Welcome back! Or just welcome! Please come to convocation on Thursday at noon in AB 320. Meet some faculty, meet some classmates, learn about the program and Friends of Graphic Design and maybe even get some free stuff, etc!
Everyone is encouraged to attend so we hope to see you there! 
Image by the awesome Brendan Mulligan!

Welcome back! Or just welcome! Please come to convocation on Thursday at noon in AB 320. Meet some faculty, meet some classmates, learn about the program and Friends of Graphic Design and maybe even get some free stuff, etc!

Everyone is encouraged to attend so we hope to see you there! 

Image by the awesome Brendan Mulligan!



"How many categories is too many categories?"

Making decisions is hard. Making decisions on how to best display your work is real hard. I have been “kinda” working on a new site for over a year. Do you have a portfolio site? I’m not talking about a tumblr or a behance. Unless you’re going to utilizing these platforms like Olaf BreuningSean Schumacher, or Jason Sturgill do. 

I’m talking about an actual site with thought behind it’s organization of your work (please note: it’s images of YOUR work, not images you found on the internet that you think are cool).

Lots of folks utilize existing tools like Squarespace, Cargo Collective, indexhibit, Virb, SiteLeaf, or 4ormat to showcase their work in a professional manner. These are all great and each have credentials that make them worth exploring. Custom sites built on Wordpress are also nice. Whatever you pick, I’d look into a custom domain and make sure you have good hosting. 

Bullet Point #PROTIPS

  • Show the work you want to be making. 
  • Let your work be the focal point. 
  • If you don’t do web design, don’t code your own site (unless you’re awesome at it and have the time). Outsource things you don’t want to do or you’re *not capable of. 
  • You want a site that isn’t a burden to update and allows you to make changes whenever you want.
  • Update your site with consideration. Monthly? Quarterly? Randomly (whenever you don’t have client work on your plate)?

I feel like I do a decent job of updating projects and blasting the web with new content, but I don’t think my work is always displayed as best as it could be. Especially in regards to accessibility for viewers to filter through various projects. 

With all of this in mind, I have been asking myself a lot of questions and seeking advice from my friend Cody. He is a very talented designer and is quite familiar with my work. AND he loves torturing himself by *overthinking every possible decision. 

Big moves I have been thinking about:

  1. Splitting up my work into two practices “art” and “client”—in a similar way to Cody Hudson or Geoff McFetridge have done for several yearls. OR having two completely different sites like my pal Ray Fenwick does (Art / Illustration). For now, I’ve come to the decision that my work is stronger when shown in it’s entirety. It’s more complicated/interesting this way. I think in the future as my art practice further develops, it might need to live on its own. 
  2. How big do you make yer pictures?! 1200px-1600px wide seems to be as large as you’d want to go (according to my friend). I’ve been hanging around 900px and feeling real lazy about changing all of those files.
  3. Landing page or “Splash” page. Seems like a thing of the past has made a recent comeback. I’m into it—but will be implementing a featured project section instead of a straight up splish-splash page. This way I get to have some big flossy photos upfront that shout “hey neato” but then a viewer could easily scroll down for a quick overview of my project buffet. 
  4. Filtering system. How are projects organized? The bombardment of the amount of work I show is the point (I think), but it would benefit me (potential clients) if it was broken down into more digestible bites. Or snack stacks. So I will be implementing several categories to filter projects. I also plan on archiving older work and condensing some pieces into more broad overviews, i.e. “lettering” “identity” “patterns” (picture me saying these terms with air quotes).

So when is this gonna be ready? I dunno. Why am I posting about this? That I really don’t know. For some reason I had an urge to treat tumblr (this blog) like a xanga page and write about my feelings. But, I also teach and will likely share this with my students. (Hi students!)

Perhaps my woes of *grad school are wearing off. I might even go read a book now. One with words, not just pictures. 

Wait a second. Did you really read all of this? Wow. If you’re wanting something more critical to read, I recommend this artnet article on instagram and art theory, The Ways of Seeing Instagram by Ben Davis. Very interesting read.


Cody hasn’t had an updated portfolio site in what seems like a decade. Does this make me an idiot for trusting him? Nope. Just because he can’t make decisions about his work, doesn’t mean he’s not filled with great ideas about my work. 

There are times to learn new skills! Doing heavy web lifting isn’t a skill I wish to have—unless I didn’t have to go through the process of “learning” and messing up and getting frustrated over and over and over and over. Code makes me sleepy.

In regards to over thinking here’s a link to my MFA tumblr filled with diaristic entries on spazzing out. 

Last note: I’m not an authority on this :) these are thoughts of a simple Rad Dad. 

Be Honest Info Session

Be Honest! Saturday, May 3rd at Wieden + Kennedy 
224 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Schedule & Logistics

12:00 Set up Volunteers arrive
2:00 All Participants Arrive
5:00–6:00 VIP Event
6:00–8:00 Student Showcase
8:00–9:00 Guest Speaker: Dan Cassaro
9:00–10:00 Tear down Volunteers

  • All Be Honest participants must sign up to help set up or tear down.  We also need help with event materials production, happening one week from today. 
  • We will begin set up at 12pm
  • All Participants MUST be at W+K by 2pm and ready to set up your table. It takes more time than you may expect to have everything set up.
  • VIP Invite Only guests will begin arriving at 5:00. The list of visitors includes people from Wieden Kennedy, Nike, Plazm, Big Giant, OMFGCo, and more. This period of the evening is a little slower, quiet, and allows for more in depth conversations to be had with some really great people from our community. If there is someone special that you would like to come to the invite only portion of the evening, send an email to Kate and she will send a personal invitation to that person!
  • During the event we will be serving beer and snacks for our guests. We’ll also have a Good Editions table selling prints and a general information/welcome table for PSUGD/FoGD
  • We will not have access to power supply or wifi, so make sure you’re charged up and prepared if you plan to show any work on your tablet or laptop. 
  • Parking in the Pearl is a pain, so carpool, use public transportation, or have someone give you a ride.  
  • We will be responsible for total clean up of the space, so we would like to have LOTS of volunteers for tear down/clean up. 


  • Each student will have a 3ft wide by 1.5 ft deep area to display their work. It’s not much, so please plan ahead and carefully consider what you want to show.  Take a look at photos from previous years to see how students set up their tables and displayed their work. LINKLINKLINK
  • Full table size is 6 ft wide, which means they’re split in two, which means you can pick a table buddy within your grade level! See next item.
  • Tables are first come first serve! Tables will be grouped by grade level (Sophomore, Junior, Senior). 
  • Bring your own materials to decorate your table. Maybe consider building upward to make your work more noticeable. Remember to bring tape, binder clips, string, etc. Whatever you think you might need to set up. Try doing a table “dress rehearsal” at home! 

Dress Code / Etiquette

  • Less casual than an interview, more formal than everyday. “Creative Casual”
  • Wear comfy shoes! You’ll be standing most of the night!
  • Be Nice! Some people will be wearing name tags, but others won’t! Treat everyone kindly, you never know who you may be speaking to. 
  • Be prepared to talk about your work! 
  • Some past Be Honest students have suggested you bring in process work or sketch books! Ask specific questions about your work to get feedback. 

Are You Ready Checklist?

  • Do you have takeaways? (business cards, post cards, prints, buttons, other super creative things!)
  • Is your website up to date?
  • Are you prepared to discuss your work/Have specific questions to receive feedback?

At this point you’ve worked really hard so have FUN and meet the great people that make up Portland’s creative community! 

If I missed anything or you have questions, you can tweet @fogd or comment below. 

Volunteer to Help at Be Honest!

Hey PSUGD Students! Want to be an extra awesome person and help out at Be Honest? We’re looking for extra hands for decorating & set up, tear down crew, gallery install crew, some friendly folks to represent FoGD at the welcome table and take tickets for the Dan Cassaro talk! 

Sign up to volunteer over on SignupGenius! Also, we’re asking that all Be Honest participants will sign up to either help set up or tear down. Pretty please.


Be Honest Gallery Show at Wieden+Kennedy

Hey all you excellent Be Honest participants! Are you interested in having your work shown in the W+K gallery during Be Honest?! The Friends of Graphic Design are organizing the first Be Honest Gallery Show and would love to feature your work! Anything two-dimensional that can be easily hung with 2 binder clips.

Drop off your work to an FoGD Officer in the Green Room:
Weds April 30th from 3–4pm or Thursday May 1st from 12–2pm, if neither of those times work for you — email us at friendsofgraphicdesign@gmail.com, tweet us @fogd, or comment here!

Be Honest Info Session

Hey Be Honest Participants! I bet you have a question or two about what you should expect at Be Honest and how to prepare?! We’re holding an information session this week to give you all the details and answer your questions. Join us right after Show & Tell with Bob Smith on Thursday April 24th at 1pm in Art 320. 

Show & Tell with Bob Smith

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An autodidactic freak of nature focusing on the confluence of sport apparel and graphic design (whatever the hell that means), Bob specializes in telling authentic, compelling stories through branded apparel. He has over 15 years in the Performance and Sportswear industry and comes highly recommended by some of the brightest leaders in the field.

Bob fancies himself a cultural anthropologist/sociologist. His curiosity allows him to excel at immersing himself in the culture of a brand and digging out compelling product and retail insights that consistently (and profitably) resound with customers and the media. Bob has experience in virtually every aspect of creating a successful line and bringing it to market, while infusing the teams he works with an infectious enthusiasm.
Bob does work as bobsmith:design, a creative consultancy which brings together insightful design direction, a playful wit, and a commitment to craftsmanship.





Hope to see you at noon on April 24th in room 320 in the Art Building (2000 SW 5th AVE). RSVP over on Facebook. Show & Tell is free and open to the public!

Call to Draw: Utopia

Week 4 is getting real and projects are happening! Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the time to do all the things? Let’s draw Utopia this week and take a ride on the Spaceship of Imagination


Tag your illustrations #calltodraw and follow along on our Tagboard. Check out last week’s excellent pancakes & penguins! Click images to check out more from these students’ instagram feeds. 














Parameters: Square Format, high resolution, tag it #calltodraw, a new prompt every Thursday. Have fun!

Show & Tell with Jenn Armbrust

This week we’re welcoming Jenn Armbrust for Show & Tell!

Jennifer Armbrust is an artist and advisor working and living in Portland, Oregon. She is a graduate of The Evergreen State College where she relieved a BA Critical Theory in 2000. A former designer and gallerist, she currently runs her own creative consultancy, Armbrust & Co. She recently launched Card Carrying Feminist and sometimes gives out free advice.

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Hope to see you at noon on April 17th in room 320 in the Art Building (2000 SW 5th AVE). RSVP over on Facebook. Show & Tell is free and open to the public!

Call to Draw: Pancakes & Penguins

Our first Call to Draw of Spring term! Pancakes & Penguins, care of Pinball Publishing (sponsored by the letter P).


Parameters: Square Format, high resolution, tag it #calltodraw, a new prompt every Thursday. Have fun!