I don't do pretty. i do pretty cool.

I don't do pretty. i do pretty cool.


Design Is in the Details

inside voices only

Subtle Sophistication

I’d like to think the name for Fig. 2 Design Studio follows this same mantra. If you’ve ever looked in an art book, you may not have noticed the supporting images, called figures, accompanying the words on the page. I’m a connoisseur of design books and even I truly didn’t notice them until I was tasked with designing the captions for a book about the Colombian artist Botero. I was struck by how such a small detail could make such a big impact; how the visuals brought life to the words they were paired with, and how the captions were so clean and polished, they felt like a whisper.

As for the number 2 — I’m a sucker for all things typography, and I can’t help but think it’s such a pretty shape.

Combined, the name is the perfect representation of my work as a designer: subtle sophistication that’s anything but boring. Because while I don't do pretty. I definitely do pretty cool. 

I’ve always had a crush on subtlety, and you’d better believe it shows up in my design. Sophistication doesn't need to be shouted about, and some things are best left discreet —                                   

if you know, you know.

Hi there.
I’m Claudia Smith.

Latin Vibes              European Class              D.C. Savvy

If I had to pinpoint where it all started — my love of good design, my obsession with organization, my career telling stories on paper — I’d probably trace it back to a book of vintage posters I saw with my dad in a bookstore as a teen. I hadn’t realized that creating such captivating designs was a job, and I was hooked. It opened my eyes to the world of possibilities that design offers. 

And when I say “world,” I mean that literally. My adoration of color comes from my Colombian roots (looking at you, Cartagena) and pairs perfectly with my simpática, or friendly, personality. As for my signature use of clean, simple functionality? I picked that up during my years in Italy getting my masters degree in industrial design. Although, I’ll be honest — much of my learning happened outside of the classroom simply watching how the people of Milan dressed so impeccably. Back at home, in Washington, D.C., I learned to embrace my type A personality; in this town, you have to be uber-organized to get anything done.

Now, decades later, I can say that from working full-time in corporate graphic design, to developing wholesale products (hello National Stationery Show), and launching Fig. 2 Design Studio in 2010, I’ve lived in the design world all my life. And what a world to live in. 

founder + creative director



Makes for a Whole Lot of Creativity

Claudia Smith is the Designer + Proprietress of Fig. 2 Design Studio, which swept into National Stationery Show in 2011 like a small, rather chic tornado — setting the industry on edge, and she really hasn’t really slowed down since.”

the paper nerd