Tobias Rose, principal & creative director

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Old school hip hop head, comic nerd and creative “mastermind.” As founder, Tobias leads Kompleks Creative beyond conventional boundaries in the quest to achieve greatness.


When founding Kompleks Creative, my goal was to create a designer-friendly environment that pushed creative limits and brought edgy concepts into otherwise-conservative environments. At the same time, I wanted to develop a strategic component that would help clients meet their business objectives. As the principal, we’ve been able to accomplish both and aspire to do even more.

As a student at North Carolina Central University, I started Kompleks Creative, formerly known as The Praktis, in my dorm room. I later graduated with a Bachelor’s in Art with a concentration in Visual Communications and have since served on the board of visitors for the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, I received the NCCU Forty Under 40 award for contributions to the arts and entrepreneurship.

The Kompleks Creative office sits on historic Black Wall Street, so it’s fitting that I would co-found the Black Wall Street nonprofit in Durham which celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship within diverse, multicultural communities. We host an annual conference that provides entrepreneurs with access to capital networks and investors with access to deal flow outside their typical referral networks.

My leadership extends beyond the Kompleks Creative family to the community, as I am committed to contributing to Durham’s growth by serving on the board of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce. I also help shape the next generation of designers by teaching graphic design at the School of Media and Journalism at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and frequently visiting North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and NCCU to speak on topics ranging from design to entrepreneurship.

I also serve on the Regional Advisory Board for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

I’m fully committed to ensuring that clients and team are treated with the hospitality that I grew up with in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Tobias's Gram

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