Our two principals, Beth Singer and Howard Smith, each have 30+ years of design experience in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. One or both of them manage every BSD project. That means our clients get the nimble flexibility of a boutique design firm with the creative confidence that comes from seasoned leaders who can handle just about anything.
Beth Singer, Principal
Beth loves the challenge of a good design problem. “No two creative problems are the same. I thrive on looking at clients’ challenges and joining forces to create exceptional solutions that are also drop-dead gorgeous.” A graduate of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Beth founded Beth Singer Design (BSD) in the 80s to pursue her twin passions of great design and giving back to the community. Beth is a multi-platform designer, who leads the firm’s work in print, digital, video, and live event spaces. Under Beth’s leadership, BSD has helped clients raise millions of dollars, change minds, and convert interest into action. Clients ranging from advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, to health and educational institutions, have achieved their goals through design solutions.
A leader in her field both nationally and locally, Beth served for four years on the national board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), where she chaired four committees: sponsorship for chapters, finance, development, and a nationwide design education project called the “Design Explorers.” Beth also brought her creative vision to the local AIGA board for 10 years serving as its president, among other positions, and has sat on the boards of the International Design for Electronics Association (IDEA) and the Rhode Island School of Design Alumni Council as well.
The design community honored Beth with its prestigious American Institute of Graphic Arts Fellows Award, which recognizes designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in design practice and conduct.
Beth has always been a visionary. Now she is leading the way for future design thinkers through a curriculum for elementary school children with husband and BSD partner, Howard Smith. “Our planet needs inventive and original thinkers in order to address its huge challenges — from climate change to poverty. If we can get kids to feel comfortable testing their imaginations and looking at “what is” in new ways, then I believe we are spawning the innovators of tomorrow.” Beth also helped found the AIGA Mentor Program with the public magnet school Duke Ellington School of the Arts. And she spearheaded the Design Continuum Fund (DCF), which has raised more than $200,000 and awarded over 25 scholarships, to encourage diversity in the profession and provide design careers for economically disadvantaged students.
Good leaders need to take time to recharge their energy. Beth does that in her garden or at the gym. She’s been a body builder for more than 20 years, bringing the same discipline and commitment she brings to every design project.
Howard Smith, Principal
Howard brings to Beth Singer Design his unique combination of creativity, strategy, and a passion for telling stories in new ways. Whether he is acting as creative director on a project, brainstorming with a client on messaging, or developing the story arc for an entire campaign, Howard brings his expertise and commitment to every BSD project. Having studied under the legendary designer Milton Glaser at the School of Visual Arts in New York, he also holds a BFA from Penn State University. As a graduate of the prestigious Harvard Business School “Business Perspective for Design Leaders,” Howard is at his best when helping BSD clients achieve their business goals through integrated messaging, interactive design, and environmental graphics—all within a strategic framework.
One of Howard’s favorite design challenges was for Loudoun County Public Schools. He created a new brand, web recruitment tool and a host of materials to assist them in hiring 500–800 teachers each year. With its new online presence, advertising, and supplemental materials for job fairs, Loudoun County was positioned as an exciting and diverse place to live, where teaching is rewarding and respected. The school system exceeded its recruitment targets during the three years the campaign was active. This is just one of countless projects where Howard’s commitment to design thinking helped to meet and exceed client goals.
The design community has recognized Howard’s excellence with a wide range of honors, including multiple Gold Quill awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), honors from the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington, and a feature story in Step magazine. Howard is a past-president of the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington and an active member of the American Institute of Graphics Arts (AIGA). He has served on the national board of Council of Communications Management (CCM), an organization entirely comprised of senior communication professionals.
When Howard isn’t pondering a design challenge, he loves to visit museums for inspiration. Howard is a watercolor painter and had an inspiring one-man show of his abstract series entitled “Over Kansas.” Married to Beth Singer, Howard is proud dad to a young adult.
Lisa DiConsiglio, Vice President of Operations
A head of operations keeps the workflow moving and makes a boutique design firm able to deliver quality work day-after-day, year-after-year. And at Beth Singer Design that person is Lisa DiConsiglio. A graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in English, Lisa has worked in publishing, media, and marketing for more than 30 years, specializing in electronic publishing, promotional packages, and project management. She oversees the logistics for more than 250 projects every year, which means everything from budgeting, scheduling, and vendor management to status reports for clients. She keeps a firm hand on every element of every project that passes through our doors, all while maintaining her boundless energy for getting it all done.
Prior to coming to BSD, Lisa got into the field working at Reader’s Digest Association, for its Trade Book Division in NYC. Acting as liaison between art, editorial, and production teams, she honed her skills in project and team management, which she now applies expertly for BSD clients.
When she’s not in the office, Lisa is hiking the trails around the Potomac, taking walks with her dog Mali, or preparing feasts for her family. She also serves on the board of Field-to-Table, a nonprofit dedicated to managing community-based farmers markets — they’ve opened four new ones in Arlington in the past seven years, thanks to Lisa’s help!
Amy Billingham, Senior Designer
What does it take to bring a design project from concept to completion? A passion for creativity married with attention to detail. That’s what Amy brings to every BSD project. “There is definitely a component of design that is all about organizing information, and I think that’s one of the things I love about doing it.” Amy applies her impressive talents and more than 20 years of expertise to every aspect of her work at BSD, from creative vision to layout to final delivery. She expertly serves as lead designer on projects as wide-ranging as annual reports, websites, digital publications, email campaigns, and branding programs requiring cross-platform solutions. Clients benefit from Amy’s wide-ranging skills—she’s exceedingly responsive to clients while successfully managing multiple elements of a project’s production.
Amy got hooked on graphic design in high school, when she noticed all the “cool kids” were working on the yearbook design team. She gave it a try and has been at it ever since. Amy holds a BFA in Art and Graphic Design from the University of Missouri–Columbia, and her work has received top industry honors including American Graphic Design Awards, Summit Awards, Communicator Awards, inclusion in Print Magazine’s Regional Design Annual, and others.
When Amy’s not in the office, her passions are attending theater and letterpress printing with antique wood type. Both involve three dimensional ways of communicating that take Amy out of her daily digital universe.