Ken Carbone and Leslie Smolan, founders of independent branding agency the Carbone Smolan Agency (CSA), have worked with such iconic brands as the Louvre, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Aether. This year, Ken and Leslie are celebrating the 35th anniversary of their partnership with the release of Dialog: What Makes a Great Design Partnership.
CSA’s success is based on the successful integration of art and design, along with the melding of the unique talents and leadership skills Ken and Leslie both bring to the table. Although they approach their work from opposite sides of the spectrum, they are like yin and yang, like the left and right side of the brain working in concert. Ken is the right brain – the artist with grand ideas – while Leslie is the left-brained pragmatist who keeps Ken grounded and the business running.
Co-founder and Director of Creative Strategy, Carbone Smolan Agency
Leslie Smolan has been internationally recognized for her work in brand identity, publishing, and marketing communications. Her long-range planning for large organizations, and her ability to clarify objectives, organize complex data and focus attention to create understanding, has been at the heart of each of her projects. Smolan has received many awards for her design work, including the Silver Star Alumni Award from her alma mater, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and election to the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), a select group of world-class designers. Dialog is Smolan’s second book. Her first, The Hat Book (Nan Talese/Doubleday – 1993) won a number of major design awards, including the AIGA 50 Great Books Show and the Leipzig Book Show.
Co-founder and Chief Creative Director, Carbone Smolan Agency
Ken Carbone is a celebrated graphic designer whose multi-disciplinary experience with large scale, complex projects and expert knowledge have enabled him to hone the cross-cultural sensibilities necessary to work successfully in today’s global business environment. Ken is the author of The Virtuoso: Face to Face with 40 Extraordinary Talents (Stewart Tabori & Chang) and a featured “Expert Blogger” on Fast Company magazine’s “Co. Design” blog. A member of the prestigious Alliance Graphique International (AGI) and of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Ken’s work has been recognized by the AIGA, Print, Graphis, Idea, Communication Arts, ID and the New York Art Directors Club and is included in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.