About

Hi, I'm a brand identity and user experience designer

I run So Magnetic, an agile design agency which helps businesses by using design strategy to build a brand's identity design. We focus on helping them increase customer engagement and revenue.

I also run the community group for Compass of Design.This is an online design community focused on equipping people with skills needed to become better professional designers.

Darian Rosebrook, a designer who focuses on websites and branding projects for companies.

What am I up to nowadays?

What started as a side hustle, became a full time passion in 2015. I had been freelancing as a web designer to stay connected to a creative industry when I decided to focus on design as a full time pursuit. In mid 2016, I had joined a small team of developers as their lead designer based on my experience with UX Design and UI Design. When the work started to slow down with that team, in January 2017, I decided to focus full time on client work again. This time, by handling larger design clients and projects, where I could also hire and manage other designers to work in tandem to complete these projects.

My two areas of expertise run along side each other. As a designer, I am adept at handling both the user experience of digital products and the brand experience of a product's design ecosystem (product, packaging, logo design, etc.) Both of these thrive from the same research, and both have the same path of exploration. As a designer, I couldn't find a better way to marry the skills I learned as a UX designer and my passion for creating meaningful brand experiences both on and off screens.



Do you want just my updates or the articles?

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12 Nov 2017 - Present


Building the Compass of Design Community app

This project has been a huge step in what I'm able to achieve as the sole person on a project. This product utilizes my knowledge in UX Design, UI Design, and Back End Development by wrapping all of those together into one product. The Compass of Design Membership Site. This platform is going to be a powerhouse in helping designers get actionable feedback on questions they have and designs they've done. So far, there hasn't been a site that effectively does this without it becoming a popularity contest. Our goal here is to change the way we do design feedback!

28 May 2018


Building Domain Expertise in what you do.

Article
My personal goal as a designer is to become a master of my craft. I’m a brand identity designer who focuses on mapping business goals to design strategy. I help businesses reach their goals with their communication and products to craft the visual approach to their brand.

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20 May 2018


Design Principle 4 — Typefaces and how to use them

Article
What I will be covering in this guide is not about specific typefaces, which typefaces are better when paired, or choosing what font files to use. We are talking about being able to effectively choose what typeface you want to use solely by the characteristics of it.

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19 May 2018


The compass guide to designing your own custom lapel pins

Article
A few months back, we had a chance to look at the ways that you can design and order your own custom vinyl stickers. Now, though I’m not a print designer by trade, a lot of you messaged me back saying that it was “Super helpful” for them.

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14 May 2018


Switching to value base pricing

Article
What I have learned so far about implementing value based pricing.

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06 May 2018


How to find the access point of your niche

Article
Last week we took a better look at how you can find a unique market for the work you do. Hopefully, that post was able to drum up some ideas of what audiences you are most equipped to work with out there

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30 Apr 2018


How to find and access your niche

Article
A two part series of how to figure out who to market your skills to as a freelancer or agency.

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23 Apr 2018


Changing the question of — “how do I find better clients?”

Article
Finding great clients has never been easy I’ve been riding my third year of freelance design. With nearly fifteen clients that I’ve worked with over those two “completed” years, I have learned that finding great clients is not easy.

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19 Apr 2018


How I build the UX of my Projects

Article
This documentation is just part of the initial first steps of the UXdesign process, so you should know that what you see here today may be different tomorrow which will be rebuilt and refined to the final product.

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16 Apr 2018


Design is better with friends

Article
Just a lighthearted talk today about the connections we make as designers. We started talking about this a few weeks back in the design community and I figured I’d share my experience with you all here too.

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14 Apr 2018


Quick update for those interested in the Community

Article
We’ve been having a lot of great conversation in the community about client work, web design layouts, and paths to take in our design career. Things have been going well for those involved in the conversations within here. I’m proud of the progress that everyone in there is making and am glad to have started the group.

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09 Apr 2018


Rise of the T skill designer

Article
While we have been fighting over whether or not to become a specialist or a generalist, there’s been another designer that’s been taking the cake.

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02 Apr 2018


Design is “about the details,” just don’t ignore the bigger picture

Article
Details are a huge part of what makes a design go from good to great and from great to excellent. We love to be meticulous about the smallest details of our designs. But after spending all of that time going over everything, it feels “off”… Ever wondered why your designs just don’t look right?

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26 Mar 2018


A Compass guide to designing custom stickers - Vinyl Stickers

Article
One of the fun things about being a branding designer is that not everything has to be so literal, or even formal, when designing the brand of a company.

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18 Mar 2018


The power of consistency in branding design Defining the experience of your products and services

Article
Branding starts happening when you take the brand’s Visual Identity, Messaging, Activity, Products/Services, and Name and give it meaning. Your collection of previous work, products, services, marketing efforts, and different social media accounts for your company become a part of your brand.

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16 Mar 2018


Creating a custom membership site

Update

A little while ago I teased to a few members of my design community that I’m building something special for them in the background. I have a lot of things that I’ve been building lately, but I plan for this to be the end-all be-all replacement for the slack group we’re in.

14 Mar 2018


Meetup with Juan Valera from Coastalco.co

Update

One of the things that I run is a design community for people who are looking to increase their skills as a designer. This week, I was able to meet up with Juan Valera from the design agency Coastal. He runs this agency full time and is in the product design space for the medical industry. Definitely go check out the work he did on this case study for Twistle. Juan is a member of the Compass of Design Commmunity so it was good to finally meet up after talking over the last 2 years online.

14 Mar 2018


A design interview by Chris Green of This Design Life

Update

I got a chance to talk to Chris Green of This Design Life about what I do with Compass and what he’s building with This Design Life. After some talking he took some time to interview me which you can see at this interview page. We went over a lot of advice I have for young designers.

12 Mar 2018


I got invited to AMAfeed

Update

Hey if you have a moment, you should check out this Ask Me Anything thread that I started over on AMAfeed.com. Here I go over exactly what I’m doing with trying to run a day job on the side of a business. Or is this vice versa? IDK, I’m running both at the same time. If you have time, throw in some questions!

08 Mar 2018


Defining the brand experience through the user experience roadmap A look into user flow charts

Article
Recently, I announced to the members of the community that I’m building something pretty intense for them in the background. Both the front end and the back end of the website are in dire need of an update, so my plan is to get a more permanent design solution for the site.

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22 Feb 2018


Getting your feet wet with microcopy

Article
A few weeks ago, I released an article going over some simple steps of UX design that people often overlooked. And though parts of these areas of the user experience may feel like basic rules, they can be severely passed over. One of which is being the microcopy, or the text that we use in our UI designs.

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15 Feb 2018


Why letterpress is my favorite printing method

Article
I love-love-love letterpress prints. It leaves an impression (literally) when you give or receive something that gets put through this print process. It takes a business to a level above what standard printing could do.

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05 Feb 2018


Print Design Tips for the Digital age

Article
You control the cost for printing through your designs, so having as much knowledge about it can help you and the businesses you design for control budget for years of ongoing work.

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24 Jan 2018


The secret heroes of UX Design

Article
The width that this design discipline can span is insane. Throughout the rise of UX Design, there have been very specialized fields pop up within the discipline. UX has also cannibalized the Data Visualization, Information architecture, and User Interface design fields along with things like wayfinding and architecture.

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26 Dec 2017


What is design strategy? Why we need to opt for a more professional process

Article
This term means a many different things to designers nowadays. What design strategy sounds like to one might be completely different to the other. The thing to understand about strategy in design is that we are all a part of it, in both large an small forms, with different roles along the process.

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07 Dec 2017


I just completed two years of moonlighting as a freelance designer.

Article
Here’s what building two design focused businesses at the same time looks like. Two years ago in this first week of December, I started learning to code websites. I had my eyes set on becoming a freelance web designer. The glam and glory was appealing, meaning that I was able to do something that interested me (finally) and get paid handsomely to do so.

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03 Dec 2017


Designer Crimes of the 21st Century

Article
As we continue to improve our design skills, we train our eye to notice really good design. One side effect however, we tend to not look for the things where we might be creating bad designs. It just happens that eventually you learn to avoid these mistakes with time, practice, and dedication to getting better (which includes seeking feedback on your work).

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29 Nov 2017


Stop getting stuck on your digital design concepts.

Article
Often, I am trying to finish a logo design or branding project with a lot going on. There’s a certain project that I have been trying to finish, but I have very little time during the day right now to do work. However, this project is special. I wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to use my “more professional” process. Unfortunately, I forgot a crucial part of the design process.

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18 Nov 2017


How do you say “No” to a client?

Article
You might eventually find yourself in a position where you need to say “no” to a client. Here’s how to do so professionally. We’re designers because we’re good at making things. We use a lot of our head-space to think of creative solutions to your client’s problems. We use art, math, time, and resources to create something that gets our clients closer to their goals. The thing is, the world is scarce with people who value the work we do, or even understand what we do and what it achieves.

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13 Nov 2017


Design bound by ethics — Being able to sleep at night after work.

Article
Design is a beautiful thing. You have the ability to take an idea effectively make it a great experience for another person. In other words, your design has the power to affect the people that come face to face with it. When you have that type of role in the design process of these ideas, you are bound ethically to how your design helps or hinders someone their goal.

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01 Nov 2017


Please mind the gap. The gap of where you are now to where you want to be

Article
Have you felt recently that there’s a gap between where you are at now and where you want to be? I tend to have this feeling a lot while I’m working on my businesses for So Magnetic and Compass of Design. I see a huge gap between where I want everything to be and where it’s at now.

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20 Oct 2017


Overthinking things? Here’s some help with all of the mental overwhelm.

Article
I’m going to (probably incorrectly) guess that you don’t deal with being stressed out over all the design work you have to do, the emails coming in, the phone calls you miss, the family time you’re running late to… You probably don’t deal with being overwhelmed at all.

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19 Oct 2017


New Ventures and Leaving KeySpark

Update

It’s been a fun year and a half helping the team grow their client base and projects. It’s been a couple of months since I stepped back and started mainly consulting, but as of this latest rebrand, this is my last project with the team. I am going to miss all the fun we had on those team calls haha. Cheers to the group and all my friends involved. (:

15 Oct 2017


Finding the best design resources — And having a gold-miner’s mindset

Article
It always seems the more you read into someone or something, the more you’re able to find things that you don’t agree with. Just think of all the talk with politics or healthcare. (or don’t, that’ll get you sidetracked). Everything out there has things that you have to tune out to get to the good stuff.

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14 Oct 2017


Networking as a designer — Stop trying to shake trees.

Article
Let’s talk about your heroes. Boy, wouldn’t it be nice to be noticed by big name people every once in a while? You follow them and see their name all over on the internet getting interviews and sharing awesome design work. It’s like there’s some type of inner circle where every big name person on the internet knows each other.

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08 Oct 2017


Do I use my name or a business name to freelance?

Article
One of the things that you begin to wonder when you’re starting out as a freelance designer is whether or not you should choose to brand what you are doing. I’ve had really good conversations with members of the Compass of Design Community about branding their freelance business that led to some interesting discoveries. The choice of what to brand yourself as is never an easy one. You want to connect your heart and soul to what you do.

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08 Oct 2017


Creating the perfect team

Article
What could single-handedly make your company difficult to operate? A poor team. I was recently talking with a friend of mine, a podcast will be releasing on this subject soon, about the current state of hiring. The current dilemma. If you’re like us, you’ve seen many job boards advertising jobs and you’ve likely been surprised at the requirements for that job.

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01 Oct 2017


Onboarding new Design Clients — How to deliver the design proposal

Article
You’ll only need a proposal if there’s a client you’re trying to secure. For most of us, we write proposals to help with onboarding the client. It’s a part of the process that may seem tedious, but you’ll thank yourself later on for using one.

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18 Sep 2017


Onboarding new Design Clients — Win your next client in 15 seconds

Article
Sometimes we’re forced into gatherings to socialize with other people. We as creatives can be very introverted sometimes, thinking that all we have to focus on is doing good work. Sometimes these uncomfortable social situations come when you are returning from college for the winter, or it’s one of your friend’s baby showers, or you just got done at some design meetup and now you’re at an after party.

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13 Sep 2017


Onboarding new Design Clients — Position yourself as a professional designer

Article
A professional is someone who holds themselves to a high standard AND can achieve those standards of their industry. A professional recognizes where the responsibilities lie and taking accountability for them with their actions. You must make deliberate choices as a designer from your own evaluations or you’ll have those choices made for you.

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08 Sep 2017


Onboarding new Design Clients — Asking the right questions

Article
A great designer can be measured by the quality of questions they ask. It’s not the defining characteristic, but having an arsenal of great questions to ask helps ensure that you are able to do the best work you can possibly do and have the client on the same page as you.

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05 Sep 2017


What is the fastest way to learn something?

Article
Having that much to say about something shows that you either know it so well you could write a book, or that you really don’t know it well enough, otherwise you’d be able to explain it in it’s simplest form.

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27 Aug 2017


Crafting a portfolio that converts

Article
Recently, I shared an article about Marketing Yourself as a Designer. The article dives into the various ways that you can make sure that your skills as a designer don’t go unnoticed. Because let’s face it… Unless we’ve studied it in depth, marketing our skills is one of the hardest challenges that we have as a designer.

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22 Aug 2017


Building your personal brand

Article
We artists and designers alike love to create visual gold. We find the things we create to be small extensions of ourselves. We’re very emotionally attached to our work.

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20 Aug 2017


About the Compass of Design

Article
Sometimes we forget what it was like to start out in the design industry. For some, it’s a rude awakening when the things we were taught in college aren’t how it actually is out there. For others, it could be heading into the void when teaching yourself all the aspects of a new career choice. A lot of us are thrown into the ecosystem with no idea how the design world

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18 Aug 2017


Is it Better for a Designer to be a Generalist or Specialist?

Article
When you start to focus on growing your skills, you poke around and borrow styles from all over the place. Borrowing ideas as a designer is a good way to figure out your own style. You may work on figuring out new tools, software, new material, or messaging. As your skills begin to improve, you may be wondering

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06 Aug 2017


Marketing yourself as a designer

Article
Marketing is that topic that gets you added by a bot to all those lists on Twitter, or followed by fake accounts on Instagram, or shunned completely by your friends on Facebook for asking them to try your new (*insert thing here*). Why do we need to add it to our design career?

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01 Aug 2017


Design Principle 3 — Design Codex

Article
How can our role in design create a common language that is used throughout any department? What you see above is another micro part of the design process. It is both jam packed with other design principles and part of a bigger picture. We’ve been talking about systems for a few weeks and today we are wrapping the series up with my favorite system. The design system.

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30 Jul 2017


Design Principle 2 — Scale and Proportion

Article
Both scale and proportion have their place in visual hierarchy. If you didn’t set this up at the beginning of your work, how would you know what size to make something? If you’ve just been “eye-balling” your size, does something about it just seem “off” with the design?

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24 Jul 2017


Design Principle 1 — Guides, Gutters, and Grids

Article
Grids are one of the best systems you can use to guide people through content. To use them, you have to have a good understanding of lines and shapes and their usage in design (we’ll go over this in depth during the Designing with Confidence course). They take the content that you are designing for and helps you arrange things in logical order and logical divisions.

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23 Jul 2017


Systems in design

Article
It’s a sticky place to be when you only have a few hours to get some design work done. You might have been procrastinating or busy with other parts of your process. Either way, you’re running short on time and you haven’t even started on the design.

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15 Jul 2017


The hustle and the grind

Article
Like the tortoise and the hair, but told in a way that helps you actually move forward in life, not burn out in a year.

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15 Jul 2017


Automating Your Product

Article
Why should you develop a product that you have to update every few months? For example, you have to update your copyright every year, but with a few lines of script you can do that yourself.

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08 Jul 2017


Should Designers “Course”?

Article
It has never been easier to set up an online course. Places like Skillshare, Coach, or Gumroad make it insanely easy to put content up in this manner.We hear all the time about crazy launches of how you can earn tons of money and revenue from launching them. While it has worked for plenty of people, I feel like the buzz of getting content out for the sake of “creating my first course” will cause a lot of people to burn out from the idea of paying independent creators for in-depth material that they are willing to share.

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02 May 2017


Designer’s Stack of Tech

Article
The past two years have been crazy busy in my development as a designer. I wanted to run through all of the equipment, services, and other tech I am using to create all of my work. You would think that the role of a designer was just creating small mockups or sketches and editing them in Adobe software to make it look pretty.

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03 Apr 2017


Are we asking designers the right questions?

Article
We all love clickbait. There’s some sort of unsatisfying feeling where the shot of dopamine hits us before we even open the article. What we get in return is a let down or repurposed garbled content that spew out from the community faucet.

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06 Feb 2017


Cut the Fluff — You want more confident communication? Cut out the filler in your sentences.

Article
Strong communication stems from brevity. Brevity is a concise and exact use of words in writing or speech. With the art of language, having the exact choice of words to say more with less is a sincere form of mastery. Though you may never scrub your verbal dictionary perfectly clean of filler words, you can make a serious change in improving how you communicate your ideas to other people.

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31 Jan 2017


Iterate in public - closing the gap from idea to execution

Article
Having a great idea is worth very little unless you plan on executing it. You could have an idea that would change the way clean water is spread through disparate countries, but unless you have the confidence to seek out how to execute it, that idea is just another passing thought. Once you act on that those thoughts, even a rudimentary execution starts to increase the value of your idea. Start iterating your ideas out in public.

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19 Jan 2017


Finding your anchor in design

Article
All the pains and challenges one faces now are not going to be the same ones they experience 3 to 5 years down the road. As I am going through my second year, I aim to help these pains by prescribing my own experience and research in writing and collaboration.

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09 Jan 2017


5 tips for setting the right tone with your email list.

Article
What do you remember about the last person you met? Usually the first meeting you remember if they seemed like a trustworthy person or not. Were they clumsy? Were they suave? Your first interaction with others is important on setting the right tone of any relationship. The same can be said for email marketing.

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01 Jan 2017


Moving to full time consultancy

Update

Since work has slowed down on the front from the day job, I’ll be opening my schedule to start pulling in more and more client inquiries for UX Design or Brand Identity Design. Much has gone on in the past few months and I’m happy to say I’ll be running So Magnetic as my main design studio. Big steps ahead!

26 Dec 2016


Writing more effective case studies

Article
Writing case studies is a difficult task for many beginners. Some people claim that a case study doesn’t have to contain a lot of info and that you only need to show what you did, add a paragraph and call it good. Some people say you don’t even need to write case studies for everything, that you should use a dribbble.com account, or a Behance account and post you work there.

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04 Dec 2016


Year Zero — My journey as a designer

Article
This is a post for the beginner, the fresh meat, and the starry eyed out there who are getting their hands dirty with design as a self taught designer. *Fist Bump to You!* (I’m packaging up the resources that helped me get where I am towards the end)

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02 Feb 2016


Handling expectational debt and falling behind.

Article
Time is a commodity. It is both finite and infinite. We only have 24 hours to use and it does not replenish until the following day. We have to protect our use of that time just as much as we protect the use of our money. When we say yes and commit to things, we are spending some of the expectations held for that day.

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