Barbara Gelfand Summer attended Pratt University’s Graduate Communications Design program in New York. Prior to that she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Portraying the rich interplay of words and text within a visual context summate her passion for graphic design, literature, and commercial communication. Summer is comfortable in a range of media and her designs can be seen in magazines, websites, marketing campaigns, books, posters, videos and ads—both online and in print.
For her, design's job is to visually support a brand's strategy and intentions to its market. The current or potential viewer or user should quickly scan a layout and have a clear understanding of the brand's desired message or objective in a matter of seconds. Because of that, Summer's style is clean, direct, disarmingly uncomplicated and sometimes humorous. She creates and forms ideas by continuously being adventurous, spontaneous and fearless, and being aware of the current marketplace.
As a senior team leader, she can create, as well as direct, other designers in the development of design deliverables that elevate, differentiate and function on-brand and on-strategy. When leading a team, she makes sure staff designers have a clear understanding and the importance of communicating the brand's message with visual consistency. She is supportive, honest, empathetic and caring to her team, and continually challenges herself and the design team to produce progressive, inspiring and relevant visual design solutions.
Specifically, Gelfand Summer's design management includes the creative aspects of any, or all, of the following: website, marketing collateral, ads, sales tools, email campaigns, magazines and digital editions, and other visual representations in service to the brand. She has received awards from the American Graphic Design Association, the Western Publishing Association, and the Tube Council of North America.
Community activity includes serving in a non-paid role as a City Commissioner for the Architectural Heritage and Landmarks Commission (Vallejo), a Co-President of a Marin County Parent, Teacher and Student Association, and a Board of Director of a Solano County preschool. She was a designer for the Mill Valley Historical Society, and a special projects director for the Novato-based Marin School of the Arts. Gelfand Summer has been a bicycle tour guide for Downhill Spokers in the U.S. and Europe, as well as a p.r. liaison and media director for major USTA and Masters tennis tournaments.
Currently, Gelfand Summer lives in the rolling hills of Marin County with her husband, a multi-Grammy Award winning cellist, while sharing space with dogs, horses, chickens, goats, screech owls, and the occasional peacock. She teaches Book Arts, has led Handwriting the Constitution programs in Marin and Sonoma County, and when the spare moment comes she is on the tennis courts, having competed in USTA leagues for years.