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Sunset in Carmel, Californa

About Elaine Lazarus

Elaine Lazarus portrait

Elaine Lazarus is owner and creative director of Designs by Elaine. She is a multifaceted creative, visual marketer, combining her skills as a graphic designer, fine artist, computer illustrator, and writer. Elaine's academic achievements include a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Cornell University, a Brand Management Certificate from Cornell, and a Digital Marketing and eCommerce Certificate from Google , underscoring her commitment to excellence in marketing and design.

Visual design is the face of any brand. With thirty years of experience designing marketing visuals, Elaine connects brands to their customers, builds brand confidence, and motivates an emotional response and action from viewers. 

The name Elaine is the French form of Helen, which means “torch of light.” The meaning behind her name aptly describes Elaine's personality and spirit. She tries to shine light on any situation where there is darkness to bring out the positive.

Elaine grew up in Rockford, Illinois. When she was 12 years old, her family took a summer road trip to the west coast. They stopped in Carmel-By-the-Sea, California on the way from LA to San Francisco. In Carmel, she announced to her parents that she would be living there "when she got old." They said, "good luck kid!"

At 13, she decided that she wanted to become an artist after receiving a Gold Key Scholastic Art award for a sculpture that her teacher entered into a juried show. In high school, she created art and studied hard to get accepted into the fine arts program at Cornell University, which only accepted 25 new students per year. Her concentration was in painting, photography and computer graphics, and also took advertising, public relations and marketing classes because it interested her. During her sophomore year in 1991, Elaine was invited by her professor be an independent study student in computer graphics, after receiving a grant for a new Mac with just released Photoshop, Adobe Freehand, and Pagemaker software.  That's when Elaine decided she loved computer design along with traditional fine art techniques. 

After college, Elaine moved to Washington, DC. Her first full-time job was working as a pre-press technician and graphic designer for a digital printer where she honed her expert production skills and learned the importance of good customer service and client relations. Then she worked for a boutique design firm that produced national magazine ads and custom die-cut packaging for America Online, which was the hottest web browser at the time. 

From there, she worked for a graphic design firm designing new business acquisition presentations, brochures and presentations for nonprofits and associations in Washington, DC. The client list included the country of Indonesia, the United States Telephone Association, Bozell Public Relations and Weber Shandwick Public Relations.  

In 1998, Elaine moved back to Illinois and founded Elton Designs, an in-house graphic design firm for Weber Shandwick Public Relations in Chicago. Elton Designs was hired to design new business acquisition presentations and client work for brands such as, got milk?, Kraft Foods, ACE Hardware, Pork and the Wood Industry.  

Years later, she became a mom, sold her business and moved to the suburbs of Chicago. She freelanced for Discover Card, designing digital and print advertising, and also freelanced for AON Hewitt designing corporate employee health benefit information materials. 

Elaine was the senior graphic designer for the College of Lake County (CLC)  in Lake County, Illinois for 8 years. At CLC, she designed visuals for internal and external marketing to drive enrollment and increase and advance partnerships with the local community.  


Creating fine art is also an important part of who Elaine is. Elaine works in multiple mediums, painting, photography, and multi-media, combining painting, photography, and computer graphics. Her style is bold and colorful, and includes tree branches to signify life, emotional human connections, life-giving wisdom, and spiritual growth.

In May 2022, Elaine moved to Carmel, California to live out her childhood dream, which shows that when Elaine is determined to do something she never gives up.


Thank you for visiting. Contact Elaine for help with branding and graphic design services, including updating existing marketing materials for your business. 


— Elaine Lazarus 

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