The studio of Jarrod Drysdale,
designer, writer, & consultant.

icon of a print color swatch booklet


I write about design, freelancing, product making, and more. I also post some of the articles from my weekly design newsletter, Critique, here. To get all my articles, sign up for the newsletter.

Get exclusive, weekly design articles

Planning design projects is essential, but we designers either tend to ignore it completely or go way overboard.

Watch this video and begin to unlearn the misconceptions you have about the design process.

Continue reading

You don’t have memorize a long list of steps and follow them perfectly in order to create a design.

Let’s reboot what you know about design process, so you can finally discover your own process that helps you be more productive.

Continue reading

If you’re like most designers, every time you begin a new design project you look for new inspiration.

You browse design blogs and galleries, flip through magazines and books, and review your old projects looking for a new thread to follow.

But when you find that inspiration, how often does that early idea remain part of the final design?

The truth is that there are better ways to grow as a designer than an endless pursuit of inspiration.

Continue reading

Work smarter. Keep pushing. Be more productive.

These are the mantras we follow while doing creative work, but sometimes they accomplish the opposite of what we want.

Continue reading

Do you dream of opening an agency or becoming a creative director?

Many designers claim this at some point during our careers, and the dream is certainly exciting. We imagine working for prestigious clients, having a professionally designed office space downtown, and living the good life designing creative, amazing things.

If you could open your own agency or become a creative director you would get all kinds of creative freedom. You could fight for the important aspects of creative work and finally have control over the final product.

But I’m here to tell you, that dream might not work out the way you hope…

Continue reading

Are you a real designer if you didn’t graduate from design school?

With so many ways to learn about design and so many designers describing ourselves as “self-taught”, do you need a special piece of paper from a university to prove you are a designer?

Continue reading

You obsessed for hours on end for weeks. You lost sleep thinking about it. You tried every possible angle and approach.

And stretching your abilities to the limit, you made the best design you possibly could. At the time, is was the absolute best thing you had ever made.

But a few months later, you tried to forget about it.

Do you ever feel embarrassed by your old work? Here’s why you shouldn’t.

Continue reading

Most freelancers burn through clients faster than King Arthur loses knights (especially if you’re enjoying the Monty Python version).

A thriving consulting business needs a constant stream of new clients, after all. However, no matter how efficient you are, earning that constant stream of new work gets exhausting.

Instead of trying to book single, one-off projects, pick your favorite clients and guide them towards ongoing work and a long-term relationship. Start offering retainers to the people you enjoy working with most.

Continue reading

Have you ever wondered what everyone else thinks when they see us designers venting on sites like Clients from Hell and Reddit?

Continue reading

Sometimes a client/boss will change your design for the worse after the project ends. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

You have bad designs floating around with your name on them.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:

Continue reading