As the founder of S Design, Sarah Mason Sears has created, revitalized and collaborated with some of Oklahoma’s most respected brands including INTEGRIS Health, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, The Coach House, Oklahoma Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, SandRidge Energy and First Financial Network. But that doesn’t mean she’s forgotten the “little guy” or abandoned the principles that got her here in the first place.
Fresh out of the University of Kansas, Sarah set out to change the design landscape of Oklahoma City, and within a few years, built an impressive clientele including: The Arts Council, The Oklahoma City Art Museum, Oklahoma Philharmonic, The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy and The City Arts Center. Through her work with nonprofit organizations, Sarah quickly learned the art of communicating to a wide variety of audiences–board members, volunteers, staff, advocates and community leaders–with concise, clear messages and fresh, relevant design. Sarah’s approach to graphic design and branding strategies put S Design in its own category as she fostered a philosophy that good design is not always apparent, but bad design is always distracting. In other words, a good brand communicates clearly and efficiently and is a direct channel from client to audience. Word spread, and S Design’s client base grew quickly to include Oklahoma’s most prominent small businesses, healthcare organizations, oil and gas companies, law firms, State departments and community events.
Sarah’s young career is brimming with recognition and awards for her design skills, business savvy and community involvement. In 1996, Sarah founded the Oklahoma chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and she served as president from 1996-1999. In 2001, Sarah was selected as a finalist for the Governor’s Best of the Best at the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) conference. Sarah was a member of the Journal Record’s inaugural class of “Achievers Under 40” and for “Forty Under 40” in OKCBusiness. Sarah has also been honored as a finalist three times for the Journal Record Woman of the Year and 2006 marked her induction into the Circle of Excellence. Sarah is an Advisory Board Member for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, a board member of the Casady Alumni Association, a member of Rotary Club 29 and was in Leadership Oklahoma City’s Class XXV.
Under Sarah’s guidance, S Design’s work has been consistently recognized by the advertising and design industry. Numerous S Design logos have been published in LogoLounge: Volumes I, II, III and IV as well as other Rockport publications, and their collateral has been featured in many publications including HOW, Graphic Design USA and Graphex. The Dallas Society of Visual Communicators has included S Design on its short list of award-winning firms for the past four years. S Design has been awarded more than 55 recognitions from the ADDY®s, and in 2003 and 2010, received the special judges Best of Show ADDY® for Print Collateral.
A graphic designer by trade, Sarah hasn’t forgotten her roots. She serves as an integral member of Oklahoma’s design community. Sarah has juried student competitions and served on advisory boards for AIGA Wichita, AIGA Oklahoma, Oklahoma Christian University and Francis Tuttle. She serves as a voice in the community and speaks to a variety of audiences about design and related professional subjects. She is an adjunct professor at Oklahoma Christian University.