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College of Design

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pinterest for Interior Design

Hi again!

I've recently come across a new website that is the perfect resource for those interested in residential interior design. Since this semester the project I'm working on is designing a culturally sensitive house, this website has been a great discovery for me. I also think it is very interesting even if you're not an interior design student just to look at some amazing homes and spaces!

The website is called Houzz and as a brief description, I would call it the Pinterest of residential interior design. You can search by room to look at a bunch of photos of different spaces, and if you see one you like, you can save it to an ideabook, the equivalent of Pinterest's boards, so you can easily go back to it later.

There are some amazing spaces on this website and you can filter by things like price, style, size, etc. It's super helpful for inspiration and to find new ideas!

Take a look if you dare - you might lose some time searching around this website!
Until next time,
Interior Design

Saturday, February 27, 2016

On The Go Coloring Books

We are now several weeks into this semester, which means that it’s time to wrap up my first projects in each of my studio classes. My favorite of these projects is my packaging assignment, where we were given free range to design the packaging for any set of products as long as they fell into the category of “entertainment.”

I decided I wanted to create my own coloring books and design a sleeve to hold them all so that they can be taken on the go. I thought making a product from scratch would be a fun challenge, and I loved the idea of designing a new kind of entertainment that you could take with you while you’re traveling. This bird is one of the illustrations I designed, and if you'd like to see more. you can check out the pictures I've posted to the College of Design Instagram.

Designing a coloring book wasn’t too much different from a lot of the illustration work I’ve done in the past, but designing the packaging to go along with it was a whole new ball game. I’m definitely not used to designing three-dimensional things, but it’s also exciting to be trying something new! I’m looking forward to my next packaging assignment so much—I can’t remember if I’ve ever been this excited for an upcoming project. Here’s hoping it’s something as rewarding as this project!

Graphic Design

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Choosing a Minor

Hello everyone! As the middle of the semester is approaching, I thought I would talk a little about declaring a minor.

When I first chose my minor, I originally felt very overwhelmed. I had a lot of different interests, but I knew that I wanted to be practical and choose a minor that would apply to my development or career. I think picking a minor is a great way to choose an additional field that you are interested in. While it is additional coursework and there is extra paperwork to file, I think having a minor is a great way to explore a new area of study, as well as get a leg up on other applicants in the "real" world.

I actually got into my leadership minor through a class I took for a liberal education credit. I was interested in taking a course completely different from my business and design classes. After taking the introduction course for the minor, I decided that it was something that I really was interested in. I think this minor has really helped me step out of my comfort zone. What I have learned in class has definitely helped me out with interviews and conflicts at work.

Again, having a minor is a great way to learn a new skill and to continue making yourself the best person you can be!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Project

Hi again!

I've recently began working on a job with the College of Design's Graphic Design Program to redesign their studio spaces. This is a really exciting opportunity that I got simply by word of mouth and a recommendation from a previous professor. Like I've said before, professors at the U are extremely supportive and always looking for opportunities for the students by creating opportunities like this and by spreading the word.
Photo of McNeal Hall exterior where the studios are located.
Photo retrieved from:

So with guidance, I will be spending some time the next few months redesigning three of the graphic design studios in McNeal Hall, on the U of M's St. Paul campus, to give them spaces that are more functional and appealing to students. I'm excited to be doing something for the school and to be helping the graphic design program, one that's just down the hall from the interior design program. Their needs include more flexible, lighter furniture to adapt to technology going from desktop computers to laptops. Also, they're looking to provide spaces for groups and critiques.

I'm really excited to be doing this project to help my school and to get involved in the graphic design program as an interior designer. I hope I can deliver on their needs and help create some great studio spaces for the students and staff!

I'll be sure to keep you all posted on the progress and results!

Interior Design

Monday, February 22, 2016

Adventures with the Laser Cutter

My first experience with the laser cutter in the DigiFabLab was over a year ago, when I designed a stencil for a line of Minneapolis-themed shirts. They turned out well, and it was a good experience working with a machine that had once seemed so intimidating (because a laser cutter seemed way out of my league, as a graphic designer who was not a crafty person). But after that project ended, I was fairly certain that I wouldn’t be using the laser cutter again. Now, a year later, I think I was wrong to make that assumption.

A few days ago, I attended a presentation about the DigiFabLab, where we learned all about the potential uses for the laser cutters in both McNeal Hall and Rapson Hall. One of the lab technicians explained to us which materials the laser could cut, what the hours for the lab are, and how to set up our files properly for the laser cutter. It was all great information, but I personally thought that the most important part of the presentation came when he showed us several amazing examples of what the laser cutter could create.

I found out that the laser cutter doesn’t just cut through these materials—it can engrave them, too. All you need is an Illustrator file with the proper set-up (which you can find on the DigiFabLab website) and you can create an intricate design for a book cover, a woodblock for printing, or maybe even a business card. Not only that, but the laser cutter works for thick materials like wood as well as thinner things like cardstock. I could use the laser cutter to make precise, complicated cuts that I normally wouldn’t be able to do by hand. It’s exciting to think of the possibilities, especially since I’m in the Packaging and Display class right now. I’m definitely going to be using the laser cutter to help create my boxes and containers, and I’ll be sure to share my results here when I’m finished!

Graphic Design

Monday, February 15, 2016

Helpful Resources

This year is flying by! I thought I'd take the time to make a post about some great resources for interior design that I've found through my time at the U of M so far.

Some Interior Design Magazines I've collected recently.
I've previously posted about the importance of getting involved on campus and within professional organizations to help network which can have huge impacts on your job and internship searches in the future. Well one big perk of an IIDA membership is the included subscription that you get as a student member to Interior Design Magazine! It's an amazing resource for the latest in the industry and also provides awesome inspiration and helps familiarize us as students with big manufacturers in the industry. It's a great resource to have around and even if you aren't into reading has great photos so it's easy to just flip through it!

As I'm sure I've previously recommended, Pinterest has been a great resource for me throughout projects. It's so simple and easy to create a board for school and whenever you come across something to pin it and go back to it later. It's a great way to keep track of the websites, products and resources you find but don't have a use for immediately.

Another magazine I've found is a local magazine, Artful Living, is a magazine that has a variety of design and art within it but has been a helpful resource for me to find out about local design firms in the area which has been helpful when I've been looking for internships. The magazine is local, so the places it features are around the Minneapolis - St. Paul area. It is available online, through subscription, and can also be picked up at International Market Square (IMS).

These are just a couple resources that are available when looking for internships, inspiration, or just some entertainment! Sometimes it takes exploring around a bit to discover some helpful and handy things that can be very helpful during your time in school and even looking ahead into your career.

Interior Design

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The beginning of the end.

Here at the U, classes have started again and my long sleeps have disappeared. I’m really excited about this semester – my schedule isn’t too difficult, my classes seem very interesting, and at the end of it all, I get to graduate! I’m ready to face this semester head on and make it a memorable one.

The scariest part of this semester is that by the end of it, I hope to have a job lined up. During my semester abroad, I fell completely in love with Copenhagen and Denmark, it quickly became my home. So I’m going to be trying my hardest to get a job back home. Using your resources is essential in the quest for a job!

My sister also graduated from the College of Design, so I know from her experience that they provide plenty of resources. In the coming weeks, I am going to be finishing up my portfolio and resume, then I am going to promptly head to Career & Internship Services. They do a great job of sharing what makes your resume strong, and provide a lot of great examples of successful resumes.

GoldPASS is another wonderful resource the U has. Students can use this for finding jobs and internships while still in school, but also for big kid jobs after graduation! It has great filter settings, so you can look for full time jobs or part time jobs, local jobs or nation wide jobs. Career Services can even help set up email reminders when new jobs are posted that might be of interest to you!

Even though the next step is a big one, and a scary one, I know that I’m not alone. My peers are going through the same things as well, and I know that I’ll have Career Services to help me when I’m in need. Perks of being a Gopher!


Monday, February 8, 2016

It Finally Happened

Yesterday was the Senior Apparel Design Fashion Show: IDENTITY. I can’ t believe that it finally happened. It is a little surreal to finally have finished my senior show and show my senior collection. I can remember when I was still in my first year and helping with the senior class then. Back then, this day seemed so far away.

My Senior Collection, VIVID
My models and I, waiting to hit the runway.

My day started at 7am to meet with hair and makeup to help them get set up. From that point on it was a lot of running around making sure that everything was going well. Making sure that all the designers and models were staying on schedule for their hair and makeup, their photo shoot, and their rehearsal times, as well as trying to keep track of my models and keeping them on schedule. After the show, there was still clean and tear down that needed to happen, so my night didn’t end until about 11pm. No matter how much you plan, and how much you try to maintain a strict schedule, something will happen, and you will fall behind. All you can do is keep going and make any adjustments to get back on track as you can. The whole day was a huge adrenaline rush and created an exhausting next day, but I loved every moment of it.

Overall the show was a complete success! Backstage and earlier in the day, it may have been hectic and crazy, but to the audience, everything was smooth and professional. I couldn’t be happier with how the show turned out. I’ve heard nothing but great things from the people that came and saw the show. I am so proud of all the designers in the Apparel Design Class of 2016. We’ve been through so many things together and I’ve watched every one of them grow to become an amazing designer. I am so honored that I got to share a runway with them

Congrats Apparel Design Class of 2016 on a wonderful show!!

Make sure to follow my blog at to keep up to date with me, and follow our Instagram to see some more pics

Apparel Design

Thursday, February 4, 2016

First week in Rome!

I can't believe I have been in Rome for a over a week already! The week has been filled with lectures, sketching, site visits, eating and then more sketching. While in Rome, the other students in the program and I are working on constructing a map of the city. Each group researches the history, important monuments, building, and layout of their section to create final illustrations. My section of Rome that I am researching is located in the northern part of the city center, including the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. In order to better understand our site, we have been researching the history online as well as exploring and sketching the area. The next step will be to start drafting our preliminary drawings of the site.

Piazza del Popolo
Along with the final project, we also have guest lectures throughout the semester. Our first lecture was with Paulo, who led us around the city exploring the urban planning and history of Rome. One thing that is nice about this program, is that it allows us to explore the city while also learning about its rich history of architecture and planning. Tomorrow, we are meeting as a group to work on the layout and connections of our drawings and maps. Now I am off to get some gelato!

Landscape design and planning

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Graphic Design Blogger

My name is Jordan and I am the new graphic design blogger!

I had every intention of starting off with an introductory post where I told you a bit about my life and who I am. However, during my first class of the semester, we worked on an assignment that served as a sort of “get to know you” project, so I’ve decided to share that here instead!

I’m currently taking Identity and Symbols, where I’ll eventually learn about the foundations of logo design. For now, though, we started off the year by doing an exercise in making mood boards. We collected images that, when put together, gave the viewer a general sense of who we are as a person. You can have a look at mine and use that as a way to get to know me!

It’s not polished, by any means, but that’s what I like about making mood boards. It’s kind of like scrapbooking, but instead of gathering memories you’re doing research and finding design trends that you can draw ideas from. Plus, it gives you a good excuse to search for some really cool pictures.

If you want to do some visual research of your own, you can always look at sites like Pinterest or Behance, but I’ve also recently learned about an interesting website called Designspiration that has a wide collection of great stuff—and the best part is, you can search for stuff just by typing a keyword while you’re on the homepage!  It’s a great place to browse for inspiration.

That's all for now! I look forward to sharing more with you as my college career progresses.

Graphic Design