Archives for posts with tag: graphic design

A little glimpse of what I’m up to, more updates to come!


Have you ever wanted to pick the brains of your design hero?
As a young designer out of college you realize that there are a ton of information that they did not teach you at school. It’s not that they couldn’t but most of this information is learned through experience.

Learn the Secret Handshake allows young designers like myself a little bit of that insight from those that have paved the way before us. This site allows you to see specific things that people look for in a portfolio, resume or a designer in general. Who knows, maybe you’ll get your Aha! moments with sage advice like this.

Your portfolio is not what you did, but what you’re going to do next. – Tobias van Schneider

So check them out, it’s a wonderful resource for knowledge and inspiration.

Learn The Secret Handshake

What kind of classes should you take in design school?

Going to college to become a designer is a little different than say…an accounting major. The most important note to keep in the back of your mind is:

Which classes will give me the best portfolio pieces and experience?

That should be your mantra all throughout school when you’re registering for classes. What classes specifically should you learn?

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Whenever someone asks me what I do, I’m always hesitant to say I’m a graphic designer because what usually follows is a blank expression on their face.

I mean how can I say I push pixels around on the screen until they ‘feel’ right while sounding like I actually went to school for this?


Finding the right graphic design job is much like online dating, you need to cast a giant net in order to reign in that one job perfect for you. In my experience you must do what you can to get your work seen by as many people possible.

Here are a couple of things that have worked for me.

Facebook groups. I’ve joined several facebook groups dedicated to designers in my local area. Your school may have one, if not why not create one yourself. Regularly within these groups you can see people that are looking for interns or new hires. Do not waste these listings because usually these aren’t advertised in major sites and your chances are better.

AIGA Jobs boards

This is the go to place to look for jobs if you want to be hired in a design firm because usually design firm employees are involved with local AIGA chapter. You also have to pay to see more info about these listings, which is a good thing. What this does is limit your competitors to AIGA members only. Not a member of AIGA? Do what I did and find a listing you’re interested in and ask a friend for a favor if he/she could copy and paste the info to you. This has worked for me in the past and thanks to my lucky charm [you know who you are].

The big idea? Play the numbers game, find the listings that others will not find. Make connections in the design community and use them.

You know what hasn’t worked for me? Craigslist. Why is that? Well everyone and their grandma uses craigslist, specially for jobs. One job advertisement on there can garner hundreds of applicants, most of them unqualified. But it’s hard to stand out in a sea of resumes. It is still worthwhile to apply to jobs through here in the off chance you catch an employers eye.

I’m always fascinated looking at the process of other designers, DKNG Studios comprised of Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman bring to life their works in a very stylistic sort of way. Watch the video to see how they do it and make sure to visit their site.

In this industry there’s two typical paths on what kind of jobs you want to perform. These are the pros and cons to working in such jobs.

You can work in ad agencies, design firms where the deadline is king. These places are full of creatives who will push you to be at your best and help you learn. At the same time, working for places like this can be quite consuming both in time and mentality. You will be expected to work to make deadlines, that means extra hours into the night, and even into the weekend. Meetings in China? Yea that means a late night for you. Art Directors have been there and done that and they want perfection from you.

Working in house for a company as a graphic designer is a little different. You’re probably going to be working as part of the marketing division where you would do email blasts, upkeep their website, etc. You might be one of a few or even working by yourself. There isn’t going to be a lot of feedback on your work, as most people around you won’t know good design from bad. You will be working on the same thing most of the time. However, the upside is that most offices are regimented and there is a set 9-5 hour, leaving you to know what to expect. It is not as fast paced, and you can actually clear your mind when you get home instead of worrying about the project you have waiting at the office.

I hope this gives some insight, this is of course not the only paths you can take as a graphic designer but the two most common.