Semester V courses

Join us for six new courses this semester!  All courses are available online, you can take as many or as few as you'd like and watch as many times as you'd like!

Design House Prep School | Color Calibrations | Creative Workshops


Color CALIBRATIONS for in-house printing

Without a doubt, the questions we get most often are regarding printing.  We do most of our printing in-house and have since our inception ten years ago.  

Many stationers are going the route of investing in an awesome printer and handling all their printing needs within their own studio.  There are so many advantages to being able to control this integral part of your production process yourself, but there can also be some major drawbacks.  Learning the ins and outs of your printer’s personality, what types of paper it likes and doesn't like, how long it takes to complete projects, etc. is all a major learning curve, but nothing compares to the learning curve of color adjustments.  

Have you ever printed something straight from Illustrator or Photoshop and it looks nothing like your digital file?  The colors are all wrong, they're muted and muddy, reds are browns, blushes are orange and dark greens are black.  Know that frustration?  This course will walk you through making color adjustments specifically for printing in house and will walk you through adding adjustment layers, running test prints, identifying issues and correcting them.  

Full disclosure, we will NOT be handing you the exact solutions for your very specific printer problems. Odds are, you have a different printer, a different computer monitor, a different paper… even a difference in the weather can change how your prints come out! What we WILL do is walk you through the same questions and best practices we go through for any in-house printing project that we do ourselves. We want you to walk away from this course with the tools and the confidence to troubleshoot any printing issues that come your way, no matter the specific circumstance!


When working as the go-between between products, production and clients, it's imperative that you are sourcing your materials fully and completely ahead of time.  And not just sourcing your items, you should be sourcing them in advance! By the time you talk to any client, you want to make sure that you know: what colors are available for this paper type? What are the corresponding envelope sizes? Which companies carry these paper lines but are frequently sold out or plagued with back orders (here’s looking at you, May Arts)?

When you have a good grasp on all of these background details, you will, for example, automatically grab your swatch book (that you pre-ordered from your paper vendor) to match a specific shade of purple for your client immediately rather than promising a product that doesn't exist.

Presenting your client with accurate and attainable product details when discussing their design will set you as the expert in your field, establishing credibility and trust.  Knowing the full range of available product will also help further define your specific aesthetic as a designer and better meet client needs.  We'll also briefly discuss pricing for different product and how to up-sell your client. 

Design House Prep School | Sourcing | Creative Workshops


Design House Prep School | Products | Creative Workshops



Products: when do you know you're ready

Maybe you’ve been in business for a while and you’re interested in adding new offerings to your business. Maybe you’ve just started dipping your toes in the water and can’t decide between a few different product paths. We’ve all been there. As a business owner, you have to make these kind of decisions as you move forward and continue to grow, but the decision can be harrowing — nerve-wracking and intimidating!

Jenny Sanders will be joining Victoria for an in-depth conversation about products and when (or if) to carry them.  We'll go through the questions you should be asking yourself when considering carrying product, what your answers should be and whether carrying products is the right move for your business. 

What do we mean by product? Product examples could be selling prints, a semi-custom line, greeting cards, ribbon, handmade paper, etc. But they don’t have to be physical products either, you might be considering offering services like mentoring, workshops, or branding consultation. For example, when Victoria decided to begin Prep School, a purely digital product, she went through the same thought processes we talk about in this course! We'll walk you through the process and behind the scenes efforts of what goes into researching, creating and carrying a product line.  



intro to bookkeeping

You could have a fully booked wedding season, tens of thousands of Instagram followers, a devoted email following, and all the clients you could ask for, but you still won’t have a successful business unless you’re keeping up with your books.

Taught by Jenny Sanders, who has a background in not only being a creative in the wedding industry, but also as a bookkeeper and accountant, this course will help you get yourself set up right.  Learn the proper way to set up your accounts, business licenses, credit cards and banks and the basics of balancing, determining your profits, and preparing your books for a tax accountant or CPA.

Some of us are excellent with numbers and details, but some of us may just want to paint in our little corner of the industry. No matter where you fall on this spectrum of creative business owners, this course will run you through the basics of what you need to know to cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s!

(As a quick note to our international friends (hi!!), this course is taught from the perspective of an American system and may not be applicable overseas.)

Design House Prep School | Bookkeeping | Creative Workshops


Design House Prep School | Patterning I | Creative Workshops



Patterning I

There are three main ways to create a pattern with artwork: the first is to paint the entire pattern as one piece.  The second is to paint in pieces and arrange manually in Photoshop.  The third is to paint in pieces and arrange a repeating pattern in Illustrator.  In this course, we'll learn the first method and use Photoshop, talking about the advantages of painting in pieces as well as how to pattern out your artwork. 


venue illustrations

Historic museums, exotic castles, nostalgic homes — our clients put a lot of thought into the venue of their event. Dreamy venue illustrations are an excellent way to acknowledge their efforts add a personal touch to any project you create.

Learn to illustrate a venue two ways: the hard way, and the easy way.  We'll be learning one and two point perspective and learn how to illustrate a building the old fashioned way: with pencil, paper, ruler and eraser.  Although this is the time consuming route, it's always important to know the technique before you learn the shortcut.  During the second half of the course, we'll learn to do it the quick and dirty way, so you can spend less time illustrating and more time creating.

Design House Prep School | Venue Illustrations | Creative Workshops