Member of the Month: Laney Silverman

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“There are three responses to a piece of design- yes, no, and WOW!”- Milton Glaser

Laney Silverman’s career began with demand for exceptional product. As an eager aspiring graphic designer, she applied to California State University, Chico’s Visual Communications program. The program was so rigorous and exclusive that acceptance was based purely on portfolios, judged by top graphic designer studios in San Francisco. Laney met with an initial blow when her first application was denied. A year later, after recreating and fine-tuning her work, the program welcomed her into its ranks.

Upon graduation, Laney began working for Gap Corporate, designing layouts and signage for personal care products. When the .com wave took hold, she procured a position at a startup and soon after began freelancing. The jump from place to place quickly tired her out. When a friend offered a project from Pottery Barn, Laney discovered the pleasure of working on her own.

That final switch was 13 years ago. Laney started gaining more clients for herself and worked with business coaches to develop her company. “I realized I really enjoyed the process of meeting with the client, providing a solution, and then designing,” she says. ‘It just evolved into something beautiful.”

Laney is now the Principal Graphic Designer at the Design Boutique, a company which creates visual branding.

Visual branding is logo or brand identity. It’s the process by which our brains recognize top brands of today and know not only do we like the company, we trust it to do right by us. The work of Laney and other graphic designers is establish the look and feel of a company with the selection of font, colors, etc. They then help the companies leverage the new brand with social media to bring it to the eyes of the consumers in a positive light.

Laney’s goal is to create an emotional impact with the client through her work before they even meet. Artists, particularly designers, tend to struggle with ‘visual noise’- drop shadows on graphics where none should be, designs that show up well on screen but horribly on paper. Their graphics are dense and complicated. These designers lack the execution and the implementation.

“There’s this certain way people think artists are; disorganized, cheap, don’t have a process,” Laney says. “Then they meet me and I blow their minds.”

Laney strives to strike the perfect balance between business and creativity. She presents each client with a well-planned and executable idea, as well as the revenue and process for sending it out to the masses. Graphic designers tend to lean hard on the creative side and neglect the project management.

Sandbox Suites originally welcomed Laney as a member of Union Square. She researched lots of different spaces and ultimately decided she liked our balanced energy- not too much like an incubator and “just the right amount of chill.” She now has a private desk at SOMA.

As for the future, Laney expects herself to stay a high-end boutique. She enjoys keeping an intimate client base, giving focus to only a few great projects per quarter and providing excellent customer service and marketing. Laney prefers to keep her hands in all parts of the design while helping her clients.

“I am the luckiest person because I absolutely adore what I do, and I have the most fun doing it.”

Her advice to entrepreneurs: “Running a business is like riding a roller coaster- it has its up and downs. If you just know sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down, and you can hold on when it’s going upside down, it’s going to be worth it. [Entrepreneurship] is moving and changing and messing up and fixing it and learning and changing.”

Laney Silverman is always looking to take on new clients. If your company is interested in fine tuning its image, whether you’re currently established or still growing, you can reach Laney by phone at 415-890-5934 or by email at Check out her work via video.

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