Hi, I’m Dane Gonzalez.
I’m a graphic designer & artist, specializing in branding, lettering, and 2D-animation. I have an addiction to music—specifically hip hop, R&B, and experimental electronic music. My work takes inspiration from the music I listen to. I aim to create an enjoyable visual rhythm in my work, while incorporating some experimental aspects in order to keep it fresh.
I enjoy communicating ideas through typography and motion. The idea of drawing inspiration from very different sources, in order to form something fresh and new, is what drives me as a designer. My goal is to be constantly pushing myself to consider new ways to solve a problem or present an idea.
If that sounds like what you’re looking for in a designer, I think we’d work great together! I can help with any of your branding, lettering, animation, or other design needs.
Have a project you want to talk about? Send me a message! 📟 💫
Press & Services
What I’m Up to Now
Updated September 2017
What I’m Working On:
2D Animation: I’m focused on creating more 2D animation projects and posting them to my Instagram. It’s always been interesting to me, and I’m looking forward to developing my skill in storyboarding, animation, & art direction at a fundamental level with cel-animation. My goal is to eventually work on a lot more music videos.
Lettering: I’ve been learning and practicing lettering exclusively for years. I spent that time learning lettering so that I could use it for branding projects. Now that I’m working more on animations, I’m incorporating lettering into those projects as well. But even with that transition, I’ll create the stand alone lettering piece from time-to-time.
Podcasts I’m Liking:
A Long-Winded Background
I grew up in a prevalent skateboarding culture and I was a teen interested in skateboarding, but I didn’t have a place to start. I was fortunate enough to run into a few mentors who gave me my first skateboard, taught me what they knew, and allowed me to practice with them. They gave me the foundational knowledge and encouragement I needed to get better at skateboarding. Their gesture always stuck with me and I realized the profound impact that teaching can have on someone.
Years later, I eventually got to a level where I could be a mentor to others who were getting started. This started out with my neighborhood friends, then the local skatepark, and then teaching skateboarding as a camp counselor on the other side of the country. Through this, I realized that I loved the process of helping others learn and improve.
Skateboarding then got me interested in graphic design. Every time I’d visit the skateshop to buy a new skateboard, I’d be fascinated by the graphics on the bottom of skateboards. I didn’t quite know what design was then, but it would be my introduction to how graphic design could connect with people on a personal level.
I was introduced to design after taking a web design class in high school. I began to really like the web design class, so I entered some extracurricular competitions, and I eventually ended up winning a couple 1st place local and regional competitions.
These competitions culminated with the 2012 SkillsUSA California State Championships in San Diego. There, I won a silver medal out of 19 teams for webpage design. (Turns out, after reviewing the judges’ scores, I was less than half of a percentage point off from 1st place and moving on to the national championships.)
Coming off of these exciting experiences, I had developed some skill and a passion for design. I wanted to discover more of what design had to offer. So, I decided to explore print and layout design, since it covered many subsets of graphic design.
After spending a year and a half producing a self-published magazine, I eventually found a new interest within graphic design: hand lettering. This was born out of the frustration with the limitations of the typefaces I had available to me. The type and fonts I had access to lacked the unique personality I believed was needed to communicate my ideas accurately. This led me to conclude the magazine, in order to practice hand lettering.
Shortly after getting into lettering, I launched into my Project 365: a project to create a lettering piece every single day for 365 days. Over the life of the project, I would spend hundreds of hours practicing hand lettering, create hundreds of lettering pieces, and share each piece on my Instagram.
During and after the Project 365, other artists who were seeking help began asking me questions about lettering. As a result, I started my blog where I share my experiences and things I’ve learned in regard to lettering, design, and creativity.
In early 2015, I created a Snapchat geofilter for my hometown of Hanford, CA. As an early designer of Snapchat geofilters, my work landed me interviews in both The LA Times and the Hanford Sentinel. After receiving questions from designers asking for help on their own geofilters, I would help them by developing a course on Snapchat geofilters.
In May 2017, I finished up the graphic design program at California State University, Sacramento, and I received my Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design. There, I was able to refine my understanding of design history, gestalt principles, typography, color theory, layout design, branding, UX/UI design, and motion design. I was also able to apply that knowledge and improve my skills with the various projects we worked on, along with help from my design colleagues. We collaborated on group projects and gave our thoughts when it was needed. While we also constructively critiqued each other on our projects in order to help us become better designers.
My favorite projects from the design program were my animation and video projects. Since I enjoyed it so much, I started posting more self-initiated projects to my Instagram.
One of my favorite bands, Tennyson, asked their fans for help on their animated music video. I decided to help out. After working on that project, I realized that I want to work on more animation projects and music videos. So, I began learning and practicing more animation in my free time.
Today, I continue to work on my craft of design in order to create more engaging work. I also continue to look for opportunities to help others by sharing what I learn along the way.