The ladies of the design studio on West Park Place know how to have fun.
Partners Jennifer DeAngelis and Hollie Sehrt have had coffee mugs made with a "2" and "3" on them. When discussing how to find parking near their office that does not involve monitoring the meters every hour, DeAngelis notes their proximity to a number of bars and the need to utilize what God gave them by "getting out the v-necks." A bottle of white wine waits in their intimate studio space at , just in case it's a particularly trying day and a "think and drink" is required.
Indeed, although work is work, make no mistake: for these ladies, work also is play.
The Hanover Park High School graduates, having known each other for years, finally decided they would combine their skills and form Design23, which moved into its current space in June. DeAngelis left a gig designing for Morristown-Beard, while an internship cum two-day-a-week design project for Sehrt allowed her enough time to make the next logical leap in her own career.
"When I knew it was time to make the jump, it was good to have someone with me," DeAngelis, a resident of Harding, said.
Areas of concentration for Design23 include brand creation, academic reports, brand strategy and management, packaging, digital media, environmental, advertising, collateral, signage and video.
Specializing in typography, both in print and digital, DeAngelis said she pretty much knew graphic design would be her career by the time she took a summer class at The Maryland Institute College of Art during high school. "I loved it," she said. DeAngelis later attended The School of Visual Arts and will soon complete an MA at Savannah College of Art and Design.
For Sehrt, of Whippany, having come from an artistic family (her sister is a puppeteer), the decision came down to some words of advice from her stepfather during her time at Parsons The New School for Design: "You won't make any money in illustration," she laughed. "And, that was it."
While DeAngelis has taken the reins of typography, Sehrt's specialty lies mostly in web design. Their clients include Morristown-Beard, Deb Nexon's and United Scents of America, which specializes in designing fragrances for every state in the nation.
Their company name, DeAngelis said, comes from a longtime affinity for the number 23. "I've always had luck with this number," she said. "When I see it, I feel it guides me."
When asked what the duo would be doing if they weren't designing, Sehrt suggested she would probably be a teacher. DeAngelis, however, was not so sure how to respond.
"I don't think there's an answer to that," she said. "I knew what I wanted to do right away."
For more information about Design23, visit www.thedesign23.com.