Sterling Principles

posted on: January 30, 2013
in: Uncategorized


Sterling Design & Communications has redefined the advertising and communications field. We develop communications plans which start with, and rely heavily upon, the internal audience of our clients and reach out from there to customers and other publics. Because of this unique approach and our experience, we are not subject to traditional competition.


The quality of everything we generate must be measured against one criterion:

Does it communicate?

Does it solve the customer’s communication challenge? Does it represent the client appropriately? If so, our personal pride in craftsmanship, our individual aesthetic sensibilities, and our chance to win awards are insignificant considerations.


Doing what is best for the ultimate customer (often the public) in every case will guide our decision making. We will not participate in any program which does not serve the greater good. Every assertion we make will be true, not deceptive in any way. We are obligated to be true to ourselves.

Honesty is the only policy. Client confidentiality is sacred. Mutual respect and trust are prerequisites to fruitful work relationships.


If you take care of the customer, the finances will take care of themselves. —F.A. Putnam, Markem Corp. Founder

Price, Quality, Speed: Choose two . . . we’ll still strive to give you all three.

Our objective is to serve clients who recognize the value of our work and remunerate us according to the benefit they derive. We never intend to compete on the basis of price. We strive to offer excellent value, superb craftsmanship and work that is 100% defensible by design and communication standards.

We promise $1 solutions to $1 problems.

What does it take to hire us? A good cause. (Kathleen Turner once said this in a detective movie.)


Our clients hire us for what we know and for how fast we can learn. We are challenged to learn all about our clients in order to help them communicate effectively. We also owe our clients the finest service available which requires keeping technologically current.

We subscribe to a philosophy of lifelong learning.

Success is not a destination; it is a journey.


Sterling Design & Communications is most effective when working with clients over time, rather than on a onetime project basis. The degree of understanding developed initially can serve clients well for years.

It is our intention to become “adopted” into our clients’ families—the bond is much deeper than a routine consulting relationship. However, because Ruth Sterling considers herself a teacher and coach, it is also our intention to share what we know with our clients, in effect working ourselves out of jobs. Seeing clients not need us any more because they have become professional communicators themselves is the ultimate job satisfaction goal. Our work then is to provide graphic and creative support and find new customers with whom to share our communications talents.


Our goal is to live full lives by putting our talents to use for the greater good and putting our families’ quality of life first in every decision we make.

Respectfully balancing devotion to clients, our life’s work and our jobs as parents and family members is an ongoing challenge.