Throughout the early and mid-1970’s, the talented, successful, and award-winning design team of Sands and Brevard continued working together, eventually joining Gateway Studios. It was there in 1976 that Robert met Dale Stetzer, a young account rep, and formed a successful business partnership and friendship that would last for decades.
It was also during the mid-70's that Robert and his wife Patricia purchased a building (and subsequent art studio) on Sidney Street in Pittsburgh's newly evolving Southside. Considered pioneers in the Southside’s urban redevelopment, the Sands' brought to life their artistic visions as a complementary team. Opening his own design studio on the Southside created exciting new possibilities for Robert to engage in a wider range of projects, both personal and professional.
In the late-70's Sands and Brevard parted. Robert went on to become an Art Director at Marstellar, Inc. As his home studio grew with the addition of a small staff of artists, Robert continued to strengthen his viability as a self-employed Creative Director, enjoying the personal freedom running his own studio allowed him.