James Hersick + Laurel Webster

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HERSICK + WEBSTER CREATIVE PARTNERS, HEDGESVILLE WV

Hersick + Webster is a full service design and brand communications studio with a mission to add little good to the world through design. James Hersick and Laurel Webster built H+W with a collaborative approach that combines their passions, skills and experiences with those of their clients and communities. In these partnerships, they often find themselves designing strategies, conversations, experiences, and more as people look to them for leadership, guidance and help communicating their own efforts to make a difference.

HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE AND/OR SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS, CLIENTS AND CAUSES?
The founding of H+W is rooted in Design for Good. James and Laurel met because of their interest in making an impact. For many years, they have both been active locally and nationally with AIGA to expand efforts to use design to tackle bigger social challenges. After a decade running a traditional firm, James felt like there had to be more to design. When they met in 2011, James was in the middle of transitioning his company and career to focus on designing for social impact. Shortly after, they began working together to build a business model that would allow them to thrive by working with companies and on causes they believe in.

Their workday is nothing if not diverse. In addition to taking on community challenges, they still do plenty of branding, communication design and consulting. A typical day could include organizing a farmer’s market, designing a trailside exhibit, creating collaboration systems for community organizations, sketching a logo for a startup, writing a brand story, designing an annual report or figuring out an economically sustainable model for a community-led health initiative.

ARE THERE SPECIAL CHALLENGES OR OPPORTUNITIES IN PURSUING THESE GOALS IN 2017?
With state budget shortages and changing federal policies, we’re thinking about ways to replace the potential loss of grant funding for several community projects and NPO clients that we work with.

In our work, we are always looking to break down silos and walls between organizations and personalities. Expanding our impact requires us to help folks imagine how they can build partnerships to get more accomplished. Additionally, we’re working on finding the right ways to package some of our successful regional projects so they can have an expanded impact at a statewide level ‒ and eventually beyond that too. Sharing is caring!

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