by Jarrod Drysdale

Design is a skill anyone can learn

More about this blog


Today I am announcing my next project, Bootstrapping Design. It’s a design eBook for founders of software businesses.

Employing design can be a major challenge while bootstrapping a startup, especially for technical founders. Some turn to templates or even crowdsourcing and risk the varied results, but for many, quality design is unaffordable.

Designers are expensive, but design itself is not a privilege of funded startups and established businesses. Design can be learned. Bootstrappers can have beautiful and effective design too.

Bootstrapping Design will teach simple and results-driven design practice so founders can DIY. No tutorials that don’t quite fit what you need. No exhaustive history of typefaces or primers on kerning. Just fundamentals and practical techniques that work right now and focus on measurable success.

In part, this is an effort to chip away at designers’ monopoly on design. I plan to write a separate post about this later, but suffice it to say that web’s democratizing effect has not yet graced the design profession in a constructive format. Our debates over theory and complex strategies make design intimidating and difficult to learn. With this book, I hope to help the huge number of online businesses that can’t afford $100/hr for graphics work.

Rather than further elaborate, you can read more about the eBook, its content, and its rationale at http://BootstrappingDesign.com.

If there’s a topic you’d like to see in the book, email me at hello@BootstrappingDesign.com.

Get more articles in your inbox

Sign up for the Bootstrapping Design email newsletter.
No spam. Ever! Unsubscribe anytime.

Check your email!

Thanks. Make sure to click the link you receive via email, or you won't receive any newsletters!

I also make products for people learning design, especially coders:

Become the designer your startup needs

Bootstrapping Design is an ebook about design fundamentals
self-published & over 1800 copies sold

Stop wrestling themes and get a real design

Cascade.io is a design framework for startups & coders


  1. Great concept. Looking forward to checking it out when it’s released. Design is learned, once you know the basic rules and fundamentals you can create some great layouts. I do think you will always need a designer for certain things, creativity can’t be taught imho.

    • Jarrod says:

      Thanks Eric. Completely agree with you. We can’t be creative 100% of the time. That’s one of the most terrifying things about being a young designer. How can you possibly be inspired for a full 40 hours a week? Same for those looking to learn about design.

      The trick is, you form a process you can rely upon. Especially on the days where ideas don’t click as quickly.

      I’m not sure whether creativity can be taught, but I think I read/heard somewhere that creativity is unlearned rather than learned. We are all creative as children but slowly lose that ability if we do not use it. Not sure if that is really true, but it’s a provocative thought.

      • Totally agree with the notion of creativity being unlearned. Looking forward to checking this out when it’s released.

        I saw that you went through 30×500. I am in the current class. I am definitely a believed in the process. I am looking for a designer for an app I am building, do you have a portfolio? Are you taking on work?

        • Jarrod says:

          Thanks Eric. I’m actually in the current class as well—how could we have not crossed paths? As awesome as that sounds, right now I am just way too busy to take on any more work. Thanks so much though!

  2. Jarrod says:

    Looking forward to seeing this eBook! May I also say that you have a fantastic first name?

  3. Siddharth says:

    The idea you’re dealing in the book could solve a problem that I’m constantly faced with, I’ll look forward to check it out when you’re done. On a side note, I really like the WP theme on your blog, pretty slick!

  4. Dbwrd says:

    Really looking forward to this. I am from the web marketing domain and it would be more than essential for me to learn design.

  5. [...] Bootstrapping Design (Jamison) [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>