Sensical Design & Communication is a small graphic design firm in Washington, DC, specializing in publication design for non-profits and financial-services companies.

Sensical Design & Communication is a top graphic design, publication design, branding, and web design firm in Washington, DC specializing in publication design for non-profit and financial services organizations.

Sensical Design is based in the Capitol Hill area of Washington DC. We provide a full range of graphic design services, including print publications, collateral, book design, magazine design, annual report design, branding, logos design, infographics design, and web site development. We have an excellent reputation in the community for tackling complex, challenging projects and delivering on time, on budget, and without drama. Call today at (202) 546-8049 or email to learn more about how Sensical Design can improve your visual design.

FinNet 2013 Proceedings Ebook

FinNet ProceedingsSensical Design was asked to create an interactive ebook as a follow-up to the International Finance Corporation’s 2013 FinNet Conference. Although the subject matter is the proceedings of an international development conference, the client wanted a lively, magazine-like feel that emphasized the images and graphics rather than the text. The 64-page book is filled with photos of the event, brief summaries of the various panels, and links to videos of the major presentations. Interactive graphics are sprinkled throughout the book as well to add visual interest. The ebook was produced for the Zmags platform, using their new HTML5 viewer, which allows for a consistent user experience across desktops, iPads, and other mobile devices. You can see the whole book here.


Horseshoe Crab Book Cover Wins Award

Dan with winning coverWe are thrilled to say that the cover we designed last year for the book Horseshoe Crab: Biography of a Survivor was honored last night with an award from the Washington Book Publishers. The book, which we designed for our publishing arm, Ruka Press, was a winner in the annual Book Design and Effective Awards in the category Illustrated Cover, Commercial Publishers. We were competing with books from much larger publishers, including a number of our Washington museums, so it’s very exciting to be a winner.

This is the third time Sensical Design has been honored by the Washington Book Publishers, and the first time for Ruka Press. Special thanks to illustrator Leslie Prunty for her beautiful horseshoe crab painting.


2030 WRG Logo Redesign

2030 WRG Logo RedesignIn branding work, sometimes small changes can make a big difference. We were asked to redesign the logo for 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), a public-private-civil society partnership that works internationally on water supply and access issues. They had an existing logo (right, above) that didn’t suggest water, and was not easy to work with. We were asked to design something more appropriate but that still referred back to the original in some way.

Our solution, as seen at right, was to separate the text from the color bars and change it to a more readable mixed case. We added a curve to the bars and perspective to the edges, and subtly adjusted widths and spacing for a three-dimensional effect. The resultant shape subtly evokes a waterfall, and can also be read as arrows leading into the future. We retained the existing colors (with slight tweaking) and the original font, Gotham, to maintain continuity, but the final logo has more presence on the page, reads better at small sizes, and is more distinctive and appropriate.

Carmen del Rio Paracolls, 2030 WRG communications officer, said, “At 2030 WRG, we had an old logo that didn’t really represented us but that people have started to recognize. We decided we needed a new logo that wouldn’t mislead our audience but that would incorporate elements that will resonate with the issues we work with. When we were searching for a graphic design company, some colleagues recommended Sensical Design, and we weren’t disappointed. Sensical perfectly understood our needs and reflected them in a brand new and fresh logo that pleased both us and our audience.”


TrademarksMobile Logo and Website

Trademarksmobile LogoWe recently wrapped up an interesting project to design a logo and website for TrademarksMobile, which is a startup web-based trademark registration service aimed at entrepreneurs and tech people. The client is a small intellectual property law firm that wants to compete more effectively with Legal Zoom and other web-based providers.

For the logo, we crafted something simple and clean that would be comfortable in a high tech environment, such as on an app icon. We hope the result is so simple as to seem nearly effortless. The initials make sense alone, and stand out from more clichéd competitor logos in this category.

Trademarksmobile WebsiteThen we collaborated with David Ramos at Imaginary Terrain to create a website that is responsive and mobile-friendly while being visually rich and approachable on a full-size screen as well. The website was developed and refined over a period of more than a year, as we refined the user experience and rethought contents through an iterative process. We focused on the mobile version first, and then expanded and reworked the presentation for larger screens. Soon it will be adapted into an iOS and Android app as well. Live for just a couple of weeks, it has already begun generating leads and revenue for the client.

Todd Braverman, founder of TrademarksMobile, said, “Working with Sensical Design was a pleasure. Dan is extremely creative and responsive, and every iteration of the project got better and better. He went above and beyond my expectations.” You can see the site live at


Sasha Bruce Youthwork Annual Report

Sasha Bruce Youthwork Annual ReportWe recently completed the 2012 annual report for Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a great nonprofit in Washington, DC, that works with runaways and other at-risk youth. In keeping with the youthful focus of the organization’s activities, we designed a piece that is colorful and lively, filled with energetic photos of their clients and volunteers. You can download the full report at the Sasha Bruce website.

Jill Cotton, Development Assistant and Special Events Coordinator for Sasha Bruce Youthwork, said, “Sensical Design proved to be efficient, enthusiastic and prompt while working on our annual report. We received three proofs with chances to make changes and received edits back very quickly. We would definitely work with Sensical Design in the future!”