Spotting Pemberton’s most prolific graphic designer, Sumire Design
The artist otherwise known as Sumire Design? You definitely know her work. It’s everywhere. Take a stroll through Pemberton, take someone’s business card, log on to the Pemberton Arts Council website, admire a pair of G3 skis, pick up a souvenir tote or water bottle for Slow Food Cycle Sunday, or a Skate Park tshirt, and you are in a world that has been beautified by Lisa (Komuro) Ankeny. A local graphic artist and web designer, who made Pemberton home after a long stint in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Lisa is a kind of design superhero, using her powers (always for good) to help businesses and organisations put their best face forward. She’s a regular at the Mt Currie Coffee Co (owned and operated by her partner Chris Ankeny) and her online HQ is sumiredesign.com. We checked in with her to find how she manages to juggle motherhood, being an artist, and running a small business that involves constantly coming up with distinct identities for scores of local entrepreneurs…
What brought you to Pemberton?
The lifestyle. This is heaven, isn’t it?
How long has Sumire Design been in business?
What services do you offer?
Logo design/brand management, print materials, package design, advertising, website design and development.
What’s your favourite part about the work that you do?
I like the problem-solving aspect of design. I find what’s working and what’s missing in a company’s presence and help make them more successful. I try to first make things smart and then make them pretty.
When you wander around town and see your logos everywhere, do you feel a sense of pride?
I do love it. Branding is so important for businesses and I love watching businesses flourish because of it.
Who are your Pemberton clients?
AC Petroleum*, Across the Creek Organics, Ario Construction, Bathtub Gardens, Beyond the Books Accounting, BionetwRX, Cairnstone Planning, Chris Ankeny Photography, Cheetah Factory Racing, Dean Linnell*, DiCarlo’s Italian Restaurant, Ellis Designs, The Flour Pot, Foon Skis, Frances Felt, FYI Design Department, Glass Master Flash, Growing Great Children, Hare’s Farm, Helmers’ Organic Farm, Ice Cap Organics, Kula Wellness, Lambrecht Surfboards, Lisa Ames*, LU Prints, Merlin Air, Mount Currie Coffee Company, Murphy Construction, Peaks n’ Swells Surf Camp, Pedrini Construction, Pemberton Arts Council, Pemberton Creek Community Garden, Pemberton Distillery, Pemberton Distillery Gourmet, Pemberton Farmers Institute, Pemberton Soaring Centre*, Pemberton Skate Park, Pemberton Valley Wellness*, PerforMX Motocross School, The Pony Espresso, Positron Communications, Route 99 Motorsports, Redpoint Mechanical, Signal Hill Elementary School*, Slow Food Cycle Sunday, Small Potatoes Bazaar, Spierings Automotive*, Spoil Your Pet Services, Stiel Korthals Real Estate Team, Vanessa Stark Art, and Western Promises Food. (*In conjunction with Betsy Linnell Marketing Management)
How do you manage to come up with some many different and distinct identiites?
I love to see what trends are happening, so I can stay at the forefront of the waves of graphic fashion. Looking online is also tremendously inspirational and endless (logodesignlove.com is one of my faves).
Most important for me is to get out. Our natural world is an endless source of ideas. Also looking around at trends in Whistler and Vancouver in fashion. Ski graphics and business branding is always on my mind on an errand trip.
What kind of questions do you need to ask a client to get a sense of what their graphic identity should be?
I love getting as many details as possible from my clients. I have a project brief I ask them to fill out. It narrows down their design taste for me and I can learn about their target market, short and long term objectives with their business, desired results, competition, favorite and least favorite designs, colour preferences and success criteria.
What have been some of your favourite projects over the years?
I’ve been lucky enough to design the top sheet graphics for G3 Skis the past 3 years. It is my favorite project of the year, allowing me to design something for which I am the target market.
I love the Slow Food Cycle Sunday graphics!
How do you find Pemberton as a home base as a creative person? Are there enough opportunities and creative collaborators here to keep you stimulated?
Pemberton is amazing. It seems like this little town is bubbling over with creatives. It’s as if everyone here makes something, has a garden and is an incredible athlete. It’s a beautiful place to be.
You have been the Design Guru for Slow Food Cycle Sunday since its second year, and the logos, posters and souvenir totes keep getting better and better… how do you keep fresh and inspired, even when you’re revisiting the same topic over and over?
The event is itself is amazing. Showcasing everything Pemberton has to offer. The event and the people behind it inspire me – thus making the designs for it an easy and fun project. I love this place. I love the people behind this event (Anna Helmer, Niki VanKerk, Ulla Clark, Lisa Richardson.) I think the event is big, but has the capability of being huge – if the organisers want it to be.
What 3 words would describe your personal style?
Making things awesome.
How do you juggle design work for clients, motherhood and your own artistic practice?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I’ve never been able to juggle – not even the scarves back in P.E.
3 days a week of daycare, coffee and some late nights do the trick. I wouldn’t change a thing.