Designing Women
Mary Baum

DT&G chats with Designer

Mary Baum

Our Designing Women theme for National Women's Month has brought in some stunning pieces of design excellence from all around the world. Late in March we caught up with Mary Baum, Managing Director of HerbertBaum Integrated Marketing...

Mary writes:

I can't believe it's been 23 years since my first paying design client, a head shop in Providence, RI while I was still in college. Since then I've worked in almost every marketing discipline to date, for clients as big as Chrysler and as small as the guy who cut my hair.
      For me design has never been a stand-alone activity -- it's always come as a package with marketing strategy, writing and production -- but it's always been at the core of what I do.
This was one designer we wanted to talk to...

Mary, thanks for visiting with our readers today! We took a look at your site, and quite frankly were very impressed with your style
Thank you, Fred! It's always a pleasure to toot my own horn, so to speak.
      I think the only reason to be in this business is that we get to work with the very best parts of our clients' businesses.
Mary, I absolutely loved the piece for Maritz, Inc... the car, the tracks with the Maritz logo, the tasteful typography and understated copy line! Do you have different philosophies for working with different clients?
Not really. I think every product has magic - if you look at it through the customer's eyes and see the very real needs it fulfills and the problems it solves. Then, once we know what to say, it gets a lot easier to decide how to say it.
      I also believe that doing consistently good work in this business requires a love of learning - about our clients and their businesses, about technology, about what's happening in the world and how the communications that are all around us keep changing all the time.
Obviously, that's exactly what you've done. Can you share some advice with young designers reading this column?
I would be happy to.
      All creatives in any facet of visual communications need to realize that it's not a good idea to do communications without a solid business objective - building sales or earnings, generally, or subgoals in service of the bigger goals, which could range from brand-building and lead-generation to improved quality and service.
      I also believe it takes cooperation from all of a company's stakeholders - prospects, customers, employees and channel partners - to help reach revenue and performance goals, and it behooves us to build solid relationships with the appropriate groups. Now, that takes communications!
Mary -- Thanks so much! I know you're busy, so I'll turn you lose and let the readers take a look at some pretty great layouts from your shop...


Mary comments on the "Maritz" cover:
The Maritz Automotive Research group does more automotive research in North American than anyone - including the famous J.D. Power. For years, the Group's flagship product has been the Syndicated Studies publication. I've done the cover art for every edition from the beginning, and this is my favorite cover of the four designs we've used so far.
Sure Grip Boots:
When Warson (marketing shoes and boots under license from Converse and Florsheim,) introduced a superior slip-resistant shoe under the Converse brand, we promptly identified with the SureGrip Plus! moniker. This is the cover for a folder we used to tell the technology story to corporate safety officials; the main graphic also carried over to a series of sales-promotion materials for the distributor to use with end consumers, the workers who live in the shoes.
Electrostatic-dissipating Shoes:
Another Warson Group division sells over 55 styles of electrostatic-dissipating shoes, that is, shoes that protect people and equipment - especially electronics - from static charges. This folder and related sales materials promoted Warson's advanced technology -- so advanced, it's patent-pending!
Maritz Telecom Group Brochure:
A third division of Maritz Marketing Research is the Telecom group. I'd like to show this cover here simply because I like the visual!
Mary Baum
Managing Director of HerbertBaum Integrated Marketing
St. Louis, MO
You can visit more of Mary's work at and be sure to check out her Guest Column "Leo, Leo, Leo" at Sticky Ideas dot com

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