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Petrula Vrontikis Event Recap

Another speaker series is over, and we definitely ended on a high note. Petrula Vrontikis was beyond amazing, many commenting that she was our most inspiring speaker this season – maybe even for the past few years. And though we can’t possibly transcribe all her wisdom here, we have amassed a brief list of highlights.


Thank you, sponsors!

Our 2012-2013 season would not have been the same without our wonderful season sponsors! Winston, current ADCT President, took a moment to thank Western Printing, Clampitt Paper, and QuikPrint. They have all supplied so much support behind the scenes; a lot of work goes into planning and running our events. Special thanks also to the event sponsor Mohawk paper, who showed up with a collection of uber-cool paper samples.



Jeff Martin from Phillbrook took a minute to give us all a little sneak-peek at their upcoming downtown location. Honestly, there was some really exciting stuff revealed, and we’re looking forward to the opening June 14th!


The Main Event

Between the sponsors, the swag from Mohawk and the sneak-peek into the Philbrook… we felt like we’d already gotten our money’s worth. But the best was yet to come. Petrula Vrontikis touched on everything from setting up a studio, to freelancing and SCUBA diving. Petrula proved to be humble, talented and intelligent – never a bad combination.

  • 35k  We already mentioned in her bio that Petrula’s firm sold the rights to their original domain name for $35,000 – thus inspiring their new domain, But what does a young designer do with that kind of money? Petrula admitted she hadn’t taken a vacation for years after starting her firm, so she decided to travel. Though she could have invested the cash, she says she doesn’t regret the decision. Keeping herself well better informs her designs.
  • “Listen. Think. Design. In that order.”  Petrula’s mantra has never steered her wrong. As she explained it, “design falls short when you don’t listen deeply.”
  • On Staying Fresh  Petrula went back to school to learn motion graphics. She showed us her student work in AfterEffects, openly admitting it may be cringe-worthy to the motion pros in the audience.
  • A truly charming moment was Petrula sharing a photograph of herself with her own work – large letters for “lemonade” which she just happened to encounter in the airport on her way out to Tulsa.
  • On Feeling “Uppity”  While we find it hard to believe Petrula is ever “uppity,” she did reveal her release from the design blues: writing. Her Manifesto of the Whiny Designer drew more than a few laughs. She followed with the reminder, “we are lucky to get paid to do this in such an interesting, changing field!”



“Topics deserving a fine design whine include, but are not limited to…”
“Topics deserving a fine design whine include, but are not limited to…”


  • What Petrula Vrontikis is Thinking  After going over her history, hobbies, and some of her work, Petrula got down to some truly interesting topics. She touched on the idea of transmedia design, which is one of the subjects she teaches. Because of the changes in society, designers need to learn “ambidexterity across cultures.” She even shared some of her student’s work.
  •  Petrula has been working with on a curriculum series, mainly focused on how to run a business. It started with a lesson on freelancing, and there will be more to come.
  • The Nomadic Culture  Value shifts in society change the way we think. Petrula wants designers to be aware of that, and to adapt. She cited this article from fast co, The Secrets of Generation Flux.
  • Self Promotion  Vrontikis Design Office does not do self promotions, and they haven’t had to seek out new clients in years. She has stayed in business for decades based on her reputation and word of mouth. A print piece she’s currently working on for the Giant Magellan Telescope came from a contact nearly 10 years ago.



Petrula Vrontikis was truly a pleasure to have. She had great advice for both business and pleasure. Though this was our last speaker for the season, don’t forget we still have a big year-end party to throw! Be sure to mark your calendars now for Graphex 44, on May 16th at the Vanguard. And start getting excited for next season, we already have some major names lined up! You’ll have to stay tuned for more details.



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