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.





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

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



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

spriation! (Illustrator class)

Here are some more signspriations for you when you begin your sketches for project two.  Remember, signage is about utility and functionality.  How do you get the point across quickly so that your viewer is warned or cautioned of an upcoming obstacle.



Sites for Fonts and Images

As requested, here are a few sites for fonts and images that you can use for our classes.


Type Sites:   (this is the one that’s free for commercial use)



stock xchng


wiki commons

dreamstime (make sure you’re searching on the “Free” tab…90% of that site is via payment, but there are free resources…I have this link taking you to the free tab, just to be safe)


And as well, you may take your own photos and use them!


Prof. Redding


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