.design Success: JamieSterner.design

Written By Liz Achanta

If you’re looking for a fun and fresh approach to building your ePortfolio, look no further than JamieSterner.Design.

Jamie Sterner, a recent Communication Design grad from Kutztown University, works as an in-house Graphic Designer for a ballet company – and has worked on projects like website imagery, ads, and merchandise. Jamie also has experience making digital ads, out-of-home ads like billboards and posters, and experience in product and packaging design, as well as logo creation.

“When I got my first job out of college, the one I have now, everyone remembered my logo and would bring it up sometimes because they loved it. I’m only deciding to change it because it sometimes adds confusion to what I actually do.”

While Jamie is new to the design world, she’s not without her obstacles and challenges. Graduating in the middle of the pandemic, alongside learning how to build websites, have been some of her biggest challenges.

“I use JamieSterner.Design as my portfolio website, so it’s to help me show people my work and then eventually get my dream job someday,” said Jamie. “I made this website in my portfolio class in college and I coded it from scratch. Since coding wasn’t my main focus it was difficult for a while, but one night it all just clicked and I finished it. I’m planning on rebranding so I’ll have to do most of those things all over again. We’ll just see how it goes.”

Jamie’s portfolio is creatively categorized by a description of herself: “She’s Educated” focuses on her work while in school, “She’s Professional” shows off her real-work experience, and “She’s Passionate” covers her life outside of design – like acrylic painting and crochet.

Jamie also made a unique ‘visual portfolio’ which she labeled “Designer Pancakes:” a recipe to what Jamie believes are the most important elements she incorporates into her designs.

“Coding your website yourself may be a pain sometimes, but it’s better in the end,” said Jamie. “You’ll know every little detail about your website, it’ll be organized in a way that you understand, and it will be easier to edit in the future. If you do it yourself, it just adds that much more personality to your space.”

What brings Jamie’s ePortfolio all together is her great URL, which is short, memorable, and easy-to-spell; all important elements that can be hard to find with a traditional dot-com, but are widely available with dot-design.

“I am a graphic designer and the dot-design domain was suggested in class. It sounded so much better than just a .com website. It just really puts it out there that I am a designer before anyone even goes to my website. A website that ends in .com could really be anything; there are less surprises with the .design domain.”

As a final piece of advice for other young designers looking to make their mark, Jamie says, “If it makes sense to you and for you, then do it!”

7 Ideation Techniques to Revamp Your Designs

Written By Liz Achanta

Let’s face it: every one of us has faced a lull in our creativity at some point or another. This lull can come from designer burnout (which you can read more about here), corporate monotony, or even personal events at home leading to a stillness in your creativity. Not having your creative juices flowing at top speed can be frustrating, but not to worry – we’ve got seven ideation techniques to help you get your innovation wheels turning.

What is Ideation?

Ideation is the process of forming new ideas or concepts. Think of ideation like those brainstorm bubbles you used to make in grade school: starting with a simple idea and using that idea to spin off more and more ideas until you have a solid concept together. Rather than word mapping, however, there are plenty of other types of techniques you can use to create new ideas (like the ones we’ve listed below!).

Ideation can be done singularly or in groups – so if you’re a solopreneur and find you’re having a hard time, it could be beneficial for you to call up a friend or two to help you get the juices flowing.


7 Ideation Techniques

1. Worst Idea

Just as the name suggests, start a list of all the things that you think would be a horrible ideas. Once you’ve made that list, find solutions to those ideas – how would that idea go from being horrible to being extraordinary? Or, is there a part of that horrible idea that could seed a good idea?

This technique is a great tool to use because it uproots your normal working habits: usually, we’re always trying to think of the next best thing. By turning the process around, you’re able to problem-solve in a different way to exercise your muscles – and build some inspiration along the way.

2. Wild Wish List

Similar to the worst idea, create a wild list of all the things you’d like to design – even if they’re impossible (think fire-breathing unicorns). Make your ideas as crazy as they come; once you’re done creating your list, find some possible ideas out of your wild list. This can include combining elements of different wild ideas to make something completely unique (like glitter-breathing unicorns).

3. Mind Mapping

Similar to the word cloud we mentioned earlier, mind mapping creates a diagram to link together ideas and generate new concepts.

Start with a generic term; like ‘Website.’ From that word, sprout related words and ideas – like ‘Product,’ or ‘E-Commerce.’ From those words, sprout even more related words – like ‘Jewelry,’ or ‘Pottery.’ Keep workshopping your mind map until you’ve got all your ideas on paper, then use that map to help guide you on your next project.

4. Storyboarding

A storyboard is a visual representation of how your project will unfold – scene by scene. Like most stories, there’s an introduction, character development, a climax, and a conclusion; start with those four primary ideas to fuel the start of your storyboard, and once you’re happy with the outcome, start adding ‘scenes’ to help build out the rest of your project.

You don’t have to be an artist in order to make a good story board; you can make comic book sketches or use magazine cut-outs to put your storyboard together. What matters most is putting ideas onto paper – and with a solid outline of your project, you’re able to get started on that great new idea.

5. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is your most common form of ideation technique: you start with a problem, and then you start writing down ideas to solve the problem.

The goal of brainstorming is to provide a safe space for your mind and the people you’re brainstorming with, so with brainstorming, there’s no bad idea – write down everything that comes to mind. Once you’ve written down every possible idea, pick your favorites and start working with them. You may find that some of your favorite ideas don’t work out with the project you’re working on, which is totally fine: remember there’s value in the process.


SCAMPER is a formal technique that represents seven ways to look at a problem. This technique works best with an existing product or service to determine how you can enhance or improve the product. Here’s what each letter of SCAMPER stands for and related questions to ask yourself:

Substitute: What about the product or service can be substituted for something else?

Combine: Can you combine a product or service with another product or service to improve the experience?

Adapt: How can you adapt your product or service to fit another target market?

Modify: What element of your product or service can you modify to make improvements?

Put to Another Use: What is another use for your product or service that you haven’t considered yet? (Could it fit another target market?)

Eliminate: What unnecessary elements can you eliminate from your product or service to make the process more streamlined and efficient?

Reverse: What would happen if you reversed your process or reorganized the product/service?

7. Crazy 8s

This idea actually comes from Google’s Design Sprint Kit, and its extremely easy to implement. Start with a blank sheet of paper and fold the paper in half three times to create 8 boxes. Then, set a timer for 1 minute: you have 1 minute to sketch 1 idea into a box. Repeat the process seven more times – or, if you’re working in a group, trade papers and sketch a design into someone else’s box.

Once all 8 boxes are filled, pick your favorite few sketches and use those to build a new design!


Written By Guest User

Readings.design is a collection curated by Jarrett Fuller of recommended texts, both historical and contemporary, about and around graphic design. The site serves as a free library of introductory essays, books, and texts on graphic design theory, criticism, and practice as well as related fields like cultural criticism, photography, and architecture.

Jarrett Fuller is joining the faculty at North Carolina State University as an assistant professor of graphic design in August 2021. He also is the director of twenty-six.design, a multidisciplinary design and editorial studio; hosts scratchingthesurface.fm; and is a contributing editor at AIGA Eye on Design. Visit readings.design to refresh your inspiration and learn something new.


Written By Guest User

When your website address in a country domain, such as co.uk or co.ie, you’re immediately announcing to the world where you’re based, which may make people from other countries instinctively turn away. In 2021, however, design has never been more international, and a .design domain is a perfect way of showing that your reach is global.

“A .design name is the new way to discover new talent all over the world,” says Rodrigo Montoya, an architect and interior designer from Bogotá-Columbia. “I actually feel that I can get into a closer dialogue with my potential customers using roko.design as my main page.”


Written By Guest User

TacoBell.design is unabashedly fun, with bright tropical colors and clever iterations of the brand’s iconic logo. Taco Bell is famous for its social presence and its marketing campaigns, and the design department uses TacoBell.design to showcase its dedicated @tacobelldesign Instagram account in a major way.

TacoBell.design (TBD for short) is professional, uncluttered, and easy to navigate. In addition to the colorful portraits of the design team members, the integrated Instagram feed shows off their effortlessly stylish aesthetics.

Digging deep into the three main pages of the site (“Work”, “Play”, “About”), the Work page includes in-depth case-studies of the team’s design initiatives. It’s the type of thorough branding and studied, creative dedication that many aspiring designers dream of. All along the way, Taco Bell manages to make it all look fun and delicious!


Written By Liz Achanta

“Our pieces are playful, high quality, Czech, but most of all unique. We treat each piece as a real work of art. We decorate cotton T-shirts using hand screen printing, watercolor or sprays. You will find both long-term collections and pieces that are the only originals in the world. Same as you.”

.design Success: PaoloFontana.Design

Written By Liz Achanta

Based in Venice, Italy, Paolo Fontana has developed product designs for companies all over the world.

Paolo Fontana, owner of PaoloFontana.Design, works within the fields of visual identity, product design, and environmental graphics. Paolo’s impressive portfolio ranges from designing hydroponic structures to wine and spirits product design to branding and exhibition design for museums. Holding titles like Creative Director and Art Director, it comes as no surprise that Paolo’s work is clean, crisp, and extremely professional.

“My job is to deal with the aesthetics of things related to their functionality,” said Paolo, when asked about his brand mission. In turn, Paolo’s brand mission has helped him achieve his proudest moments – of which he says that his proudest moment as a designer has been the various projects he’s worked on.

“Designing something few people are lucky enough to work on, like the interior of an airliner, or the recent launch of an item that didn’t exist, like a coffee cup that replaces paper cups!”

Paolo said his work on the ATR 72-500 Airplane included developing functional style and design concepts for the airplane’s cabin. This involved intensive creative research, style design, renderings, and mock-ups, which ultimately led to the finished product which currently retails for over $14.4M USD.

Other work of Paolo’s, like the hydroponic structure, included product design, prototyping, and final digital drawings. Paolo has also worked for companies like Piandimare wines, where he developed the visual identity and label design for their Montepulciano d’Abruzzo lineup.

“My biggest obstacle has been to build a rich and explicative portfolio of my style in order to intercept the right client with whom to build interesting projects.”

While actually building his portfolio may have been a challenge, the completed product is worth exploring: with over 50 different projects showcasing Paolo’s work, all on a dot-design domain.

“Dot Design is more than a .com, it goes beyond a country,” says Paolo. “Today it’s necessary to be very specific in communicating immediately what you love to do – that’s why I chose a .design domain.”

For those designers who are looking to find motivation and inspiration to start their own online design business, or even showcase their work online like PaoloFontana.design, Paolo says that having fun is the most important thing to do.

“Having fun while working is without a doubt the mantra I’ve always repeated to myself, I guess sometimes I should have had just a little less fun so as not to waste some of the effort put in.”

For more information on Paolo Fontana and his work, check out any of the medias below:

Website  |  Behance


Written By Guest User

Based in Barcelona, absurd.design specializes in unique, hand-drawn illustrations.

With a whimsical, organic style, absurd.design stands out against the landscape of mostly-digital illustration.

For anyone looking to add a human touch to that special blog post, presentation, or website, absurd.design is a bold and creative choice that will leave a memorable and joyful impression.

With free and paid membership plans to access illustrations licensed for both commercial and personal projects, absurd.design is an accessible and delightful resource created by a talented designer who dares to be different.


Written By Liz Achanta

Emily says: “I have a passion for creating designs that are inspired by the exotic, and love paying close attention to furniture, finishes, and art selections. I have experience interning at design firms in Palm Beach, Florida, my home town, and working in high-end residential design, as well as commercial and hospitality. I love the artistry and stylistic possibilities behind design, and hope to create spaces that are reminiscent of the places we have been, and dream to go.”


Written By Guest User

Energi.design creates award-winning motion graphics, 3D animation & unique website experiences.

Screencaps do not do any justice to the beautiful video graphics throughout the site. We highly recommend you click through to energi.design to experience the site as it was meant to be!

After trying out a number of domain names such as energi.click, energidesign.com and clickenergi.com, they were finally able to acquire the perfect domain to match their brand: energi.design.

As creative director Steve Holmes says, “Energi Design is the actual name of my company, founded 20 years ago. So finally having the exact domain name to match it is perfect. When I learned about .design becoming available, I signed up right away.”