About Lauren Smith Brand Communications

Lauren Smith Brand Communications is a branding design firm committed to helping businesses become more visible, competitive, and valuable through effective brand strategy and creative design. We believe in simplicity, clarity, impeccable craftsmanship, and a strong brand focus in all we do. Our experience is measured not in years, but decades. Located in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area, we also have experience working with companies all over the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Who We Are

We’re a full-service branding and design agency with a small footprint. Our size is an essential differentiator for us. It makes us more responsive and price-competitive and allows us to take on small, quick-turn projects for a more diverse set of clients. We can play an important strategic role in shaping the brand strategy and implementation for our smaller clients. We can also be a valuable resource for our larger clients, working on individual design and branding initiatives, and acting as an extension of their internal marketing and design teams. Our size makes it possible to bring a strong sense of personal commitment to our work and engage more intimately with each of our clients. While we keep our core staff small, we make use of a diverse team of trusted specialists and can create a custom team of professionals for each project or client.

How We Work

We approach design from a holistic point of view. We prefer working with clients on a long-term basis—although we take on individual projects as well. These collaborative partnerships make it possible for us to develop a deep understanding of a client’s culture, values, products, customers, and unique marketing challenges. We strive to understand their brands as well as they do, allowing us to tell a consistent story and create a unified brand experience for their customers. We work on a lot of different kinds of projects but with a singular brand focus. It’s not unusual for us to work on packaging, literature, web and blog pages, or point-of-sale displays for the same client at the same time. But no matter what the project, our goal is always to serve the brand.

diagram showing how branding is applied to various media

About Lauren Smith

Lauren got his start in publishing, rising to assistant director of a large design department at the age of 25. Leveraging that experience, he started a design practice in 1981 to serve the burgeoning Silicon Valley technology industry. Lauren is passionate about helping his clients improve their branding through thoughtful design and consistent messaging. He has decades of experience working with some of the world’s largest companies, including Hewlett-Packard, SanDisk, PayPal, and Visa. Clients describe Lauren as professional, creative, reliable, and easy to work with. He’s an author and lecturer, has served as a judge for many industry design competitions and on advisory boards for professional and charitable organizations.

photo portrait of Lauren Smith, principal of Lauren Smith Brand Communications

Recognition

While collecting accolades is not a high priority, we’re proud to be the recipients of over 240 creative awards from some very prestigious organizations. These include the art directors clubs of San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and New York, the American Center for Design, the Western Art Directors Club, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Our work has appeared in more than 50 publications. Some of these include Communication ArtsPrint, and Critique magazines as well as books published by Graphis, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and The Type Directors Club.

design award trophies

Testimonials

You can’t do great work without great clients. One of the things we love most about our work is the opportunity to collaborate with smart, professional people. We work hard to ensure that every project is not only successful but a pleasant experience for everyone involved. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what our clients have to say:

“I have worked with Lauren over many years on a variety of projects. He is very creative and easy to work with. He always asks the right questions, understands what you want, and always delivers quality work on tight schedules. I highly recommend Lauren.”

Sasha Faizullabhoy, NETGEAR

“Lauren is a great designer to work with. He delivers high-quality work that helps us further distinguish our brand in the marketplace. He is quick to adapt to the changing needs and requirements of a high tech environment.”

Cynthia Teeple, Symantec

“I first worked with Lauren at BBDO in Palo Alto, CA (a business-to-business advertising and PR firm) in the 1980s. His concept, design, and production work were outstanding—always strategic and highly memorable. Next, I was fortunate enough to work with Lauren at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, CA, when we launched the Sutter Health East Bay Neuroscience Center at Eden. Once again, his logo design work and advertising executions were consistently excellent. I highly recommend Lauren without reservation.”

Bob Stetson, Stetson Consulting
“Having hired and managed scores of designers through the decades, it means something when I say I am quite pleased to know Lauren and have opportunities to work with him. His work is clean and beautiful—and at the same time, he communicates clearly, prices his work fairly, and always meets his commitments. I would choose him as a design resource in a minute.”
Nancy Coleman, Nancy Coleman Consulting

“Lauren was an invaluable asset to me as I set up my company, Senior Seasons. His advice, guidance, wisdom, and experience helped me in developing all my marketing materials. He guided me towards a more unique, thorough, and effective branding than I would otherwise have achieved. He is a very talented professional and great to work with also.”

Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons

“I’ve worked with Lauren for close to twenty years now. He’s a designer’s designer with a highly trained eye, incapable of turning out less than A+ work. But he’s not a prima donna. Lauren is incredibly helpful and easy to work with. Best of all, he’s totally buttoned up—responsible and professional to a degree that very few designers are today. In design, Lauren is about as close to a sure thing as you’re going to find.”

Al Shultz, Al Shultz Advertising
“Lauren Smith gave my business a clear and compelling identity. I constantly receive positive feedback that the overall look evokes professionalism. I really appreciate the process Lauren used. He asked very insightful questions to identify what my business was about and discern its core appeal and benefit. In addition to Lauren’s exceptional sense of design, I value his considerable business insights and experience.”
Craig Martin, Orion Executive Development
“Lauren took our vision for the company and turned it into a reality. We ended up with a professional image ideally suited to our target audience. This was the first time I worked with a designer in this way. His process really helped us find the right focus for our company.”
Felicia Gentile, BioInsights

Pricing

We don’t price by the hour except under specific circumstances. We think charging by the project seems fairer to all involved. Our policy is to provide an estimate before starting any project, ensuring there is no confusion about the final cost. Should the scope of the project change, we will amend it and re-submit it for approval.

While we take on individual projects, we prefer to work on a retainer basis, which allows us to get to know our clients intimately over time and develop a partner relationship. We find it rewarding to have an ongoing stake in our clients’ success. In exchange, our retainer clients are given scheduling priority and discounted pricing. To learn more about our retainer program, please call or submit your questions via our contact page.