Photo by Carlie Febo, collage by Leila

Leila Simon Hayes is a Boston based artist and designer with 15 years of experience at some of Boston’s most treasured and renowned creative and educational institutions.

Leila [ lee-luh ] has radically influenced both the imprint and output of organizations citywide, from an artful conception of an institutional brand as Creative Director at the ICA/Boston to print and design pieces for everything from pop-up shops to non-profits. She has partnered with visionaries and powerful thinkers throughout Boston and beyond, helping them bring their visions to life in print, on billboards, in galleries and exhibitions, and online. 

As a surface designer, Leila has paired well-honed design skills with a bold, playful, artistic practice. These abstract and distinct designs, created to enliven walls, fabric, clothes, tableware, accessories, necessities, footwear, and furniture, muse on unusual scale and color combinations alongside an exploration of pattern and movement. In this realm, Leila creates pieces imbued with spontaneity and energy, yet with measured details. Here, in this creative exploration that makes use of years of graphic design experience and an eye for aesthetics, she creates design to surround yourself with. 

When not immersed in design, Leila spends her time whaling on the drums and singing her heart out with her band Sensitive Subject, squeezing out different possibilities in her daily art practice, and raising two lovely and lively kiddos with her sweetie.

Clients

 Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Harvard University, Graduate School of Design

Harvard University, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

Facing History and Ourselves

Pearson Foundation

Boston Arts Academy

Charlestown High School

Diploma Plus

 Arts Practica

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston

Boston Book Festival

Oxfam America

Development Alternatives, Inc

Brooks Publishing Co.

Rebuild the Dream

Good Boston Living

Parallel World Labs

Testimonials

Working with Leila is a great pleasure. She’s a highly creative, organized, and clear-thinking designer who is always conscious of the delicate balance between how a design looks and how a design works.

Benjamin Weiss, Head of Interpretation
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

It was an absolute pleasure to work with Leila during her tenure at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Her passion for the museum can be seen in the breadth and depth of her work during her time as Creative Director. She is incredibly talented, a strong leader, a patient collaborator and endlessly creative. We were very fortunate to have her at the ICA.

Kelly Gifford, Deputy Director for Public Engagement and Planning
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Leila worked well in both chaos and calm, providing creative work on time. Her work on the Boston Book Festival was so good that we have since started another project together.

Nicholas Negroponte, Co-Founder, MIT Media Lab, and Chairman of One Laptop Per Child

Leila has the kind of smarts that yield efficient work, great energy to the team, and beautiful results. It is truly a joy to work with her.

Kathy Sharpless, Director of Marketing & Communications
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Leila is a natural leader. It is one thing to meet a designer with talent—but add on top of that Leila’s egoless and totally accommodating business acumen. Her creativity and willingness to ease us through very important design choices, within the bounds of our budget and timescale, really makes her stand out. She’s also a joy of a person making her a rare breed. I highly recommend Leila to lead you to a winning outcome with your design projects.

Niall Fitzpatrick, VP of Services
InsightSquared

Over my nearly 20 years in IT I have worked with many designers and Leila is singular among them. As a graphics professional and photographer she excels and consistently delivers high quality results. Her skills, creative insight and work ethic are unparalleled. Without hesitation I recommend her to anyone.

Joseph Guarino, CEO
Evolutionary IT

Working with Leila Simon Design was a critical step in bringing my business to the next level—and how lucky for me that the experience was as delightful as it was transformative. Leila is superb: honest, intelligent, clear, communicative, sophisticated, and very tuned-in. And at the same time, she’s playful, highly creative, and an easy-breezy spirit. She really “got” my vision and could see it beyond what I could ever have done on my own. She asked great questions, really listened, and then pushed me to take risks in the right places. When the work was done, I felt like she had handed me the keys to a new car – with wings! It is a rare and incredible thing in work – and in life – to work with such a high-caliber person whose design-thinking can set your contributions to the world as the world needs to see them. I cannot recommend Leila highly enough.

Alexa Miller, Founder + Consultant in Arts and Clinical Learning
ArtsPractica

Nothing is more fun than hiring a professional who genuinely loves what they do. Leila is one of those people! She emanates down-to-earth delight about the design process, making working together feel like fun, not work. Leila is full of creative ideas and never thwarted by daunting challenges. It’s evident that she really cares about the process and the end product, in equal parts.

Kyle Freeman, Interior Designer/Photographer
The Photographed Home

Working with Leila is a real pleasure. Her design work is truly exceptional in quality and delivery. Leila is creative, thoughtful and reliable. She is very pleasant to work with not only because of the high quality of her work, but also because of her positive attitude and great sense of humor.

Cornelia Baigorria, Program Coordinator
Cambridge Public Schools

Leila is a very talented graphic designer. She knows how to balance aesthetic concerns and the needs of the client. The design process was a true collaboration and uncommonly successful. I also appreciated her sense of humor and enthusiasm.

Frederick Ilchman, Chair, Art of Europe,
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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