Money. (and how much should you charge for your work in design)

Today I found a really well written article on that age-old issue of how to make money off of your design (or art) work.

When you are starting your career as a freelancer, it will be incredibly tempting to take on any work that comes along, no matter how unfairly companies are trying to compensate you. Remember that you are talented and that your talent has value and that ultimately it is up to you to determine how much people value your talent.  ~ Jessica Hische

Read the article here:

Some other good resources on pricing (and ethics):

Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines

Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business

Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers



Grids, grids, grids. And more grids!

Grids are everywhere!  And now it’s your turn to get familiar with them and to become comfortable with them.  Think of a grid as the underlying skeletal framework/system of any design piece.  It’s a way to visually organize your piece as well as help reinforce the visual hierarchy of your information.


Here are a few handy resources for grids:

History of Grids:

For print and web:

Getting nit-picky and systems for set up:

Grid inspirations:

Grid setup explained:

Types of grids:

Designers and grids:

Info on Golden Ratio:

Video on grid set up in inDesign:

Video on setting up your baseline in inDesign:


I know it’s a lot of information to digest (I could post tons more but don’t want to overwhelm you…I may do a Grid Part II this weekend to reinforce some of these principles).  Grids in the early stages can be somewhat confusing, but it’s one of those “practice makes perfect” things AND one of those “the more you see and observe, the easier it will be to recognize and recreate” (*whew!* That was a mouthful!)


Practice, practice, practice! 🙂

Prof. R

Color & Design

Color & Design

Why do we choose the colors we do in design?  Click to find out the “perfect” color for you design.


Prof. R.

Compositional Hierarchy – Helpful Links!

Here are some helpful links for our topic of hierarchy (remember, grids do fall under this category as well, but we will be narrowing onto that focus in the next project…step by step!) 🙂



Board Pusher: Third Thursday Skateboard Deck Design Competition

Hello, all!

This Board Pusher competition looked like a fun one so I thought I’d share:


Viking Mythology

Once again, we appreciate your participation in another great THI3D THURSDAY Skateboard Design Contest. We will being sifting through your “First Love” submissions shortly, but we’re going to go ahead and announce March’s contest now.

This next month we are calling on all of you Valhalla bound warriors and looking for VIKING MYTHOLOGY. Design some Norse gods, pillage a European nation, or just imagine what Minnesota was like 800 years ago. Remember, your design must incorporate the theme in some way for it to be considered a valid entry. All entries must be received by Thursday March 20th.


This is a great way to flex those design-creative-muscles!!!


Link to Board Pusher is HERE!


Good luck!

Prof. Redding



Top 5 Sites for Book Cover Design

Here is a compilation of my top 5 favorite sites for book cover design, in order to help you with project #1 for CDI class.  Remember, when you design, a huge chunk of your time spent on the project is research.  Be sure to really get into the research nitty-gritty with this project…look at books, look at covers, look at different publishers.  Really “SEE” how they are constructed and layer out!  The more you see, the better it will be!  (accidental rhyme!)


In no particular order:


Beginner’s Guide to Book Cover Design by Hongkiat

David Airey:  Designing Book Covers

How to Design a Great Book Cover by Scott Berkun

The New Yorker:  The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover

The New Yorker:  Book Covers: Before and After




And a wee bit more inspiration:  

The New York Times – The Best Book Covers of 2013

The New York Times – The Best Book Covers of 2012

Chip Kidd!!!!



Kerning Game

Time to practice some kerning!

This is a great game to get used to the principles of kerning.  Take it a few times!


Prof. Redding



Karen Kavett!


I wanted to introduce you to Karen Kavett (she makes videos on youtube and is a designer) and her graphic design oriented vlogs (seen HERE!).  She is a grad of RISD and worked for youtube before branching off on her own.  Her graphic design oriented vlogs are perfect for those beginning their journey in design.  She explains typography quite well (she’s a typefreak too! yay!) as well as methodologies of CMYK, the printing process, portfolio design among other facets of our world.


So, be sure to check out her channel (like and subscribe! you know the youtube drill!) and her website.  She makes design fun!


Prof. Redding



The All Day Every Day Project

I stumbled upon this on flickr and thought it would be good to share with you all.  The All Day Every Day Project by Hannes Beer features a design a day concept.

Beer states:

The All Day Everyday Project is my graphic design diary. Many designers did some similar projects before – designing something cool everyday. And so do I now. When you work for an agency or clients, you’re often not allowed to make things look exactly like you want it – which is sometimes frustrating, but that’s the way it goes. So to keep stuff in balance, I decided to start this project. Enjoy!

What a cool project!   Things like this are a great way to rev up those creative juices (plus we tend to work best under the pressure of a deadline, I’ve noticed!) 🙂  Be sure to check out the set!  The designer sells their work on a correlating etsy shop, which is really great marketing!  Something to keep in mind if you go into your own business or brand yourself as a designer.

Prof. Redding

The All Day Every Day Project Thumbnail

Blog at