A Designer’s Year in Review | 2020  

This past, almost surreal year, I’ve watched colleagues and friends adapt to an abrupt new normal. The pandemic had its lows for me, but it also delivered unexpected gifts – blessings in disguise. The most precious gift of all, in any time, is recognizing growth from the inevitability of change.

Some of the growth was professional: from moving to a new studio space, to celebrating site launches and television premieres, to welcoming new faces to my studio team. Then there was personal expansion: offering creative online workshops during the quarantine for both children and adults, creating several new series of artworks. My Group for Creatives, my clients and team have energized me – and I want to take a moment to acknowledge some accomplishments from those I’ve worked with this year. This was also the year the film featuring my son appeared in the Italian Cinema prior to the pandemic restrictions: Lasciami Andare.

Celebrating Clients

Platinum Eye

One client, Platinum Eye, a luxury television series, premiered on a national cable network this year. During a time of social distancing, the show was able to digitally invite viewers onto white-sand beaches, tapestry-lined halls of elegant castles, and the red carpet in Paris. 

Business Insurance

This year, Business Insurance launched their new Online Media Kit, modernizing their media package information in a way that is more user-friendly, modern, and accessible. Working with Business Insurance as the design director of this project, I was excited to create a dynamic interface to bring somewhat dry content to life and provide the sales team a practical digital tool.

Insurance Advocate

This title has been part of my family’s trade publishing business since I was a teen – and accompanied my father on its acquisition. 2020 was the first year that I took on the cover designs in my studio. Unlike more visually defined projects, creating content for insurance-themed editorial can be a creative challenge. I enjoyed using digital illustration and vector graphics.

Consular Magazine

This premiere issue of the magazine I art directed for the Consular Corps College features a flag theme and bold, graphical colors throughout. Forthcoming in 2021 will be their web presence.

Italy Child Care

The story of this brand is a fascinating one. A one-time au pair from New Zealand in Rome made a Facebook page for other au pairs seeking work, and it exploded with connectivity. It was wonderful collaboration with this dynamic, entrepreneurial founder on launching her website for English child care in Italy.

Artists, Musicians….

Designing for artists, photographers and other designers is always a huge lift. That’s because their brilliant eye for detail, color and composition raises the project to a collaboration. For example, I loved working with photographer Amber Tourlentes and her minimalist website, as well as Peter Smith on his new CD cover art. 

Creating Together

While I tend to mention my work on Open City experiences less frequently, a major part of my year was helping others unlock their creative potential. What started as a small community making art together during quarantine turned into a regular creative landscape for us all. 

The artists in my Group for Creatives truly blossomed in six months, and now we are continuing into 2021. (Registration is still open for creatives!) 

Studio Innovation

In my art Studio, innovation has been a guiding concept.  With galleries closed, I found alternatives experimented with some ideas outside my comfort zone.

My Studio Shop launched with collections of artistic and fun products, much like my own version of a museum store. The highlight for me was designing the “art as scarf”works – i.e., my paintings printed on beautiful, wearable fabrics. Another highlight was designing custom totes as gifts on behalf of my son’s class to his teachers.

Jumping into the virtual world of art collecting, some of my works now appear on Saatchi Arti, including the Salento series, which are small works on wood. My large series entitled Maps of Time and Rome is also available through Saatchi Art, or directly through my studio.

Video is another medium I’ve experimented with recently. Inspired by my Gen Z collaborators in the Studio, I agreed to be filmed for “Moving Portraits” and even, if you can believe it, post some content to Tik Tok. I’ll likely be doing more multimedia stuff in 2021.

An interview with a talented journalist from Uomini & Donne della Comunicazione summed up my professional life, even in the headline: Artist, designer and Entrepreneur: the many souls of Claudia Palmira. The publication of the article inspired me to publish my Agency website in Italian. I couldn’t be more grateful for this article!


And I couldn’t be more grateful to you – my smart, aesthetically sophisticated friend/client/follower…. It is a privilege to share my work and life with such a wonderful community. Thank you and Happy New Year!