Skip to main content

I consult
firms to


and practices

Emily Cohen speaking at live event

What I do

I offer

So that
my clients
are able to

  • Envision and plan for their future
  • Position themselves to stay competitive
  • Build strong industry reputation, recognition, and relationships
  • Pursue, qualify, and attract new business prospects and talent
  • Refine, evolve, and elevate their organizational structure
  • Improve how they manage their team and culture
  • Generate more competitive and successful business strategies and communications
  • Reimagine existing processes to increase efficiency and effectiveness
  • Build the love!

My Differentiators

When advising my clients in the services listed above, I utilize a variety of tools and experiences to inform my recommendations including:

  • Because I work with hundreds of different firms, I have unparalleled insight into the latest trends and tactics as well as an opportunity to identify, test, and refine best practices. I leverage these ideas and strategies to elevate my clients’ business practices and evolve the creative industry overall.

  • I am certified to conduct DISC and 12 Driving Forces assessments for my clients and their teams. These assessments help me examine the behaviors we each bring to our job—the “how we act” the way we do—and the motivators—the “why we act” the way we do. The assessment helps me work with my clients to:

    • Reveal behavioral preferences, individual motivators, and unique strengths
    • Hire, develop, and advance the right talent
    • Increase employee productivity
    • Improve communication
    • Reduce partner and/or workplace conflict
    • Build team-wide harmony and understanding
  • I only work with creative firms. As both a left- and right-brain thinker, I have a dual perspective that helps me consider, balance, and understand the needs of both the creative and operational sides of managing a business. I’m not just another consultant, but one that knows what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. I understand why you love the creative industry, because I love it too!

  • I believe that being a woman in a male-dominated consulting industry has given me an advantage in how I think about client relationships and business strategy. My approach utilizes both a knowledge and love of business as well as compassion and flexibility. I put aside my ego, care deeply, and am personally invested in my clients’ long-term success.

Who I am

Emily Cohen

Emily Cohen

  • I am a no-nonsense business consultant who has partnered with 500+ leading creative firms worldwide. I have developed, tested, and refined key insights and strategies that have allowed my clients’ businesses to become more effective, profitable, and fun to work at. I am a designer by degree, an avid reader, dog-lover, a trend-spotter, a connection-builder, and an industry advocate.

  • I am a frequently-requested main stage speaker within the creative industry and have spoken at hundreds of international, national, and local conferences and events for organizations such as: Creative Mornings, AIGA, Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), Ladies Wine & Design, Core77, and Forward Festival. My talks reflect my expertise in the latest trends and common pain points in running and evolving a creative business, from positioning, new business development, and conflict management to organizational and pricing strategies.

    Podcast Guest
    I have also been a guest on numerous industry-focused podcasts both nationally and internationally including: The Futur, JUST Branding Podcast, The Digital Agency Show, The Brand Master Podcast, and Design Of Podcast.

  • For over ten years, I have taught the Business of Design at premier universities including: New York University (NYU), Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. She is also a LinkedIn Learning Instructor and has developed several courses for the platform.

  • I am proud to include author among my credentials. In 2018, I self-published my business book for creatives, Brutally Honest: No-bullshit business strategies to evolve your creative business. The book has become a go-to business book for creative industry professionals worldwide (5,000+ copies sold!) and several universities use it as a teaching tool. Brutally Honest was recognized with a Judges Choice Award in the Mohawk Show.

    “This book is a beautiful merger of design, content, and function. It marries beautiful printing and production with great writing. It sends a powerful message about the value of design and the importance of paying attention to the craft of running a business.”

    Ellen Lupton, Writer + Curator – Mohawk Show Judge

Hunter Vargas

Hunter Vargas

Associate Consultant

After working with multiple creative firms, Hunter officially joined my consultancy in Summer 2022 to grow my practice, elevate our offerings, and provide a fresh perspective to my clients. She is probably familiar to many of you as she has been an integral part of my business for the past couple of years, leading my Reputation Building Research service and consulting directly with my clients on an as-needed basis. Her experience as a marketer, project manager, client partner, and business development manager paired with her on-the-ground insight and unique, younger perspective is a huge asset to my consulting practice. Hunter truly knows our industry inside and out.

She also happens to be my daughter and can read my mind so we work together seamlessly, complementing each other in many ways. (And, don’t worry—we’re in therapy. 😉 )

Who I work with

I work with

All of whom
inspire and
challenge me

(and, I them)

Emily Cohen with Zipeng Zhu of DAZZLE STUDIO

I partner with amazing creative firms, all of whom inspire and challenge me (and I, them). Some have written monographs or designed stamps for USPS while others have been recognized as national AIGA Medalists or as local AIGA Fellows. One of my clients won the National Design Award and another won a Grammy! While many of my clients are renowned in the industry, some are emerging or aspirational firms. Everyone I work with is smart, talented, and cares deeply about how their actions and practices impact the work we do. A large portion of my clients are graphic design firms that specialize in branding, digital, editorial, packaging, experiential, wayfinding, and more, but I also work with marketing, industrial, interior, and service design agencies. And, I couldn’t be prouder to work with every single one of them!

Emily Cohen with Kelly McMurray (& Poe) of 2communiqué

My Book


No bullshit
to evolve

Brutally Honest: No Bullshit Strategies To Evolve Your Creative Business by Emily Cohen

Brutally Honest is chock full of advice, insights, best business practices, and actionable strategies and includes 20 compelling, real-world case studies from other creative professionals. Critical business challenges explored and addressed in this book include: positioning & specialization, marketing, case studies, new business development, strategies for qualifying new clients, pricing, retainers, proposals, contracts, organizational structures, staff management, client and project management, creative briefs, and industry trends. Unlike many other professional practice books for our industry, Brutally Honest is designed for visual learners and includes colorful, illuminating information graphics and checklists, as well as short, insightful sound bites and quick wins.

Brutally Honest is out-of-print but, you can order the e-book!

$28 + tax
PDF & EPUB formats
Questions? Email me!

Say hi!