East: Q&A with Lisa Sherman of Comella Design Group
Lisa Sherman is a designer at Comella Design Group, based in Bethesda, Maryland. Their self-promotional wrapping paper (above) is a winner in the East section of Print‘s 2009 Regional Design Annual.
Print: What’s your favorite thing about being a designer in Washington, D.C.?
Lisa Sherman: The D.C. area is full of nonprofit organizations. It’s fulfilling to be able to do work that is for a good cause and can help others improve their quality of life. Additionally, D.C. allows us to have a wide variety of clients, ranging from nonprofit organizations to an upscale salon and spa.
On the other hand, it can sometimes be challenging to have nonprofit organizations as clients because they often have limited financial resources available for design services. We also find that with nonprofits we are designing a lot of reports, which can be challenging because a serious report does not leave a lot of room to stretch creativity or push boundaries.
How has the economy changed your design business? Has it affected the designers in your area, and if so, how?
Comella Design Group has been in business in the Washington area for over twenty-four years. This is definitely the most challenging time we’ve seen in this industry. We feel that there is a double hit happening—not only is the country in a serious recession, but the industry and the future of print work as we’ve known it is going through tremendous changes. Some of our printers are in real trouble—it’s tough to see. We still do a lot of print but more and more we are asked to design e-newletters, email blasts and blogs. Clients are pulling back on print costs – they want to find cheaper methods of printing or they are moving to online alternatives. Some clients are also putting projects on hold, especially projects that may have started before the economy took a turn for the worse. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes down.