Kathy Sara


Kathy Sara is the Creative Director of Core Creative — a 40-member in-house creative studio within Parsons Corporation. Parsons is a digitally enabled solutions provider that focuses on creating the future of defense, intelligence, and critical infrastructure. The Core Creative team has a decades-long history of innovation, spanning graphic design, 3D visualization, illustration, videography, photography, brand development, creative writing, interactive, and creative print production.

Their success is derived from what Kathy calls the “Diversity of Thought Model.” Collaboration among team members is essential, and complex deliverables are approached with a variety of perspectives. The team itself is also diverse, as it doesn’t shy away from seeking out unique talent from unconventional backgrounds.

Kathy has an interesting origin story, with a past in floral design and statuary restoration. She comes from a family of artisans and carried on the tradition. She restored statuary pieces through painting, sculpting, and airbrushing. Kathy’s work could be seen in the Chicagoland area into the Midwest. It was only later that she found her passion for graphic design and fell in love with storytelling across art and copy.

You can see in Parsons’ employee brand, Imagine Next, this is exactly the place to be creative. The focus is on hiring employees for their uniqueness, where no skill or idea goes unnoticed, and diversity brings innovation. This environment created by Parsons has allowed Core Creative to thrive for over 50 years.


Looking forward to 2023, are you optimistic about the role and impact of Graphic Design and Visual Communication in Business? Culture? Causes? Have the events and disruptions of the past few years changed the role or trajectory of Graphic Design?

Absolutely! The role and impact of graphic design and visual communication, not only in business, but everywhere, is greater now than ever before. With each passing year, there’s more and more content available across all media. Especially since the pandemic, this has made it increasingly difficult to know what to pay attention to. Our role as communicators is to aid the audience by being effective and engaging storytellers.

Favorite or most influential design project or campaign in any medium for the past 60 years?

Product (RED), a campaign that does a lot of humanitarian work. I have always been inspired by the beauty of its simplicity, use of type as design, and flexibility.