Speaker Recap | Kayd Roy

On March 6, 2012 we had the great pleasure of hosting Stout Alumni Kayd Roy as she shared with us her experience and advice on portfolios, freelancing, interviewing, and self-promotion.

Kayd has a wide variety of professional experience and currently works at Target Corporation in Minneapolis in the Product Design and Development department.

Her advice on portfolios:

  • either 8-10 of your best pieces OR 4-6 completely blown out projects
  • (completely blown out projects might include 20 or so applications such as poster, facebook, flyer, a bus, etc)
  • Revise, recreate and finalize past projects so that they are up to your standards
  • Expand current projects
  • Show your process (within moderation) companies want to know how you think
  • Add in your other skills (drawing, photography, illustration, writing, web design–incorporate in your projects! highlight your strengths and modify your projects to do so!)
  • Don’t put all of your best work online–you want to have new and exciting things to show during an interview
  • (Check out Studio MPLS‘s blog to see how they show their process)
  • Your portfolio could be arranged in this order (in rank of your project’s effectiveness) 1, 4, 6, 8, 3, 5, 7, 2
  • Keep it simple–let your work speak for itself
  • Have a SHORT summary of your projects–talk about school projects as if they aren’t ficticious
  • Have large, PROFESSIONAL-looking photos

Getting an Interview:

  • Ask for an informational interview:  I really like your work, I’m a student in my ___ year. I would like to meet up and hear about your company and possibly talk about my work after. Would you be able to meet up _______?
  • Network: Twitter, AIGA events, Studio Events
  • Tell family and friends that you’re looking for a job!
  • Be involved in AIGA
  • Have a job-any job (companies are more likely to hire someone who already has a job)


  • Listen–ask questions to connect on another level
  • First Impressions–you can look “artistic” without looking like a slob, know who you’re interviewing with (check them out on facebook etc beforehand)
  • Research–who are their clients? what’s the atmosphere like? Did they just launch a huge project?
  • Dress-classy but show personality, know where you’re interviewing/what the atmosphere is like and dress accordingly, you’re a creative so show it!
  • send a thank you!


  • Be YOU and have a consistent brand
  • Set goals and blog about them
  • BE SOCIAL–blog, tweet, attend events
  • Ask previous clients to refer you
  • try to get featured–the dieline.com, lovelypackage.com, ask friends to blog about your work


  • Charge by the hour
  • ALWAYS have a contract
  • Be professional
  • Understand what the project requirements are–size, budget, where they are getting it printed/what restrictions that has on you, what will be required of you? do they already have pictures or a logo?
  • Don’t underestimate the time it will take you
  • Keep track of your hours
  • You can have “working hours” when the client knows you are available so you don’t end up getting emails at 11:00pm expecting something done by 8:00am the next morning
  • Use paymo.com
  • Logo Design=at least 20 hours of work (research, ideation, revisions etc)
  • $15/hr for freshman, sophomores, or unexperienced freelancers
  • $25/hr for juniors
  • $40/hr for seniors
  • $50/hr for very experienced or full-time freelancers

Kayd has graciously invited us to email her for her prepared documents/contracts for freelance work

Lastly, she reminds us not to work for free!

kaydroy@gmail.com          @kaydroy         http://kayddesign.com/

Thanks for coming Kayd! You had excellent advice and we enjoyed having you!


Meeting Recap | Insight on Being a Big Kid

If you were at the meeting on March 22nd we had Kayd Mustonen and Katie Lupton come in and give a bit of valuable information on preparing for the real world. Through putting together a strong portfolio, taking a deep breath when going through an interview and starting to organize your own freelancing business, this speech hit all the points. I am for sure going to be buckling down and working on my portfolio in preparation for Portfolio 1-on-1, which all our members should be doing as well. You heard the importance of pushing yourself hard and getting your personality to stand out. Also giving your passion for your work some credibility. Life as a designer is not exactly easy, if at all. Its fun, and that is what matters. Here you can download their presentation from the meeting and re-read all their insight and inspiration to get you moving in the right direction. I’ll be using it frequently.
Posted March 2nd, 2011 by Jesse | Freelance, Portfolio, Self Promotion, Speaker


Inspiration :: Business Cards

  • Have a project coming up that needs a business card designed?
  • Need to re-vamp your personal identity??

Here’s some inspiration to get you thinking differently :: Cardonizer

*Remember to use these as inspiration, not a source to copy from

Posted October 27th, 2010 by lindseybock | Business Card, Inspiration, Letterpress, Self Promotion, Stout


Speaker | David Brier

Although this is not an AIGA affiliated event, I thought I’d pass on this great opportunity.

Who: David Brier

When: 6-7:30pm | Tuesday, October 19th

Where: MSC Ballroom C

David Brier is an award‐winning designer, brand identity expert, author and Fast Company blogger. Check out his work! You might recognize his identity for Legacy Chocolates, 24/7 Telecom, and Big dot of Happiness which are all here in Menomonie!

Posted October 14th, 2010 by lindseybock | Event, Freelance, Inspiration, Self Promotion, Speaker, Stout, Where Are They Now


Portfolio 1 on 1 Recap

Some students that attended Portfolio 1 on 1 a few weeks back had this to say about Portfolio 1 on 1

On Friday student were split up into group and were taken around the city to tour three different design firms.

Which one was your favorite?

  • Zeus Jones was definitely my favorite. I loved their style, attitude, what their company stood for, and the way they worked.
  • All of the places were really really great to go to…. but…Spunk – had a cookout for us, as well as a pile of free screen printed posters so they win solely due to the best swag.

How were you inspired?

  • When I see great design, I get excited and look forward to pushing myself to create something just as great. The way Zeus Jones is beginning to implement interactive design in their projects was amazing.
  • I was inspired by the passion that is inherent in starting a studio.  All three of these studios were pretty small and began because someone had an idea and the right combination of craziness and drive to achieve it.

What was the best part of the studio tours?

  • Learning about what I liked and didn’t like, wanted and didn’t want in a studio I would work for in the future. Talking with design professionals was great, and networking with other students while learning about their programs on the bus was awesome too.
  • Hearing the designers stories… Seeing the one squeegee that guys of Aesthetic Apparatus used to screen print for years until they purchased a machine the squeegees for them. The handle of the squeegee had very noticeable imprints from where they placed their thumbs during countless pulls. They also showed us their very first business plan, it was a combination of irrelevant doodles and words.
  • I am embarrassed to admit I have difficulty finding who good design firms are on my own, but through AIGA you get an easy, comprehensible list of excellent firms that are willing to help out young designers.  I was also exposed directly, or just overheard, many designers talking about who was currently looking and who was a waste of time as far as open interns or positions went.

What did you wear to studio tours?

  • Casual/dressy: A nice black shirt, grey jeans, and flats.
  • I always dress up, first impressions speak volumes and I don’t think that being in design is a reason to be lazy with your attire.  For the studio tours I wore black designer jeans (no holes), colorful pink/blue plaid dress shirt, bright yellow undershirt, and a jacket from France.
  • Brown pants and a nice shirt… you can be more casual… many people wore jeans.  I would wear flats if you’re a girl, you may be walking to the studios.

Did you attend any workshops during Saturday? If so which ones and what did you learn?

  • The Homemade Photo Studio- this workshop was about taking professional photographs on a low budget. The speaker, Derek Till, suggested: use a large window for natural and soft lighting for your whole piece. Use a spot light or mirrors for highlights. Get a cheep tripod or use things such as bags of beans or cans to help stabilize your camera
  • The workshops were an interesting way to kill time, add another contact to your network, and ask questions to a design professional.  I only attended one, but have the email address of a creative director at Olson who also founded Brainco.

What advice were you given regarding your portfolio?

  • Include process work and logos options that were not chosen.
  • Have more interactive material (I hadn’t put any of my web design in my portfolio)
  • Apply things to real life scenarios- if you have a logo put it somewhere- coffee cup, billboard, advertisements, or the web
  • One reviewer was really impressed with my thought process and advised never to loose it… have a reason behind your designs… anyone can use a photoshop filter
  • Photograph things- brochures etc., they won’t be ruined this way. It’s good to have tangible examples though too.
  • The best advice regarding portfolios overall was to edit them down (they recommend 8-12 pieces), simplify the design, make sure the images convey the work, and pay critical attention to typography.  Your format should match your medium and your audience (for example, my .pdf files should be designed to fit the screen if they are viewed on a computer – NOT as an 8.5 x 11 document which looks awkward and wastes a lot of blank screen space, like I did.)

What do you wish you had done prior to Portfolio One-on-One?

  • Finished updating my website.
  • I wish I would have had time to flesh out my portfolio better, photographed some of my work, and actually have made a book.
  • I wish I had more time to work on my portfolio.  I wish I had seen what other people have done in the past.  I wish I attended Portfolio 1on1 last year.

What did you wear to the portfolio review day?

  • A nice dress and heels.
  • I wore nice pants, pumps, and a button up shirt.  Some people really were not dressed up at all… I would advise against that. You do not need a suit or anything but you still need to look professional.
  • For reviews, I wore patterned black/gray dress pants, a checkered shirt with a black sweater over it and a tie.  Designers don’t need to be dressy, and they shouldn’t appear corporate (tie, black dress pants, suit, etc.).  They should dress in a manner that conveys their style, as well as their occupation, to their clients and employers.  I was also one of the most dressed people at the conference however, so perhaps I’m just crazy.

Any other advice?

  • Only include your best projects, practice talking about your work ahead of time, get your work photographed nicely!!
  • Be sure to have business cards and resumes available to give to interested reviewers. Also, a tip I was given: easily create a portfolio website on Cargo Collective.
  • It is important to remember that what you value and look for as a designer is not what every other designer values.  You need to look for design firms that fit what you value.  One of the speakers mentioned that looking for jobs is a bit like speed dating.  The firms need to know that you fit in with their objectives and that you will get along with their current employees.  It seems really obvious but it is really important to search out design firms that fit you as a designer and as a person.
  • If your portfolio sucks, and mine was mediocre at best (.pdf package), go anyway.  You’re not going to get a lot of positive feedback, and you’re not going to impress people, but professionalism and a willingness to improve will be noted.  My ability to communicate ideas verbally, design diction and professional dress we’re critical to my positive experience.
  • DO ask them to tear apart your portfolio, some reviewers aren’t as confident about criticizing as they should be.  This isn’t supposed to build your ego, it’s supposed to teach you what you need to improve.  They will appreciate your honesty, and follow through with more insight.
  • DO thank them, DO thank them again via email, DO get their business card or a means of contacting them.
  • DO build your network – this is critical.  Seeing what other people can do is also helpful, I have a lot of ideas on how to redo my portfolio.
Posted April 27th, 2010 by Kayd Mustonen | AIGA, AIGA Benefits, Event, Portfolio, Self Promotion, Spotlight, Stout, Workshop


Landing Patterns

Landing Patterns
Monday March 2nd
Applied Arts 210

Zara Gonzalez and Jessica Hall Burns of redblackbrown are coming to UW-Stout Monday March 2nd @ 6:00pm! redblackbrown is a group of Minneapolis-based designers committed to developing a culture of exploration and creativity through personal work and collaboration.

Come get a preflight on self-promotion and portfolio prep where you will learn ways to get other designers, professionals, and companies to remember who you are, as well as learn how to present a one-of-a-kind portfolio.

To learn more about the Zara and Jessica and redblackbrown visit redblackbrown.com

Posted February 18th, 2009 by lindseybock | Event, Portfolio, Self Promotion, Speaker