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Meet Us

Great Island Design was founded more than twenty years ago and quickly emerged as one of Boston’s premier design firms, cultivating a long list of local and national clients, and receiving our fair share of local and national design awards along the way.

Headed by Debra Glabeau and Ken Harris, we are a team of creative professionals that includes some of the regions best copywriters, programmers, illustrators and photographers. We offer the quality and range of services found in much larger agencies but with the personal, hands-on attention that comes when working with a smaller creative firm.

Whatever your communications goals—market a product, launch a brand, expand your audience, inform, raise funds, or raise a ruckus—we are ready to work with you.


  • Silver PRISM Award/National Association of Home Builders /best real estate website
  • Gold and Silver PRISM Awards/Boston Builders & Remodelers Association/logos, brochures/display advertising
  • First Place Hatch Award/The Ad Club, Boston
  • Best of Show/Boston Art Directors Club
  • Gold and Silver Awards/Boston Art Directors Club
  • CLIO/ package design
  • New England Emmy/television graphics
  • Silver Award/National Association of Broadcasters/editorial
  • Media recognition/Print and Art Direction magazines


Debra Glabeau is president of Great Island Design. She helps clients develop creative strategy for both on and offline initiatives.

Debra was assistant design director at WCVB-TV, Boston. As design director for BBK Communications, Chestnut Hill, Debra’s clients included Harvard Health Plan, Tufts New England Medical Center, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Newton Wellesley Hospital. She was a senior designer in the publications department at Boston College.

Debra has a BA from Simmons College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She studied design at Yale University, Graduate School of Art and Architecture, and holds an MA in English from Salem State University. She serves as chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board for Salem State University, is a member of the Advisory Council of Historic New England, trustee of the Samaritan Charitable Society of Salem, and is a past vice president of Historic Salem, Inc.

Ken Harris is creative director and founder of Great Island Design. Typically assuming the role of art director, copywriter and lead designer, Ken works directly with clients and contributes to all phases of creative development for both print and web design, assuring that thematic messaging is integrated across all communications platforms.

Ken studied graphic design and photography at the College of Design, Architecture and Art, University of Cincinnati. He was senior designer at WCVB-TV, Boston, and at Larrabee Design Associates, Cambridge. He is a past president of the Boston Art Directors’ Club, serves as vice president of the board of the Salem Athenaeum and is the author of In the Time of Worms, An Ancient Tale of Marblehead, published in 2006.

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