About Me / Manifesto

"Design isn't really your strong point is it?"

These are various quotes I've heard during the course of my education and employment within graphic design. 

"Are you just interviewing for this accounts job to try and sneak into the design department?"

"We have copywriters for that."

Yet, if we agree that graphic design is ultimately about visual communication, why do we continue to define it so narrowly? What's so wrong with an artist working directly with a client? Why shouldn't a designer be able to speak, write, typeset, research, AND sketch effectively? It's a dirty little secret that in the academic and professional world we continue to set these limits, rather than encouraging bravery and curiosity in any number of things in the world around us. 

"I'd rather just look at your portfolio and not have to hear anything about the background."

For me, design is about telling stories. Anywhere in the world, stories are how we best communicate with each other. As designers, let's not limit how we tell those stories. Let's tell them with illustration, with animation, with writing, with humor, with properly kerned typography, with performance, and most of all, with passion.




Jessica Ruth Plagens

Currently: New Brighton, MN

Origins: St. Paul, MN

Professional Experience: 

  • Marketing
  • Advertising 
  • German-themed beer hall/restaurant


  • BA, Fine Arts, St. Olaf College
  • Post-Bac Certificate, Graphic Design, Minneapolis College of Art & Design

Cats, shoes, sushi, London, Salinger, naps,
and Oxford Commas.

In 2015, I did an Ignite Minneapolis talk, which you can watch HERE.

**My website, like my life, is a work in progress, please check back frequently**