

Paul is a passionate marketing expert. He understands that marketing is much more than simply communicating points of differentiation or entertaining with captivating content or design.

Paul’s focus is on marketing and branding strategy, positioning, writing, public relations and communications activities for the firm’s clients.

He is certified in ESG fundamentals and ESG disclosures by the Corporate Finance Institute. He also serves as an adjunct professor of business management and international business for Lindenwood and Maryville University.

Adam Franke, Vice President 
Creative Director

Adam Franke

Vice President
Creative Director

Adam is a communications design expert with more than 15 years of experience. His areas of expertise include corporate and sustainability communications, digital marketing, website design and development.

Adam has been with the company since 2007 as a senior designer and became creative director in 2017.

He is certified in digital marketing by the DMI and AMA. Adam earned a BFA in Graphic Design from the Maryville University.

Mary Riddle, Director 
Sustainability Consulting

Mary Riddle

Sustainability Consulting

Mary is a sustainability expert with more than 10 years of experience in ESG strategy and goal setting, helping both private and public companies establish relevant and meaningful sustainability goals. She will also contribute to writing a number of our sustainability publications.

Mary earned her master’s in science in sustainability solutions from Lipscomb University and a bachelor of arts degree from Warren Wilson College.

She is a GRI Certified Sustainability Professional.

Expertise Overview

Our team assists clients by providing strategic and creative guidance in their communication efforts. Please follow the links below to learn more about our services and capabilities.

Sustainability & ESG Reporting

  • Sustainability reports
  • ESG reports
  • CSR reports
  • Impact reports
  • Sustainability / ESG reporting strategy
  • Content development & storytelling
  • Report design, production & publishing
  • Reporting microsite or webpage design & development
  • Datasheets and highlights
  • Social media campaigns

Sustainability Training

  • Introduction to ESG and Sustainability
  • ESG issues and frameworks with case studies
  • Specific climate laws in various jurisdictions
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Materiality assessment
  • Establishing an ESG strategy and setting KPIs
  • ESG implementation and reporting

Annual Report & Proxy Design

  • Annual reports
  • 10-K wraps
  • Summary reports
  • Community reports
  • Foundation reports
  • Proxy design
  • Reporting microsite or webpage design & development
  • Investor Factsheets

Branding & Identity Design

  • Brand strategy
  • Brand positioning & messaging
  • Brand architecture
  • Brand governance
  • Identity design & logo systems
  • Name development
  • Sales & marketing materials
  • Sales collateral systems
  • Campaign development
  • Product packaging
  • Exhibits, displays & signage

Website Design & Development

  • UI/UX strategy & design
  • Website & app development
  • Content management systems (CMS)
  • Performance reporting & analytics
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

Digital Marketing

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Local SEO
  • Digital advertising management
  • Digital content strategy
  • Digital lead generation
  • Email marketing
  • Social media management

Photography & Video

  • Motion graphics
  • Photography & art direction
  • Photo retouching & optimization
  • Video, scripting & editing
  • Drone photography & video


We’ve created some of our client’s most visible and valued communication materials.

How? By listening, questioning, exploring, and refining — leading to unique ways to reach and inspire their audience.

Clients, Aegion logo
Clients, Ascension logo
Clients, CNB STL Bank logo
Clients, Corrpro logo
Clients, CTS logo
Clients, Doe Run logo
Clients, Dot logo
Clients, DE logo
Clients, Emerson logo
Clients, ESCO Technologies logo
Clients, First State Bancshares logo
Clients, Fortune Brands innovations logo
Clients, insituform logo
Clients, Lonza logo
Clients, MasterBrand logo
Clients, Peabody Energy logo
Clients, Team Technologies logo
Clients, Travelcenters of America logo
Rich creative history photo from OBATA archives


Obata has a long, proud and rich creative history in St. Louis. We’ve been bringing our passion to branding, corporate and marketing communications for more than 75 years.

As the longest-running creative agency in St. Louis, OBATA has had the pleasure of partnering with some of the largest regional and global companies since 1948. These companies and brands are some of the most iconic in the nation. We’ve also helped startups grow and develop into successful brands along the way.

Read more about our 75th-anniversary celebration.


We offer a highly collaborative and creative environment with designers, writers, strategists, producers, developers, and project managers who share a passion for producing great work.

Full-time Position Benefits Include:

  • Flexible Work Policy
  • Time Off: Paid holidays and competitive PTO
  • Traditional Benefits: Health, Dental, Vision, Life; 401K, and Short & Long Term Disability

Open Positions:

Send your resume/online portfolio to careers@obata.com.