You are here

What is Design Strategy?

There are many definitions depending on discipline, but here is how I define it for strategic communications:

Building a visual language that connects a company’s vision and messaging to their marketing deliverables. This includes their brand, identity, web development and collateral materials. So often websites and print materials are designed without deep understanding of what an organization is and what it is wanting to become—the materials lack an authentic vision and end up looking “templated” (ie. this is what a “social activism” logo looks like, this is what a “medically related” NGO or foundation looks like, etc.) The design “strategy” is not there and even if a consumer can’t verbalize what is missing, they still recognize it is not as authentic as it could be.

Val Neumark Mickela - director of strategic initiatives & education, founder, headshot

Val Neumark

Val is a brand strategist, educator, facilitator and coach focused on co-designing more relational communications strategies to transform our systems. Through partnerships and collaborations, Val hopes these anti-racist, anti-oppressive spaces and tools will more effectively facilitate connection, strategic-thinking, community building and sustainable growth for non-profits and social impact organizations.

Val has a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts & Media from University of California, San Diego, a Master's Degree in Education from Pepperdine University, and was a 2016 recipient of Pepperdine University's inaugural 40 under 40 Award. In their free time Val plays soccer, loves to hike, and both read and practice karate with their kid.