Family = Business. Yep, we're related. Our (genetic) obsession with design and our innate teamwork are at the core of our business, along with laughter and a love of hot sauce. Our work is our family is our awesome good fortune.

Hughes design|communications is a certified Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)

Donna Hughes

Donna founded Hughes design | communications in 1985. In 1983 she earned the equivalent of an MA degree in graphic design from the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, Switzerland. Prior to that she spent 7 years studying a combination of design, fine arts, printmaking and sciences at the Art Institute of Chicago, Loretto Heights College in Denver, the University of Colorado in Boulder, Glassell School of Art in Houston, and the University of Houston. Donna has been teaching graphic design in the Biomedical Visualization Department in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago, since 1996. Her expertise and area of focus is communicating science and health care information through design.

In addition to receiving glowing student reviews year after year, Donna received the Award for Teaching Excellence from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2005 and 2014.

Courtney Owens Zielinski

Courtney Owens Zielinski

Courtney has been practicing graphic design in various ways, shapes and forms since birth (Courtney is Donna's daughter). Her earliest memories are of playing at Donna's drawing board with colored pencils, t-squares, and Letraset rub-off type. Courtney received her BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago and shortly thereafter moved to San Francisco to pursue her interest in web design. After working at various startups as a designer, in 2001 she went out on her own as a freelance designer. In 2004 Courtney joined forces with Donna to become a partner at Hughes design|communications and to add her web skills to the company's accomplished list of services. She loves doing print work (especially logos), but her true passion and expertise lie in designing and building websites. Courtney is a mother of two and a running enthusiast— she recently completed her first half marathon, the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon, and soon will begin training to run the Chicago Marathon on behalf of a charity, Girls on the Run.

Courtney and her work have been featured in 944 Magazine, Gift Shop Magazine, the book "Design Ecology!", and in Matt Woolman's book "100s: Visual Ideas Logos & Letterheads".