Sam Croswell
UI Designer & Student


A few nights ago, Dan Khulken of DKNG studios spoke at LCAD. Dan and Nathan are two of my favorite designers/illustrators. Their portfolio of work is beyond impressive and the insight Dan shared was invaluable. If you are not familiar with their work, definitely check it out. I took some notes so I figured I’d share them here. Keep in mind these are sort of just random things that stuck out to me. I will do my best to organize them in a way that hopefully makes sense.

DKNG Speech Notes:

DKNG’s Style Choices

- What the client needs, not about my “artistic agenda”

- Portray the personality of the client

- Illustration, typography and design do not have to be separate disciplines

- The style has to match the project/client as well as the concept

DKNG’s Creative Process - Part 1

- Research, brainstorm, refine

- Draw from the music, history of client/personality, look at everything that has been done for that client

- Narrow down to 2 concepts out of however many you come up with

- All audiences should be able to relate to the design in some way

- Push the design to the limit (example: add some kind of narrative)

DKNG’s Creative Process - Part 2

- Project proposal includes sketches and mood board

- Come up with about three concepts to choose from

- Delegate work after client chooses concepts to finalize

- Get feedback from other designers before saying it’s finished

- Show previous work that applies to the job and include other people’s work in your mood board

DKNG as A Business

- Will it contribute to our portfolio?

- Is it a lucrative project?

- Does it build a valuable relationship?

- Does it make us happy?

Remember to do stuff that makes you happy, for your friends, for free.

- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

- Market yourself for the projects you want

- Learn as you go

- Share your process

- Build a group of followers

- Find opportunities to share your work