Designer Spotlight: Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt


Where do you work, and what is your title?
Kuhlmann Leavitt, Inc., Lead Designer.

How long have you been in the design industry?
30 years.

How did you end up in your field?
I’ve always been a designer.

Tell us about one of your most memorable projects.
The design work that we did for the St. Louis Public Library’s historic renovation in collaboration with Cannon Design goes down as the most memorable project I’ve had the opportunity to participate in: important and meaningful work, with talented architectural collaborators for a brilliant, respectful, tasteful client — the perfect combination.

What is your favorite place in St. Louis to find inspiration?
Any place with good conversation (including the St. Louis Public Library).

Who is your design hero?
Massimo Vignelli.

Do you have favorite music for fueling your creativity?
I listen to all music types depending on my mood.

How important is it to know what other designers are doing in your industry?
I’ve never really paid attention to what other graphic designers are doing. Good design is all around us, so it’s important to just know what’s up and why.

What advice do you have for an up-and-coming designer?
Go into design because you have a passion for it, not because it might come easier for you than other things or because it looks “fun.” Great designers are driven, have innate talent and are sort of crazy (not in an obvious way like clothes, hair, etc.). Great designers truly think differently.

Design in St. Louis is hundreds of us creating things every day.

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