The Office of Sarah pairs design with lots of good thinking. In no particular order, here is a list of some of the services our studio provides, each paired with a brief
Research is built-in to the design process, but we are also interested in doing research all on its own. Taking a deep-dive into specific areas of interest. Pulling out what’s delightful or unique or interesting about the matter at hand.
We are particularly interested in research and strategy with a focus on gender and design.
Sarah received her Master’s degree in Visual Communication Design in 2018, and her thesis project looked at what it means to be a female designer, and how we design for women. To get a little specific and nerdy: Sarah applied hermeneutic phenomenology—a practical philosophy that looks at understanding lived human experience through interpretative back-and-forth dialogue and storytelling—combined with a feminist and embodied research approach to look into the ethical, social and political ramifications of design, and how these design narratives can be disrupted.
Design Strategy is about understanding and leveraging what’s distinct about your company, and then using that knowledge as the guiding concept for all the design work that’s getting built. Knowing what makes your company unique helps you achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The Design Strategy should answer the questions “Why should our target audience choose us over someone else? What unique message are we communicating that makes them pay attention?”.
A smart strategy can make all the difference for battles, Olympic athletes and surprise birthday parties. Design work is no different. A strategy provides background info and foundation for design work, uncovers hidden truths and apparent insights, reveals the personality and values of the client, clarifies goals and objectives, articulates facts and assumptions, and provides criteria for evaluation.
We love illustrating everything from infographics, book cover design, editorial illustrations, children’s books, instructional how-tos, posters, portraits, gifs, illustrated maps, hand-lettering and any other possible creative imaginative scribble you can think of like these powerpoint slides.
Books + magazines.
Logos + brand identities.
And a logo, you ask? Where does that fit into this whole brand-thingy? A brand generally utilizes an exquisite yet simple image (the logo) to act as an immediate identifier. I like to think of your logo as your company’s face: it’s everywhere and on everything, people recognize you by it, and you generally have to keep it for a number of decades before you start thinking about refreshing it. Trust me, you want to have a Really Great Face.
sidenote rant on logos. Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said, “Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.” I feel like that should be the Great Commandment for creating logos because they are one of those things where you add even a single tiny flourish – the color pink Just Because You Like Pink, a bit of barbed wire because you have a matching tattoo on your left buttock, little grass stem here, the tiniest unicorn there, basically anything that doesn’t absolutely need to be part of the logo and you’re just CLUTTERING UP THE PICTURE so that people can’t focus on the actually important parts. It’s like cluttering up your Really Great Face with an ill-advised My Little Pony tattoo or obscuring it with a paper bag. The perfect logo says no more and no less than it needs to say.
Something else that should be obvious by this point, is that your perfect logo will be different from anyone else’s perfect logo, unless your company or product is exactly the same as an already existing company or product, in which case you might have some important moral questions you should be addressing.
Promotional + advertising campaigns.
Presentation is everything. This includes such things as posters, brochures, packaging, online ads, and running around in a hot dog suit. We are particularly into creating fun GIFS these days.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a PDF with info about services, rates and more general how-we-work type stuff. Thanks!
Don’t really understand the importance of design? Read our Brief defence for (good) design!