Entrepreneurship: Guest Speakers

On February 8th 2017, our Entrepreneurship class welcomed a panel of guest speakers that took the time out of their busy lives to sit down and chat with us about their experiences on developing their own businesses and taking on the graphic design world. These speakers were no other than Karen Bonhomme, Brad Duffy, Vincent Pereze and Brian Chard.

Each speaker took turns sharing their story beginning with there backgrounds, stepping into the real world, achievements, tragedies, and even some great tips we new designers could always use in the future to better ourselves. Each story made me so excited and full of ambition to get out there and spread my designer wings and fly. But it’s not that easy. Even though each story had good and bad tales they all seemed to work out in the end. Each bump in the road was just a stepping stone to do better or a learning experience which helped expand their knowledge to problems they faced and to find a solution to solve it.

Karen Bonhomme was the first to share her wisdom and experiences. She spoke about how she built her own business ( 1dea ), how we have to stay current and up to date with new trends to keep us fresh as the new designers joining the force. Karen also spoke about making sure we as designers keep a well balanced life because at the end of the day it’s important to have time for your personal life as well as a work life. She showed us all that if you put your mind to something anything is possible and when your going through the bad times to keep your head up, step back and then keep going. I think personally that was my favourite take away from her wisdom, I’m always afraid of failing and one day it might happen, but it was good to know it happens to everyone now and then,you just keep moving. I found it made me more confident in solving those problems when they occur and believe in the designer I can be.

Next to the panel was Brad Duffy. A freelance graphic designer who works from the comfort of his own home. #GOALS. Listening to Brad’s stories really inspired me to pursue my dreams of staring my own business and continue with my freelance work. Brad talked about how he started freelancing and networking while in college and from that he gained a head start in the Kingston community. He shared how he started his business and the ups and downs that he ran into along the way, but the tip I found very useful was when he was talking about facing your problems when they show up, never leave it to simmer because that will lead to either loosing your client or giving yourself a bad reputation. Brad shared many valuable tips on working with clients, keeping your self on schedule and like Karen said balance your life! Brad’s talk really opened my eyes on one day running my very own business and put me in full gear to check this goal off my life list.

Vincent Perez was next and he spoke about his life in becoming a designer, his freelance experiences, his business doing letter press and teaching at SLC. When Vincent spoke about his letter press he said he took a chance on what he was really passionate about and put it to work. Letter Press is a very unique way to print and not as common as it use to be, but thats what makes him stand out from the other print shops around town which can be great for business. Vince said old school trends always make there way back in style, which is very true when looking at fashion trends with in the last few years. Vince shared his background and how he juggles his business, teaching and family all at once. An important tip he quickly shared with us was even though you think you have things under control it’s not a bad idea to have someone to count on and help out sometimes, you don’t have to do everything alone.

Our last speaker was Brian Chard, He also juggles many different things in his life and manages to still live a happy life which I find amazing and very inspiring! Design, Web development, teaching, photography and family life all at once seems crazy, but it can happen the number one thing I took from Brain was you can love multiple things and if they drive your passion DO IT! Passion is key to a happy life, so do what you love and never give up on it. That right there was the best was the best way to end the discussion. I always take great passion in what I do and if there is no passion flowing I cant get inspired. Loving what you do will get you were you want to be.

This panel of speakers really put me at ease when thinking about my future. Every talk was inspiring and helpful in so many ways to me as a young designer. Hearing about the gains and losses, but knowing it all works out with hard work, tough skin and never giving up on yourself because life is too short for missed out opportunities.

Want to know more about this panel of speakers?
If your interested in knowing more about each of these wonderful designers their websites will be listed below.

Karen Bonhomme —> 1dea.ca

Brad Duffy —> fourdegrees.ca

Vincent Pereze —> everlovinpress.com

Brian Chard —> www.brianchard.com


Photo Credit:dribbble.com/shots/1672354-Design-is-a-Journey



Rules, Rules, Rules: RGD Rules of Professional Conduct (Part 2)

It’s time to go over another rule! My last post focused on rule #2 from the RGD Rules of Professional Conduct and the business of graphic design with guidance from the RGD Professional Handbook, but this time we look at another rule to talk about. This time in class we went over rules 4,5 and 6. After getting an understand on those rules it’s time to choose one rule and blog about what we learned and took away from the rule we chose. The next rule I decided to talk about this time is Rule #4, and in the RGD handbook it states…

“I will strive to act in the best interest of consumers and society wherever possible.”

Some of the key take away’s for this rule are stated below.

  • Learn and use accessibility principles in your work. It’s the law.
  • Follow health and safety laws in your place of business and practice.
  • Do not accept projects that promote hatred, discrimination, or exploitation
  • Visually portray people respectfully/sensitively
  • Use materials, processes and solutions that are economically, culturally, socially and environmentally sustainable.
  • Strive to donate 5% of your design time to charitable or public good projects.

I believe this rule is suitable for everyone in the workplace not just designers or RGD’s. This rule talks about accessibility principles, health and safety laws, how hatred, discrimination, or exploitation is not acceptable in anyway,shape or form and to always have respect for everyone around you. This rule shows us to help create fairness in design with moral and ethical treatments and to make sure designs are made accessible without any disrespect, hatred, or exploitation. Also, designs should be sensitive to social, cultural and economical situations.

An example of this rule being broken would be if a designer was designing a new fire escape map and only put the instructions on the signs in the English language only because the designer felt everyone should only speak English in this location. This would cause major discrimination issues, health and safety laws to be broken along with the signs not being accessible to other cultures within that building.

I find this rule very important in the design field and when I think about my own design practice I will definitely make sure this one never leaves my mind. It is always important to always consider the environment around you and how you can produce your work professionally. Also, another great idea is to consider how much of your design time goes toward the community. RGD suggests that, “5% of your design time to charitable or public good projects.” And I think that’s great!

All of RGD’s Rules of Professional Conduct are a designers best friend and should become a very important asset to understand and use all the time. To be successful as a young designer always remember the importance of this rule and the 7 others, they will never let you down and one more thing, Always try and respect everyone around you and what you design.

As before, I still highly suggest if you find these rules interesting or useful in anyway to go out and get yourself a copy of the RGD Handbook, these rule are valuable to everyone in the work world not just designers! ( link is below )

—> https://www.rgd.ca/resources/rgd-handbook.php <—

Question of the day:
What do you think of this rule? Is it something you do/would follow in your practice?


Rules, Rules, Rules: RGD Rules of Professional Conduct

It’s time to get down to business! The last semester of my three year graphic design journey is coming to a close, but before we go it’s time to learn about the business of graphic design with guidance from the RGD Professional Handbook. Since the real world is approaching fast it is great to have good knowledge on being professional, ethics, rules, business and little tips to always remember. Right now in my Portfolio and Practice class all of us are learning the eight rules of professional conduct, but first we started with the first three and by the end of this class we all will leave with knowledge of eight important rules we need to understand as a rising graphic designers.
Since we have the first three rules down pat it’s time to choose one rule and blog about what we learned and took away from the rule we chose. The rule I decided to talk about is Rule #2, and in the RGD handbook it states…

“I will engage in the practice, management and /or instruction of graphic design in an ethical and lawful manner.”

As we went over this rule I got to take away some important points provided by our professor that are key in understanding when becoming a graphic designer.

  • Criticize other designers’ work fairly
  • Don’t unfairly steal clients from other designers or your boss
  • Don’t accept kickbacks for supplier referrals
  • Be honest in your self-promotion
  • Do not exploit students, either as interns or as employees
  • Follow all labour laws and treat employees fairly
  • Educate students and employees on these rules

Registered Graphic Designers ( RGDs) are committed to the highest professional and ethical standards when working for clients as employees, and in service to the general public. All of those points are incredibly important to follow and remember as a designer or not. The point I consider important would be “Be honest in yourself – promotion”. Which in other words means be honest with yourself and others, don’t say you can move mountains when you can only pick up stones at the moment, it’s okay not to be great at everything there is always time to learn. Tell others what you can do with honesty and truth.

Now with that being said the question is, how will I include this rule into my design practice? Simple. I will make sure I never promote myself incorrectly by telling others what I can not actually achieve or do for them. For example, if a client was looking to have a website created for their business and asked me if I could do it I will tell them the truth by saying I don’t have the strongest skills in web development, but I’m always willing to strengthen that skill. I may not get the job with that client, but I told them the truth of where my skill set lies instead of lying about my skill which would of lead to a disaster if taken on. Always stay honest to yourself and others.
If you are interested in learning more about RGD and their rules of professional conduct you definitely need to pick up yourself a copy of the The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook it’s filled with tons of valuable information that could benefit your yourself or business.

Question of the day:
What has being honest done for you?


image sorce: RGD’s Rules of Professional Conduct https://www.rgd.ca/resources/ethics

Independent Type Study

COMM 85 – Career Planning    
 Blog post #1

Third year has begun! I actually can’t believe how fast my graphic design course is going, its scary and exciting all at the same time. Now this year we are learning a lot about building our portfolios and the paths we are going to take, but at the moment that stuff scares me right now and it’s for another blog post.

Right now I’m wanting to discuss my independent type study that’s going on right now in typography class. Each of get to choose any topic we want involving type. When I first heard about it I was to excited, a project I get to tackle all on my own, kind of like my first project as a freelancer. It’s too cool!

For my topic I was really wanting to explore hand lettering and book design, its such a passion of mine and it’s definitely something I want to do in my future as a designer, but since there are so many “how to hand letter” books out there a different approach was seriously needed. Now Hand letting is always elegant, sweet and put on cute items like note books, mugs and inspirational quote posters. What if this elegant hand drawn type was placed on something where is didn’t belong? And so my ideas start flowing and I being to think of professional items and ways some how to link my hand lettering passion into something professional.

Ending on a happy note I will be blogging more on this project and not leave you all hanging. I will show the steps I take and holes I climb out of. Here’s to an awesome independent project and a exciting project documentation!

Blog Post #4 Year 2: RGD Event

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the 2015 RGD event that was held this year, so to experience a small piece of awesomeness from what I missed out on was turn on my laptop, access the internet and go to http://www.rgd.ca/resources/videos/video_gallery.php. I then watched a one-hour presentation by Jessica Hische on Lettering and it’s place in the industry.

Letterer, Illustrator, Crazy cat lady and Secret web designer

From watching the video, I learned a lot about Jessica Hische and her journey on becoming the great letterer/illustrator she is today. In her talk she shares many of her life experiences and projects she has done throughout her career, the fun times and struggles she encountered along the way, the price of Typefaces and Spec Work.

Jessica explains Calligraphers vs. Letterers, Typography vs. Type vs. Fonts. And how she was called a calligrapher most of the time. Another topic Jessica brought up was “Graphic Designers don’t understand Typeface Design… because if they did they wouldn’t complain on how expensive the fonts are” (which was a big topic discussed) She goes on about discussing the everyday typefaces she sees like Gotham, Verdana and Georgia and how a lot of people get upset on how much typefaces cost to buy, but very few people know how much money goes into designing these typefaces. From listening to her talk about that issue it’s very understandable on the prices typeface designers put on their fonts, to be honest it’s still really cheep from what they spent just to create one font family.

As the talk goes on Jessica talks about how so many people came to her about spec work, so she decided to create “Should I Work for Free” flow chart. She found it a really fun way to express her opinion, but still be really humorous along the way. This chart was to help other people  figure out if working for free is okay in certain situations. At first this flow chart was just a JPEG, but Jessica had too many people complain the image took to long to load so she ended up coding the whole thing in HTML and CSS and to her benefit it taught her how to be a better web designer.


The key message from Jessica’s video was never stop pushing your limits, your going to create great things.

  “Make things you wish existed, the more passion projects you can do the more people will know who you are, A lot of people just need that push to do it so just start that project that has been sitting in your mind because it will be really worth your while” – Jessica Hische

Here are a couple websites created by Jessica that are great for all designers out there and could come in handy:





 Hopefully in the years to come I will attend and RGD event to experience some creative talks, but for now videos on the rgd website will have to do.

If you have interest in RGD I highly recommend visiting their website, check it out at



Blog Post #3 Year 2 : My love for Hand Lettering


Since I began my journey as a Graphic Design student I have developed a great love for handwriting fonts and cursive type. I love the character and personality they bring to the table, and this trend for hand lettering is just blowing my mind. I LOVE it! Everyday I would find my self on Pinterest browsing through other artists beautiful hand lettering designs. Rarely does a Pinterest session go by without me pinning something inspiring to my Hand Lettering board. If you wish to view my inspiration you can view it here

Over the summer I began to practice on my own from videos, books, pictures and designers I follow on social media and believe me its harder than it looks! It takes a lot of patients and practice, but totally worth it. Here is a link to a video I thought was really helpful when I began to take an interest in hand lettering, it’s great for learning the basics!


Hand lettering is literally as it sounds. It is like a drawing, but its words hand drawn into beautiful works of art by artists and then converted into a digital file. It’s just so amazing and beautiful! Not to mention fun too. Through hand lettering you can show so much energy, intention and meaning. Some are expressive or confident, some quiet and some reflective. You can even incorporate them into your own designs like logos, brand identity, websites, blogs and even clothing!

View More: http://morganblake.pass.us/maiedae
Lettering by: Jenny HighSmith http://www.jennyhighsmith.com

Below are a few inspirational pieces by an amazing graphic designer from the UK named Seb Lester. His Lettering blows my mind! If you love these you need to check him out!.

Lettering by: Seb Lester http://www.seblester.com


Question of the day:

what do you think of hand lettering?

Blog Post #1 Year 2: What does success look like to me?

When I think of success I think of my accomplishments and goals.

Each time I complete a goal I feel a great amount of success, even if its the tiniest goal in my life it still means I did it and i can make it a bit bigger each time. So my success has been every goal I have set in my lifetime. Sometimes success doesn’t always come my way or don’t always work out and I have a high level of anxiety and frustration because they are important to me, but that doesn’t mean I stop making new ones, failure is part of the process, you just have to value time with your success.

One of my greatest goals was going to college, and even though I didn’t pick the right course the first time doesn’t mean give up it means look deeper into your dreams and and make a new mark, and I did. Now i’m a proud second year graphic design student setting goal after goal, reaching higher and higher to my success. It feels good. I’m in the course I enjoy, I have amazing classmates, wonderful teachers guiding my way through the learning process and all my goals are stepping stones leading me on my path in hopes of my highest peek of success by entering the field of work I love and enjoy and share it with others.

Success isn’t fame, wealth, glitter or glam it’s a purpose of accomplishing your wants in life, step by step. You are your own guide to setting your own goals. Visualize it! See it! Feel it! Believe in it!

Question of the Day:

What’s your type of success?