graphic design


jess-haderlie-home jess-about jess-contact

Hello hello! Back from China and finally over my jet lag. I’ll have some more details on the trip later this week!

It’s been a little while since I’ve shared new work as most of it was being developed, but I’m really excited to share this new project with you today! Jessica came to me looking for a website design that matched her beautiful new logo done by the talented Chelsea Petaja. After looking through her portfolio, I really wanted to showcase her photography front and center since it has such an emotional quality to it and pulls you in right away. When someone’s work can do most of the talking and tell their story, that’s the best case scenario!

I chose a mixture of classic typefaces and clean lines to compliment the handwritten nature of her logo. As for the color scheme – I wanted it to feel fresh and feminine (with shades of blush) and sophisticated and honest (with navy and faded chestnut) which I think partners great with the tone of her photography.

This was my first time working with Rachel Rianne for development and I couldn’t have been happier – everything came to life just as I imagined! You can check out the live site here.



I’m so excited to share this new column with you, Back to Books! It’s going to be an outlet to share some beautiful inspiration from some of my favorite design books and publications, stuff that’s not all over the internet :)


Lately I’ve been feeling like a lot of the same inspiration is swirling around the internet, whether it’s through pinterest or any other curated site. Over Christmas I was back in NJ and came across all of my old graphic design books in my child hood bedroom. After college I stacked them away and left them there in a nice little pile, but haven’t opened them since. I started browsing through a few of them and began to feel super inspired – I was looking at great, classic and beautiful design that felt so new and fresh to me after all of these years. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the computer and go back to some good old books. My collection includes books on brochure and editorial design, ethical guidelines for pricing and freelancing, modern magazine design, typography, type and image, communication arts and more. Some of the information is a little dated, but they are great resources to have and read through to brush up on my knowledge and get inspired (not to mention a lot of the beautiful designs in these books are NOT over saturated on the web).

Pictured Above : Modern Magazine Design / Typographic Design: Form and Communication / Type and Image / Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines / The Best of Brochure Design 9 / The End of Print






I couldn’t be more excited to share a recent project I just wrapped up for Whole9! Dallas and Melissa came to me looking for a brand new logo and look for their already super successful business. The idea behind Whole9 revolves around leading a healthy and fulfilling life based off 9 factors which include things like eating right, being active, getting enough sleep, etc. Their desired brand look couldn’t have lined up more perfectly with my aesthetic; bright, energetic colors and bold typography.

We started with this mood board and worked our way through a few different rounds of options. Through a lot of collaboration, we finally landed on the logo above, which is clean, active and optimistic. I customized typography by adding slightly rounded edges to evoke a friendly and approachable brand. The circles around the 9 symbolize an active lifestyle and a bunch of factors coming together that revolve around this idea of a Whole “9” life.

After we finalized the logo, I worked to build the brand out into several different elements including digital and print pieces (some are still in the works!). I loved the idea of incorporating overlapping geometric lines to reinforce the concept of many things coming together to build something bigger. They juxtapose nicely against the circular nature of the logo and form a great texture that provides some more visual interest.



Another aspect of the branding process is a style guide, which I always put together after the logo and initial designs are done. I thought it would be nice to show you guys a little peak into how I usually organize my typography page. It’s important to not only show what fonts to use, but also HOW to use them; kerning, leading etc. I also include how to use the logo as one color, spacing around the different logo marks, how to put it on an image, color palette, and more depending on the brand. This is the one chance you have to inform a client how to use the brand elements, so it’s so important to put as much information as possible in there (and cross your fingers that they follow your guidelines).

This was such a fun project, I hope to get more like this in the future. It makes the process so much easier and enjoyable when it’s a brand that you find really inspiring and the clients are so enthusiastic.


950x0_p186jpmsr71ii27ka19cs1pepvn0d950x0_p186jp04fp1c1v1csirnu111a1e223 950x0_p186jpmsr9int1he9eks1mh0v9ve

Last week, I decided to start pinning a few pieces of inspiration after a long quiet break from Pinterest. One of my goals for the near future is to also reorganize my Art & Design board and separate it by discipline. During my search for inspiration, I came across the work of Jeremy Evans and absolutely fell in love with this project he did for Tumba Gymnasium. The colors, bold typography and graphic nature of this design are RIGHT up my alley. Check out his site to see some more beautiful pieces.


will miller

Will Miller is a very talented designer based right here in Chicago! He is also the partner & creative director of Firebelly, an award winning design firm that is all about creating “good design for good reason”. I’m very excited to have our first gentlemen in this week’s feature!

What inspired you to become a designer? I was excited by visual communication’s power to create moods, excitement and interest. I was drawn to the organization and interpretation of info that’s so inherent in design. And around all of it is the use of alphabets, letters and language. There always seemed to be a creative path and an organized direction. A larger, louder, bolder expression made understandable through organization and clarity. Design appealed to the wild chaos of my right brain while letting my structured left impose on the process. I love the contrast and the battle.

What do you do to continue to challenge yourself as a creative person? I like to let those battles, mentioned above, play out. Sometimes it’s difficult to have a million creative thoughts at once and know you can really only get to a few and see them through to the end. So I file ideas away in hopes that months or years from now I’ll look at them with fresh eyes and new perspectives and take up the challenge. It’s interesting seeing where your mind was roaming as the months tick by. Elsewhere, I teach a Typography Basics class at Chicago Portfolio School, I try to stay up with my design and lettering feeds, I draw as much as time will allow for, my wife and I foster puppies (70+ so far who’ve found homes!) and I run marathons. While training for these I run routes in the shapes of large letters across the Chicago grid with hopes for putting together a mapped font project. I typically try to find ways to work on design projects while doing other things I enjoy. My hobbies suffer from feature creep in a major way.

What are you inspired by on a daily basis?

1. andyluce

Lettering / So much of what I make involves alphabets, I get extremely inspired by people who make beautiful letters. This photo is of Andy Luce making some wonderful letters at the recent You Are Beautiful 10 Year Anniversary exhibit.

2. collage

The Subjective and Reinterpreted Nature of Information of the Current Day / It sounds really wild, but so much of what happens across the internet feels like a game of telephone, started by an organization with a slant towards their own purposes. In my creative space that feels like deconstruction and recombination; two things collage was made for.

3. team

My Team / We all help each other out at Firebelly. We push each other everyday to go farther and get better with each project we work on.

4. pigskin

Puppies / My wife and I foster puppies until they can find their “forever homes.” She also runs a non-profit that was started to help puppies get much needed and expensive medicine, volunteers and donates to many animal rescues and we’re working on a book together to tell each of our 70+ foster’s stories. Each puppy name will be hand-lettered in a style that captures that puppy’s personality! (This little guy was called Pigskin)

5. music

Music / Often, I listen to some odd music. It helps me get inspired and motivated from a different place. When I’m working, I use music as a tool to hang on to an excitement or train of thought. Sometimes it becomes more a reaction where making/listening feels like digital sketching. Getting things out as fast as possible to get to the next step of a good idea.

Portfolio / Firebelly / Twitter