get in touch

** I am unavailable for freelance work until January 2014 **

If you'd like  to get in touch about a freelance project or just to say hi, please send me a message using the form or via twitter at @ivonnekn.

~ Ivonne




If you have a budget in mind, please let me know.
Do you have a timeline for your project or a hard deadline for launch?


Designer and illustrator specializing in brand identity design, web design and UI/UX design, based in Toronto via Milton.


Filtering by Category: Inspiration


Ivonne Karamoy

Toggl Timetracking Tool

As freelancers, one of the best tools at our disposal is the ability to track time. Tracking the time you spend on projects and on different parts of a project helps you understand how you work and how much to charge for your work. If you're billing hourly, it's obviously important. But it's more important if you're not billing hourly. You need to understand how you are spending your time, where you can be more productive and how much time you're actually spending (and most of us spend way more than what we estimate). This all helps you to better estimate project timelines and budgets which ultimately means you are compensated fairly for your time.

There are so many tools out there for time tracking and the thought of learning yet another tool for my day-to-day seemed absolutely exhausting to me, but my friend Christina Truong recommended Toggl and let me tell you, I love it! 

First, the learning curve was nothing. It's dead easy. You just type in what you're working on and hit start. Just like that the clock is running. If you want to get specific, you can add clients and projects so you can track specific tasks and file them for each project/client. At the end of the week, Toggl sends you a report of how you spent your time. You can also look at your day, week or month and view reports on how you spent your time.

Best of all, it's free!

Radiolab Audio Show

I absolutely love podcasts! I get bored listening to music most of the time and listening to a podcast helps me stay at my desk when I'm working at home and keeps me entertained and intellectually stimulated. That last part isn't always true but there's a few podcasts I come back to time and time again, one of my favorites being Design Matters by Debbie Millman. But recently I found another fantastic podcast, Radiolab. Radiolab is a "show about curiosity" or so they say on their website, but it's true. Their topics range from scientific to creative to social and really explore the human experience. It's a thought-provoking show that is digestible (approx. 30 mins in length) and not at all boring.

My favourite episodes so far are: Speedy Beet (did Beethoven intend his music to be heard differently?) and The Trust Engineers (is Facebook tweaking our behaviour?). I've only just started listening to this but I already know that I'll have many more to add to this list.

Illustrator Lisa Congdon on Getting Older and owning it!

After hearing Lisa's story on The Great Discontent, I stumbled through her site and found this post she had written early this year about getting older and it made me love her more. She talks about realizing that her age was now showing (a fact that we will all encounter) which may be a hard realization for most of us.

I'm not at a point where I feel my age is showing and I am still young, relatively speaking. And the little of what I have seen, like my first gray–no white hair and the start of laugh lines on my face, has not shaken me. But I am keenly aware of our mortality and how aging is one of the hardest things we all have to experience. I admire women (I don't know if men worry as much as women about aging and having that show) who own their age, especially those who rock silver or white hair. I hope I become one of them. Perhaps I'll look like Storm... hmm.

Anyway, Lisa's post was eloquent and honest and it's worth a read. She describes herself as a late bloomer, having discovered her art in her early 30s and finding it as a career (after a successful first career in education) in her 40s. That simple fact–that she was able to find her art and make a living from it was a nice contrast to the top 30 under 30 lists or top 20 under 20 lists of the talented youngsters we see. Talent and discovery can emerge at any point in your life. It's your choice to decide whether you want to grab hold of it, no matter what age.


Ivonne Karamoy

The Great Discontent interviews Michael Bierut
I love TGD's interviews but this one is one of my favorites, partly because I admire Michael Bierut but I also found a sort of kinship in his outlook on life and this interview was a nice window into that.

After I read that interview I stumbled across this post from Tina of Swiss-Miss (Side note: Tina is the inspiration behind these "Goodies" - part personal archive and part sharable goodies of interesting things that I come across)...

Michael Bierut on the power of logos via Design Indaba
I'm always intrigued by how people perceive things and how design can help shape that. The power of a logo is dependent not just on the design but also on the business, it's values and how the entire brand shapes itself.

Tina Roth Eisenberg on using values to thrive in work and family
Tina Roth Eisenberg a.k.a. Swiss-Miss is a designer and founder that I've admired from afar because it's clear that she leads her business and ventures with her heart. Her creations have come organically from her needs including Tattly and Creative Mornings. Tina talks about how she runs her business with values, heart and a bit of confetti in this podcast episode.

Michael Bierut created a project called the 100 Day Project for his MFA students at Yale as an exercise in discipline and creative thinking. The idea is simple, think of an action that you can do every day for 100 days. Cool right?

Now artist Elle Luna, along with TGD, is launching the #The100DayProject with the goal to encourage people to show up day after day and celebrate the process of doing. 

April 6th is the launch date and anyone can participate - I will be. I'm not yet sure exactly what action I'll do but I'm narrowing it down.

You can join me by signing up here and showing your process on instagram every day starting April 6th. See you on the instas!

Elle LunaThe Crossroads of Should and Must
Elle Luna is a designer turned artist who I admire for taking risks, being honest and putting her heart out into the world. Her post on The Crossroads of Should and Must is a MUST read for anyone who has a free spirit. AND she's turned it into a book due out on April 8, 2015. I'll be getting my copy for sure–I am a sucker pep talks, especially one's that encourage you to find and follow your callings (yes plural).

Image via  Elle Luna

Image via Elle Luna

Your long term is not the sum of your short terms
And finally, in the spirit of doing what you need/love, here's some food for thought from Seth Godin:

How long is your long term?

A simple question with an answer that’s difficult to embrace.

What are you willing to give up today in exchange for something better tomorrow? Next week? In ten years?

Your long term is not the sum of your short terms.
— Seth Godin

The Shape of Design | Frank Chimero

Ivonne Karamoy

I came across Frank Chimero's talk on design at Build Conference in 2010. I don't know how I didn't see this before, but it is such a smart and nourishing discussion on the design that I had to share it! 

It is extremely difficult to give an accurate definition of design. And those of us who work as designers often get lost in the everyday business and process of it that we forget the true power of our work. In this talk, Frank Chimero gives us a more acute definition of design (from way way back in time) and reminds us what it means to design. We have the power to delight our audiences, tell stories and nourish our lives through this practice. Most of us become designers for these reasons, and that can be forgotten all too easily as you meet deadlines, work with clients and pay your bills. We need this reminder every now to remind us why we do what we do.

Frank discovers, a most accurate definition of design from Aristotle's writings:

The technical know-how, skill, craft, and art involved in production, manufacturing & making; using good deliberation, understanding, resulting in deliberate desire to be carried out with cleverness.

Design requires some degree of cleverness, technical know-how, skill, craft and art. Frank notes that "logic breaks when we work with people." What he means by this is that technology operates on logic, but the systems we build and the things we want to communicate with design is meant for people, and people are not logical, they're emotional. It takes more than technical skill and logic to design. It takes cleverness, heart and empathy. Designing with data only gets us so far. It makes sense for logic and for business to work from data. It's very scientific and it makes sense. Often people don't understand design; they understand data and logic. But the most important and impactful designs and discoveries are such that because they delight people on an emotional level. They resonate with them because it hits them in their gut or in their heart. It elicits a reaction. That can't be designed based on data alone.

Frank Chimero's talk makes you fall in love with design all over again.


Ivonne Karamoy

Changing Perceptions and Saving the World with Design
I love design for many reasons, one of the top reasons is it's ability to instigate change and progress and make us think about things differently. I discovered this campaign to reduce food waste by store Intermarché in France last year and since then this idea has spread to the UK, Portugal, Australia, and in Canada.

Designing For The Elderly: Ways Older People Use Digital Technology Differently
I've been thinking a lot recently about designing for seniors and this Smashing Magazine article gives me plenty to think about. It's a really interesting topic and one that I think we'll consider more and more as web and interaction design matures. Interactive design involves thinking about your users and your audience. It's important that we design not just for our peers or our generation but for the whole population, especially when it comes to the products and services that many people need/should use. Older people may be slower to adopt technology but they are adopting it and are willing users if we are considerate enough to include them.

Short Documentary of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
As part of the Women&&Tech team, I encourage a more inclusive view of people working in technology, and that includes women and people of different backgrounds and cultures. This short documentary about Grace Hopper is an incredible look into this amazing woman who did amazing things at a time when the barriers to women were much more and much harder to break down. Her contribution to history and computing should be remembered. She was a trail blazer who didn't even think a trail needed to be made. She just did the work.

Illustrator Pascal Campion
I love illustration. I'm always inspired by an illustrator's point of view and how they look at the world. I recently discovered Pascal Campion's art and I am in love. I love it's whimsical, childlike love for all things ordinary. His work delights in the small every day things. They tug at my heart strings. The stories he tells with one image is both personal and universal, beautiful and purposeful, fantastic and ordinary. He's been doing "A Sketch A Day" for over 10 years and still continues. Check out his tumblr here