“Color makes us feel alive. It fuels our minds, connects spirits, and feeds imaginations,” say Pum and Jake LeFebure, a design duo known predominantly for their layouts and publications. “It is everywhere when you look around. Everything on the planet is a color.”
“Color is everywhere when you look around. Everything on the planet is a color. Color affects me emotionally. When I go into a place that is all white, I feel calm, whereas red energizes me. Color makes me feel a certain way. Color stimulates rather than motivates me. Stimulation is natural, while motivation is forceful. Color sets the mood, and it’s then up to each individual to determine where it will take them.”
For them, family and business work well together. The married graphic designers have created a design firm with a distinct point of view and for that, their work has garnered numerous awards since its founding in 2003. And, nearly a decade on, they have designed for clients as diverse as Washingtonian Bride & Groom, Bloomingdale’s, and the Washington National Ballet to re-imagining Neenah Papers.
Design Army is a nine-employee Northeast Washington graphics firm that juggles 50 projects at any one time. Those jobs run from an $80,000 contract to produce an annual report for Verizon to $2,000 for a hair salon’s snazzy logo. Clients range from locals such as Ritz-Carlton and Lord & Associates to nationals such as General Electric. They estimate that their net worth is in the $4 million range. That’s pretty good for a couple in their 30s.
Design Army found its first client after the couple put out fliers inviting people to their yard sale and adding that they were starting a graphic design business. A former Clinton administration politico came by, saying he had a new company but no money. But he said he was “a human Rolodex.” Would they create some graphics for his nascent consulting firm in return for introductions?
It was a smart move. The break came when they won some business from the Washington Ballet, whose extensive board of directors reached across many local communities: business, arts, nonprofit organizations and big corporations.