Smart, strategic designs that keep your business growing.
Why work with me?
Confusing, outdated design doesn’t just look bad.
It hides your brilliance.
It throws a shadow over your awesome work, and harms your credibility.
It can cause perfect potential investors, clients, and partners to click away — and erases your chance of ever making a sale, teaming up, or turning casual buyers into raving fans.
That’s bad for your business.
On the other hand: crisp, modern, easy-to-use design can change everything.
It cranks up your visibility, entices the eye, and illustrates the essence of your brand, beautifully. It highlights your powerful message, reflects your mission, and engages your people — all while setting you up for your fabulous future.
And — most importantly — it puts your genius center stage. Where it belongs.
So let’s turn it around and turn the spotlight on you. I’m here to help you shine.
Curious about how I got here? Read on to learn a little more.
MaryMaru specializes in website design that blends whip-smart strategy with beautiful aesthetics, to create timeless digital homes for healthy lifestyle brands, niche media companies, arts organizations and other growing businesses.
I’ve proudly worked alongside some of the most respected & prestigious names in business, including: A&E Television Networks, Meredith Corporation, Ogilvy & Mather, RCM Capital Management and Smithsonian. I also (just as proudly) collaborate with small-but-mighty companies who serve with heart. I’m a pro at taking scattered, seemingly all-over-the-place ideas, and turning them into gorgeous creative solutions. Professional, modern sites that convert. Marketing materials that get results. And brand identities rooted in my clients’ powerful passion.
It would be my honor to make that happen for you, too.
“It’s not easy to find talented graphic designers. I had the pleasure of working with Mary on several projects including designing a new website, trade show collateral as well as all marketing and media collateral. Mary is highly-skilled and exceptionally talented in technical concepts and creative design. She consistently delivered superior quality work frequently ahead of time and within budget constraints. Mary is extremely patient and knows how to listen well to fully grasp the key messages behind every campaign. Mary took the time to understand our business and delivered time and time again innovative and creative concepts. She also has excellent interpersonal skills and comfortable communicating with people from various backgrounds including IT, sales agents and top executives. It has been a wonderful experience working with Mary and I am especially thankful for her expertise and creativity.”Louise Nestor
“I have worked with Mary Maru on a range of marketing projects from creating sales materials, to designing a trade show booth, to relaunching a website, and she never disappoints! Not only does she have an excellent design sense but she also has the ability to look at the big picture, she gets involved in the entire process, she asks great questions and is a strong collaborator. I highly recommend Mary Maru Design.”Diane Lowman
“Mary is a highly accomplished graphic designer and project manager. Her work is insightful, creative, and reflective of the goals and objectives of each project. She is also an attentive project manager—always thinking ahead with careful planning. Her work is timely as well as her design files. I could not have done the work I’ve been doing for an arts organization without Mary’s able assistance and stellar design work.”Dottie Jeffries
“Mary impressed me with the quality of the solutions she provides. She’s responsive, thorough and delightful to work with at every phase of a project. Mary also has a great eye for design and is a strategic thinker. She’ll impress anyone who works with her.”Beth Baynum
“I have worked with Mary for the past couple of years. She has provided knowledge, creative solutions and insight on a multitude of projects from web development services to marketing materials. Mary is tremendously responsive to any and all requests. She keeps her clients top of mind and I know that I can always count on Mary to deliver.”Alicesa Vongluekiat
“Before hiring Mary Maru Design, I was concerned that my project would end up looking like a bland version of whatever everybody else’s marketing looked like. I worried that my lack of direction would lead to a vanilla product.
Working with Mary put my concerns to rest. She provided a wonderful balance of offering professional advice and listening and adjusting to my needs and requests. She allowed me to experiment with many different ideas, and helped guide me to a very professional realization of a product that I could not have achieved on my own.
Her patience and ability to help me to clearly articulate the amorphous ideas I had coming into the design process were crucial. As a classical musician, I have learned how to problem solve difficult passages and intonation issues in an efficient way without having to wander down every dead-end. These are the same skills that Mary imparted in the design process. I would have been lost without her.
I recommend working with Mary Maru because if you try to do it yourself, as an amateur, you will waste hours and days, and still come out with an amateurish product in the end. Just because cheap software is now available to the public doesn’t mean it doesn’t take a real professional to create truly beautiful design.
Finally, Mary is such a nice person!! Even when I started to push the limits of my allowance of edits and drafts, she never made me feel like I was taking advantage, or wasting her time.”Andrew Janss
“Mary is the right choice for any marketing, graphic or design project. What makes Mary special is that she is an excellent listener and understands exactly what to deliver. Her work is combined with her knowledge of the latest in technology and developments in the field and she knows how to advise you so that you get the results you need. Mary recently did a project for me and it surpassed all expectations. She was so great to work with, and knew exactly what was needed. I would use her over and over again for any project. She is great and delivers excellent work. I strongly recommend her firm for value, quality and artistic vision.”Joanna Daidone
The name’s Mary Maru
I run Mary Maru Design — a boutique, NYC-based web design studio, specializing in strategically sophisticated & marketing-centered design.
My clients are mostly marketers and creative directors hailing from a range of industries — healthy lifestyle & wellness brands, niche media, travel pros and all shapes and colors of the arts.
And they all have one thing in common: they’re ready for smart, uncluttered digital design that elevates their business into its next evolution of growth & passion-centered profit.
My work combines easy collaboration with in-depth exploration, to uncover the real meaning of every client’s strategic marketing goals. Together, we’ll create unforgettable, cohesive aesthetics that are on point, on time, and on budget every time. 😉
This is my story.
I kicked off my marketing career in the 1980’s at the agency Ogilvy & Mather in NYC. (You know — back when ad agencies were still located on Madison Ave and they called graphic design “commercial art”.)
I was hired for admin-centered reasons (unsexy, but true), but had always been passionate about design. So, I’d find ways to sneak in those fun, artsy creative projects on the side. Before long too, I’d mastered the software at the agency, and started putting together graphic presentations for account directors and executive business analysts.
At the time, I was the only one at the agency who’d mastered the tech. It made me pretty popular — much to my boss’ chagrin.
Overall — it was a great experience. But, in the spirit of changing things up, I left my native Queens, New York for the sunnier streets of San Francisco in the 90’s. While I still wasn’t a full-time designer, my rep for stellar customer service kept 85% of a bootstrapping dot com’s customer base rock solid through not one, but two corporate takeovers.
I honed my skills on that wild ride – marketing, sales, branding, web design, tech support, you name it. But, most importantly, I discovered something inside myself:
I had an entrepreneurial spirit. And someday, I wanted to run my own design business.
Fast-forward to the 2000’s. I’d moved back to NYC, and spent seven years, working in magazine publishing, developing and executing marketing promotions programs and events. A sales partner and I were tasked with growing the travel advertising category within the mag. Before long, it was our #1 seller — and stayed that way until our tenure wrapped.
It was on that high note that I quit magazines to start my own business project managing massive integrated marketing programs for publishers. Then, the recession hit in 2008, and the magazine industry took a nosedive. By 2009 I realized things weren’t going to get better in publishing anytime soon.
So I decided it was now or never — I had to step out on my own, and build the biz I’d been dreaming of.
I bought all the equipment. I took classes at the School of Visual Arts and FIT. I built websites from scratch just for fun, and taught myself the fundamentals of coding. I earned a certificate in business project management from NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies. I spent all my free time in museums, immersing myself in masterful composition and timeless art.
Then, in 2011, I started Mary Maru Design.
Which brings us to the here & now.
You’ve read the formal stuff, woohoo!
Now, here are a few fun facts about me:
I looove to bike ride! (You can find me on the Greenway along the Hudson River most weekends. Wave hello!)
I’m a co-chair of the Advertising Career Conference for the nonprofit Advertising Women of New York [AWNY] – an annual educational forum for college students interested in a career in advertising, but curious about the different avenues they can take.
I love piano music and started to play by ear when I was four.
As a child, I entertained my family by singing tv advertising jingles at the dinner table.
For creative inspiration, I head to the MoMA (I’ve been a member for years) or the Met (I live steps away from their annex museum, The Cloisters, in beautiful Fort Tryon Park in upstate Manhattan).
I’m a brunch girl, through and through. I believe a Sunday filled with good food and good friends can never go wrong.
Art is my heart. I’m a massive museum nerd, and take in the timeless work of the masters like a giddy little kid.
My husband and I adore Jones Beach in the off season. We walk along the boardwalk every New Year’s day, regardless of the weather, to get in our four miles and to watch the Polar Bear Clubbers do their annual skinny dip.
I have two totally awesome cats, Dominic and Tina.
Travel is my passion. I love exploring new scenery, and opening my mind to cultural experiences I’ve never encountered before.
I can’t live without lynda.com and stackoverflow.com. If I run into a logjam when I’m writing code—and there’s always a logjam when writing code—there’s no problem that can’t be solved with these indispensable tools.
There are always, always fresh flowers on my desk.