NEWS: Alumni Davin Abegg is not only a great designer but is in the punk rock band, Secret Abilities! He designs the posters and collateral for the band.

14 Nov

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SALT LAKE CITY — For seven years, Secret Abilities has been carving an indelible mark into the Salt Lake music scene with its brand of pop punk.

Secret Abilities founding member Davin Abegg played in a few bands over the years, but after playing in a group where he only played guitar, he decided to start Secret Abilities, so he could write his own music.

He found band members by reaching out to his friends on social media, and gradually he was able to find like-minded musicians who shared his desire to make fun music without any agendas.

“We didn’t have a lot of direction when we first started, we just wanted to make something honest,” Abegg said. “Overall it’s just simple pop music for people to enjoy. Nothing too deep or too political or too sappy.”

NEWS: Alumni Cassidy Demkov’s design was chosen to for inclusion in Minted Holiday Card Design Challenge!

14 Nov

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It is so exciting to see one of my designs for sale on the Minted website. Not too bad for a last minute decision to submit a design. I look forward to being more involved in the Minted design challenges and plan on submitting more designs that are a little less rushed than this one was.

Hey, if you like it so much go ahead and order some to send to all of your friends and family this year. Click the link on the right side of the blog to place your order from Minted.

Happy Holidays!


ARTICLE: 25 Stunning Hand-Lettering & Calligraphy Designs

14 Nov

Coldplay letters by Jennet Liaw
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While scanning the interweb for artwork to publish I often notice that there’s quite a lot of people out there that don’t really know the difference between typography, lettering and calligraphy. And it actually took me a while before I learned the difference. In the beginning of this blog I pretty much called everything containing letters for Typography.

Smashing Magazine published a very good article a while back about understanding the difference between type and lettering, which I recommend to everyone who’s interested.

But the short version pretty much is:
Typography – “Writing with prefabricated characters”
Lettering – “The art of drawing letters”
Calligraphy – “The art of writing beautiful letters and words”

With all of that said, here’s a new gallery with 25 beautifully drawn and written words.


ARTICLE: How Much Should You Charge For Design Work?

13 Nov

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You can learn a lot about the business end of design and illustration by trial and error and reading articles and books, but one thing that is seemingly impossible to get a grasp on is pricing. Whether you are a student, a young designer, or a seasoned pro, pricing jobs can be one of the most frustrating parts of the creative process. The cost of creative work is shrouded in mystery and very subjective. While it makes some people uncomfortable to talk about art and money together (as we all know creatives are really meant to suffer through life and die penniless), they are incredibly similar when you think about it. What is money other than dirty rectangles of pressed tree pulp? Because we all believe it has value it is valuable.

I know you’re all dying for me to get down to brass tacks and explain how to price for each and every design situation, but what follows won’t be anywhere close to a definitive guide, just some of my own opinions and words of wisdom on how to avoid screwing yourself and the rest of us over by doing too much work for too little pay. We’re in charge of assigning value to what we do.

RESOURCE: The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines

12 Nov

handbook image

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The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines is considered to be the industry bible for communication design and illustration professionals. The current edition continues the tradition with new information, listings and pricing guidelines. It addresses legal rights and issues such as how copyright laws affect the income and work of graphic artists. It also provides tips on how to negotiate the best deals, pricing guidelines, and includes sample contracts.


ARTICLE: 14 pro steps for setting up a student freelance practice

11 Nov

Lewis Bartlett for the National Literacy Trust

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You don’t need to wait until you graduate to grow your client list. Savvy students can gain valuable experience, cash and contacts by taking on freelance projects well before finishing formal education.

It’s a great way to bridge the gap between studying and working. Go about it the right way and you’ll gain new design and business skills, make contacts and add real-world commercial experience to your CV. You’ll earn some money, too.

In the first of two instalments (you can get the second instalment in Computer Arts issue 233), Anne Wollenberg guides you through the basics, from essential equipment to clients, taxes and contracts. Here are 14 steps for setting up your freelance career as a student…

ARTICLE: Incredibly Complex Paper Pop-Up Sculptures by Peter Dahmen

10 Nov

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German designer Peter Dahmen creates pop-up paper sculptures that open to reveal astonishingly complex forms. Dahmen talks about his artistic process and demonstrates a number of his beautiful sculptures in the video “The Magic Moment” by filmmaker Christopher Helkey. Dahmen posts videos of his sculptures on his YouTube channel.

NEWS: Alumni Esther Longmore, featured Shibumi Home designer

8 Nov


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We’re pleased to introduce you to Shibumi Home designer Esther Longmore from beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah. Decorating and embellishing ordinary items since she was a girl, Esther has always loved making things pretty. And we’d say she’s quite talented at it!

Esther describes herself as sweet on the surface, but silly and sassy underneath. “My work tends to reflect that same personality, giving the observant viewer delightful little gems,” she says.

We love the graceful notes and colors of springtime in her pretty pattern collection. What do you love best about her designs?

ARTICLE: Event Poster Design from TOMMYINK

7 Nov


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Last year, we talked with TOMMYINK‘s creator Tommy Sheehan about his poster design inspiration. This week we’re loving his event poster design for the first annual Buckle Up Music Festival, a three-day music bash that took place in July along the Ohio River.

TOMMYINK teamed up with Nelter Small Batch on this project. The result? A very limited “Small Batch” edition of cool posters, comprised of six designs—for artists Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Band Perry, Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss—with only 35 prints of each, printed by Southpaw & the BLDG.

- See more at:

ARTICLE: The Beauty of Letterpress and Engraving

6 Nov


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And now, two series that have been making us drool for quite a while: Neenah’s The Beauty of Engraving, and The Beauty of Letterpress, featuring commissioned work from Jessica Hische, Marian Bantjes, Design Army, Tad Carpenter, Armin Vit, and many others. (Snag yourself a free print of the latest installment from Kevin Cantrell while they last.) It’s a print wonderland—and has benefited a great cause.

As background, here’s what Neenah had to say:

The Beauty of Engraving and The Beauty of Letterpress were conceived as companion sites to showcase the tantalizing possibilities of specialty printing by featuring the work of the designers and craftspeople who continue to reinvent how these print methods are used in modern communication.
 When we launched the Beauty of Letterpress, we couldn’t help but want to support the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum. We also create and produce limited edition prints. The sale of these limited edition prints raised more than $15,000 (a lot of prints) and we matched that donation to help save Hamilton.”


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