Finding Information while in search of Inspiration

One of the greatest things I enjoy about research are the continuous questions and digging that must occur when you are trying to answer your initial question. You start one place and dive down the rabbit hole. The secret to this process is knowing when you have gone too far. In graduate school, I explored this process in a tiny study room in the library. Stacking a dozen books and slowly digging through each them, finding information that formed new questions that had to be answered. I absolutely loved the process and miss that tiny room at times.

Today, I dig through the world looking for inspiration for you, my student, but often find myself stumbling across articles, information, and inspiration that I had never intended to. It’s a great experience and feeling to find something new and unexpected. Inspiration can be found everywhere, so next time you are walking around or on the internet, put your phone on do not disturb, put on some chill music, and allow yourself to get lost; you never can tell what you might find.

Painted Murals (Uh…Advertisements)

When I went to LA for Adobe Max I was amazed at a variety of gargantuan advertisements that at first glance I thought were traditional vinyl. Upon closer inspection, they were actually painted murals. Then, Tori Neundorfer sent me this video. My mind was already blown before watching it, so if you love painting and design, willing to start as an apprentice, and are up for a challenge, this job may just be for you.

Learning from the Art of Character Design

In doing research for GD3s next project, I came across this great article (10 Quick Tips to Help You Design Characters Like a Pro) and resources for those who are looking into Character Design for whatever reason. Although we very rarely come across this type of work in graphic design, there is much which we can glean from its process of development: Have a Concept, Less is More, Be Inspired, Make your Work Unique, Use Color to Communicate.

Image Courtesy of

Texture: Making Your Design Stronger

One of the more often overlooked elements of design is texture. If we take a moment to think about it, different textures can convey different emotions. Adding texture into our work can help us add tension, variation, and ultimately help us better communicate to our audience. The following article goes over 10 different ways you can incorporate texture into your designs today.

The Role of Textures in Contemporary Graphic Design

In Defense of Poster-a-Day Projects

“I was … scared that I’d make mistakes, and worried about what people would think. Like an actor or a musician, my pseudonym allowed me to become a character. It helped to separate my work from my own sensitivities—there’s no judgment in the process, and that becomes the purest sense of creating and learning, in a way.”

As some of you know and have experienced, we do a Poster-a-Day project in GD3. The exercise is about design something every day for an extended period of time in order to refine our skills and just have fun creating. In this article from AIGAs Eye on Design newsletter, we read about Allan Yu, who, at the time of publishing, had completed well over 1100 posters. I found it interesting that Yu chose to use a pseudonym (pen name) in order to free himself and allow for greater risk of failure and creativity. I highly recommend taking the 5–10 minutes to read this short but informative article.

In Defense of Poster-a-Day Projects // Link

There’s only one way to experience music in an art and design studio.


Music plays an important role in creativity. We plug in and listen to our various playlists on YouTube, Spotify, or Pandora to get us in a zone where we can create. While this is great at home or in the coffee shop, a studio needs a cassette playing boombox with the crusty tapes of music that is as obscure as the technology. Whether in undergrad or grad school, my favorite studios were the one’s where there was constant music blaring. And while the design studio has a decent audio system, there is something nostalgic about the old school boombox.

Now I have to figure out how to get the department to pay for this $300 beauty—the Brooklyn Boombox—sold at the Museum of Modern Art.

Adobe Dimension CC

Experimented with this program tonight as I worked on a new Omaha design. It is certainly a power hungry application, but it seems like you can do some pretty cool things. May want to try to run it on the studios iMacs if it is installed. If it is not, and you are interested in having it available, just let me know.

Assets on Adobe Stock are much too expensive… one of the bigger faults of the program to be honest, but you can download free OBJ files from a number of sites. I found the one I was looking for on Free3D: Like all new software there is a learning curve.

2019 Illustration Competition

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Deadline: January 11, 2019

Introduce your work to the world. Enter the most prestigious competition for creativity in illustration, the Communication Arts Illustration Competition. Any illustration first published or produced from January 2018 through January 2019 is eligible. Selected by a nationally representative jury of distinguished designers, art directors and illustrators, the winning entries will be distributed worldwide in the Communication Arts Illustration Annual, in print and digital editions, and on, assuring important exposure to the creators of this outstanding work. As a service to art directors, designers and art buyers, a comprehensive index will carry contact information of the illustrators represented.

Click for Entry Guidelines

Single Student Entry: $20
Series (5) Student Entry: $40

The Secret Language of Letter Design

We often forget that in the world we live in that design exists all over the world and this Ted talk by Martina Flor looks at the importance in the cultural influence on typography and typography’s importance to those outside that culture. Flor also discusses how our own limitations, in her case language, will ultimately strengthen our work. This 12-minute talk should inspire, challenge, and encourage you to explore type in greater depth strengthening the reason why so much importance is placed on it in our curriculum.

Thank you to Courtney England for the link to the video.