David Lanford has lived and worked in the Washington DC area since 1991. His design projects have included everything from exhibition graphics for museums to a comprehensive identity program for the US Botanic Garden; a 30-foot timeline on American presidents to publications for the National Park Service; an environmental graphics program for the US Olympic Training center to a 400-page monograph on the American Indian. Most recently, he has designed an interpretive sign system for the rotunda of the US Capitol. David thrives on a broad range of projects. 

David was formerly an associate at Gallagher & Associates, where he collaborated with several national clients, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and the United States Olympic Committee.

David has been recognized with numerous honors, including awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Print, Communication Arts, the Presidential Design Awards, and the American Association of Museums. 

He lives with his family in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he can usually be found walking his golden retriever.



A great british designer once said that basically there are two kinds of designer: helicopters and vending machines. 

Helicopters fly around the landscape zooming in to investigate or backing off to get a better panoramic view. Vending machines tend to be inert until someone shoves money in the slot. They then produce a lot of buzzing, and clanking, until out pops a product. It is invariably the same as the previous one, and will be the same as the next. The only significant difference is that the next is usually staler than the one before, and so on. 

I am a helicopter.

Understanding the big picture, focus on important details, rigorous design investigations, and close client collaboration are hallmarks of my approach.



Logo and identity design
Brand guidelines

Print Design
Book design
Publication design

Environmental Graphic Design
Content development
Exhibition graphics
Trade show design
Interpretive panels
Branded environments
Super graphics and art


American Public Garden Association

American Sociological Association

Architect of the Capitol

Gardens of the Greater Washington DC Area

General Services Administration, Design Excellence and the Arts Division

Green Spring Gardens

The History Factory

National Alliance for Mental Illness

National Park Service

Our Place DC

Safe Shores, Child Abuse Center of DC

Smithsonian Gardens

Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the
American Indian

Smithsonian Institution, National Postal Museum

Smithsonian Libraries

United States Botanic Garden

United States Agency for International Development

United States National Slavery Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

University of Maryland

Vitullo Architectural Studio

Wacif, Washington Area Community Investment Fund



AlGA 50, Biennial Design Competition

AlGA Baltimore First Regional Design Show

AlGA Graphic Design USA:12

American Alliance of Museums, Museum Publications Design Competition

Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington

Communication Arts Design Annual

Communication Arts Typography Annual

Federal Design Achievement Award

Flaunt, published by Under Consideration, LLC

Print Magazine, Regional Design Annual

Print Magazine, Sports and Entertainment Show