Pamela Howard


Pam Howard is a designer, illustrator, and painter based in New England. As the creative director of Firebrick Design, Pam is committed to bringing original, thoughtful solutions to identity systems and marketing challenges. She’s an experienced and accomplished professional who is constantly gathering inspiration from the world around her. Firebrick Design is the arena where Pam merges what she knows about design forms and techniques with modern technologies and concepts.

She has been the recipient of various international, national, and local awards from How Magazine International, Print Magazine, Graphic Design USA, the Sunday Magazine Editors Association, Connecticut Art Directors Club, the Mom’s Choice Awards, the Ad Club of Connecticut, American Alliance of Museums, New England Museum Association, and the IBPA Book Awards. The real prize is that she loves what she does.

As we pivot into a post-pandemic era marked by societal challenge and change, are you optimistic about the future of Graphic Design in supporting and shaping commerce, culture and causes? Why do you feel the way you do? Are you optimistic about the future of your own design career or business?

Design has always supported and shaped commerce, culture, and causes — and will continue to do so in the post-pandemic era and beyond. Our current climate is demanding, however disruption is inevitable — and healthy. Questioning the status quo is incorporated into the designer’s job description and solution-based decision making is a top skill for many in the design industry. Designers help communicate new concepts and make first steps less intimidating. Design is so powerful. It can clarify or obfuscate; empower or crush; entertain or irritate. The difference is in the “how” and the “why” design is wielded and the “who” design is in service to. Designers are early adapters, working with data and the large umbrella of advancements that are grouped under “AI”. I’m thankful that others are putting in the work on datahumanism, reminding us that every data point is a person and that the end-user isn’t a computer but, rather, a human being. In some of my work, the interaction of a person is paramount. For example, most identity systems that I build will include an elevated printed piece. If we’re going to expend resources like paper and ink, it needs to be in a targeted, thoughtful manner and the final piece needs to have some longevity. It should feel like a gift. The joy of discovery and the haptic nature of these pieces can only be experienced in real life. A yearning for a deeper connection with the world around us supports my feeling of optimism for my business in particular, and the world of graphic design at large.