Sarah Nelsen Designs is a boutique design studio with a focus on custom print and web designs, creative problem solving, and collaborative projects.

Sarah Nelsen of Sarah Designs in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh.

Sarah Nelsen, Owner / Creative Director.

SARAH NELSEN, owner, Sarah Nelsen Designs, LLC, aims to share her love for design and the arts through her work and visual communications for a variety of clients. Nelsen’s designs have earned award-winning status (see listing below), and her goal is to exceed your expectations. With over 12 years of experience (read testimonials), she has worked on a multitude of projects and with a diverse group of companies and individuals. She has designed everything from logos and magazines to wedding invitations and websites (view portfolio). Nelsen has worked with fine art galleries, museums, community groups, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, private companies, fine artists, restaurants, musicians, private clients, and more. Her love for fine art and handmade graphics is strengthened with an overall sense of design, typography, and visual organization.

Creating custom invitation packages, paper selection, and printing techniques are some of her specialty services with clients ranging from museums to interior designers. She embraces the power of photography and sometimes uses original architectural, portrait, event, and project-specific photographs in her designs. In addition to today’s digital technologies, the value of non-digital media is also important to her and she continues to practice oil and watercolor painting.

Nelsen graduated with honors from Pennsylvania State University earning a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, Integrative Arts. Her experience in Palm Springs, California, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Sydney, Australia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has exposed her to many unique perspectives.

During her free time, she enjoys singing, hiking, traveling, painting, art history, sustainable practices, and being outdoors.


  • PRSA Renaissance Award Creative Tactic, Other: Calendar (’11)
  • IABC Golden Triangle Award, Magazine Design (’10)
  • IABC Golden Triangle Award, Other Publication Design (’10)
  • PRSA Renaissance Award Creative Tactic, Direct Mail: Invitation (’10)
  • PRSA Merit AwardCreative Tactic, Other: Event Display (’10)
  • IABC Golden Triangle Award Excellence, Event Display (’09)
  • IABC Golden Triangle Award Honor, Invitation (’09)
  • MPMA Award for Excellence in Publication Design: Development Materials (’08)
  • MPMA Award for Excellence in Publication Design: Brochures (’07)
  • MPMA Award for Excellence in Publication Design: Invitations and Promotions (’07)
  • MPMA Special Judges Award for Excellence in Overall Design (’06)
  • MPMA Award for Excellence in Publication Design: Invitations and Promotions (’05)
  • MPMA Award for Excellence in Publication Design: Brochures (’05)
  • Nelsen was Art Director for a special event that won three awards: 2009 IABC Golden Triangle Honor Award (Special Events), 2010 PRSA Renaissance Award (Special Events), and 2010 CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Accolades Bronze Award.
  • Nelsen’s original photography was featured in “Blue Gold & Black” presentation which won three awards: 2009 IABC Golden Triangle Honor Award, 2010 PRSA Renaissance Merit Award, and 2010 CASE Accolades Bronze Award.

PRSA (Public Relations Society of America/Pittsburgh Division); IABC (International Association of Business Communicators/Pgh Division); MPMA (Mountain Plains Museum Association, American Association of Museums). Note: 2009-2011 Awards won while Art Director for the University of Pittsburgh.

Nelsen is pleased to partner with her brother, Tim Giegel and his company, Textured Pixel, LLC, a stellar web designer who utilizes the latest technology and programming to enhance Sarah’s designs with his vast knowledge of front-end design, server-side and database development, and design skills.