Spotlight on Sarah Dams

Spotlight on Sarah Dams

Our Summer #AAFSpotlight shines on Sarah Dams. Sarah is the creative force behind, and co-owner of Sarott Design.

You’ve worked for agencies before, now you run one. What’s been your biggest challenge with that transition?
As a designer at an agency, everything I was responsible for I felt ownership of as “my” design. Now as the owner of an agency, I realize it’s impossible to “own” everything. It’s been a big revelation for me to realize that a great team is what makes a business successful. Sarott has an innovative business model where we have a robust network of creative professionals that we contract according to project. We work with everyone from Social Media Experts and Strategic Marketing Experts to Developers and Programmers. This top-notch pool of talent that we have built is one of the greatest assets that we can share with our clients. Having a 1099 workforce significantly reduces our business overhead, and we are able to pass those savings on to our clients. Essentially, our clients receive large agency expertise for small boutique prices. Having a great team on hand also makes it possible for me to do what I love: be creative and build relationships with our clients.

Is it tough working within a color palette that you don’t personally like, but that’s required by a client?
I love color … any color, all colors, colors together, colors apart, colors on top, colors on the bottom … it’s hard to imagine a palette I wouldn’t like. I do appreciate a good color challenge though, so I’d probably secretly like working with a set of visually awkward hues. It would most likely grow on me and I’d end up loving it. Something like this actually did happened recently at Sarott. A client just did a rebrand and their national marketing team had presented us with a new logo and color palette. I was hesitant and a bit judgmental of the new color combos (main colors being orange and brighter orange) … but the more we worked with it, the more we liked it. Respect to whoever created it.

What logo makes you stop and think, “I wish I had designed that”?
Have you seen the new Slate Belt Rising logo? I love it — oh wait we did do that one. ; ) I do like the Airbnb logo. It has every element of a logo that makes it a design crave: simplicity, meaning, an icon, and versatility. The icon has a story and a movie (the creators are very proud and enjoy explaining it I guess). Google “airbnb logo meaning” and you’ll see what I mean. I actually got goosebumps watching it.

In your opinion, which decade had the worst design trends? 80’s, 90’s or 00’s?
Things get better with age: fine wine, a bottle of scotch … and the further you get from something the better it can seem. So I say the 00’s. Didn’t everything during that time have gradients and drop shadows?

Who’s your favorite cartoon character? Why?
Having a 5-year-old daughter makes this question very hard to answer. Do I answer according to what she would want me to say? Or, do I answer of my own accord? MY favorite cartoon character is Sniffles. Sniffles is an adorable, but obscure Warner Brothers cartoon character popular in the early 40’s. He’s a mouse with large, baby-like eyes, a small bewhiskered nose, and a perpetual smile. He’s easily a favorite because he’s a little annoying … but small and charming. I also love his tiny accessories, like tiny cocoa mugs and tiny hats.

Currently, how big is the logo? Do you see it getting bigger? The client wants to know.
I can make it bigger, but you’re gonna have to cut some copy.

About Sarah:
Sarah is the heart of Sarott. She holds a degree in graphic design from Kutztown University. In addition to creating a successful marketing agency celebrating it’s 5 year anniversary, she has extensive agency and international work experience. Sarah manages all client interactions, directs and designs creative efforts, and keeps the trains running on time. She also serves on the WBC marketing board. At home she is blessed with an incredible and supportive husband Scott and two beautiful girls Charlotte (5) and Eleanor(1). Besides spending time with her family (and friends when she can) she enjoys getting in a good sweat, printing off her new printer and worrying about what needs to get done next.

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