Mood Boards!

Mood boards are a great way to gather ideas, research and inspirations. Our friends at Wiki state:


mood board is a type of collage consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition. They may be physical or digital, and can be “extremely effective” presentation tools. Mood boards are used by graphic designers to enable a person to visually illustrate the style they are pursuing. However, they can also be used to visually explain a certain style of writing, or an imaginary setting for a storyline. In short, mood boards are not limited to visual subjects, but serve as a visual tool to quickly inform others of the overall “feel” (or “flow”) of an idea.


In addition to our thumbnail sketches (and pinning/reblogging/sketching), a mood board is a great way to visually think about your project and your project’s needs.  This technique may be used as part of your final project’s research stage.  Mood boards are used in interior design, fashion design, web design, print design and so much more!


Some links to learn more:




Presentation Cases, Portfolio, oh my!

Presentation Cases, Portfolios, oh my!

April 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm (Uncategorized) () · Edit

Tis the season!


Portfolio season!

For those of you thinking about what is needed to build your portfolio, I have decided to bring in recent graduates to talk about their portfolios this week (Matthew Hast for the Monday CDII class and Kristian Dela Cruz for the Wednesday CDI classes).  They will be talking about their cases and here are some sites for you to browse:



Business cards:


Hope these resources help!

Prof. R


Why design is important

Why design is important

Fast Company released an article this week discussing an animation that shows kids (and adults, in my opinion!) the importance to design in our world (all design, not just graphic design).


How do you get young people thinking about design? Such a task requires first explaining what design is, exactly, which can be tricky even for adults to grasp. The meaning of design is made delightfully simple in “Shape,” a wordless six-minute animation designed and directed by Johnny Kelly forPivot Dublin, a Dublin City Council initiative that applies design thinking to city planning.


This was a great animation–be sure to check it out!


Prof. R.


Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 2.00.18 PM

Follow the path you love.

I found this great article today, shared by AIGA Jacksonville (  What caught my eye is something that keeps coming up in design:  it’s not about knowing the tools, but how you use them.  One of the most difficult things as an emerging/student designer to learn is that dreaded “learning curve” of “I want to do everything and right now!”…but find out you need more time practicing the tools.  As you know, I’m an advocate of the practice, practice, practice concept, and there’s a reason for that…the more comfortable you become with the tools when you’re a student, the easier the transition to doing what YOU want in design will be.

Andrew Clarke, author of the article, states:

Perhaps the most important lessons I learned at art school were not to take what we hear or see at face value and to question everything we’re told. Everyone should do that. I want you to always ask, “Can I do it better?” Remember that just because something’s been done doesn’t mean you can’t do it better. There’s really nothing we can’t improve, and we don’t have to improve it for everyone — improving it for ourselves is often more important.

It’s not enough to merely regurgitate designs…we must look, see and observe what’s going on around us.  Why do we like certain designs?  What are we interested in as a designer?  These are things only time and exploration will unfold.

How do we find ourselves  in art and design?  How do we find inspiration?  All of us will take our own path, for sure, but know that as long as you try your hardest, push yourself harder, you will succeed.


More links on inspiration/how to make it as a designer:

Work Hard and Be Nice to People

Be Humble, Be Honest and Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Advice for Students and Young Web Designers

In this article, experts on a panel give advice to young/emerging designers.  One of my favorite parts?

Well, I guess the most important thing is “practice, practice, practice.” To improve the quality of your work, you have to keep pushing yourself further and further.


Ira Glass on Creativity

I showed this in some of the classes as an example for kinetic typography…but the message itself is important to hear.



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.

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



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