About the designer
Find a solution that fits,
with thoughtful design that speaks straight to the heart
Hello! I’m Kayla Stearns, a graphic designer, an avid traveler and a curious soul who loves to meet new people and learn about their lives.
A nimble design studio
A joyful welcome
This isn’t just about providing a functional service. I want you to have a joyful experience. So every time you message me, jump on a call or chat about your project, you can be sure of a warm welcome.
I aim to work with care and kindness, and take that same positivity into our work together too.
My nimble approach to design stems from my love of adventure.
I’ve always been eager for discovery and filled with wonder at the world around me. And I’ve found that creativity is the perfect outlet for that. So your designs can feel that very same sense of creative adventure.
Listen. Observe. And soak it all in. I try to immerse myself in every design experience.
It’s what takes me off the beaten track to find an unexpected, original path. Whether it’s on an overseas adventure or in a new design project, curiosity is what allows us to do things differently.
Step onto the prairie, for a journey through the Northern Great Plains
A creative childhood, where curiosity bubbled over
I grew up on a farm in South Dakota. Back then? It didn’t seem like much of an advantage. But now… I can see how much it influenced my perspective and gave me a unique point of view.
Born to creative parents, I spent most of my younger years outdoors, making up games with my brother and exploring the prairie.
Along the way, I learnt to see things, really see them, and to train my eyes to notice the tiny details.
I had the space to follow my curiosity and see where it led me, whether it was over-designing my high school reports or crafting collages from vintage national geographic magazines. I spent my time listening and noticing, and turning that curiosity into understanding.
That same curiosity sparked my love of travel. I left to go to college at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where I was captivated by Lake Superior. Then it was studying abroad in Ireland, working as a designer at a small studio in Scotland, and exploring Portugal, Spain and Morocco, where I was mesmerized by the colors and patterns.
Entering the world of graphic design and moving to Minneapolis (and back again)
Solo trips soon followed, with Iceland, Norway, Nova Scotia and plenty more getting checked off the list.
The ability to understand people, places and things was what led me to fall in love with design and its power in creating connections.
I started my career at a small design agency in Minneapolis, MN, before working as a contractor with various agencies. Along the way, I learnt to adapt, mold and create a fluid approach to design.
I’ve now been doing that for well over 10 years. Most days you’ll find me at home in rural South Dakota, tending to my cut flower garden, avoiding traffic jams, taking inspiration from the natural world and building connections through the digital one.
All whilst using the power of design to build trust in human brands. So you too can communicate your story in a visual way. And creating the connection and memorability that’s needed to bring the essence of your brand to life.
If you want to design with purpose…
Listen to your customers. Observe your audience. Watch what they do.
Ask questions. Get to know the business. Find out what they really need. (And start scribbling frantically when you see the founder light up with that unmistakable spark of joy.)
Tell a story. Connect the dots. Take your audience on a journey.
But most of all…
Be curious. It’s the only way you can do things differently.
You know you’re in need of some kind of design… that’s why you’re here, right? (If not, ummm hi internet stranger, it’s pretty cool to meet you anyways!)
So you start searching. Scrolling the internet. Typing “graphic designer” into Google. Asking all your friends and family for recommendations.
But now you’re at that awkward stage… How are you meant to know what magic list of design ingredients you need? Let alone what style of graphic designer to go for – minimalist, contemporary, kitsch? Who knows.
That’s why you’re getting help. So you don’t have to fight with Canva anymore. And you can spend more time working on your business, rather than Googling endless design jargon.
So let’s not do that. Let’s make it easier. With a prescription free approach to design.
You won’t find any pre-set packages, rigid design styles or one-size-fits-all templates around here. Just nimble design that’s built around your business.
The result? A brand that’s confidently yours, that speaks to your story and represents your values. Making it so much easier to grow trust in your business (and your impact too).
Freelance graphic designer. Your design partner
None of it would be possible without the pup (and the place) that make it happen
You might see her tail wandering by in the occasional Zoom call.
She’s the perfect design companion and gets me out into nature every single day. Which, of course, is where all my favorite ideas find me.
Wander through the design studio’s garden
My cut flower garden is my pride and joy. It’s a beautiful way to spend time away from my computer screen but it also serves as a much needed spot for a break. So those ideas can percolate, whilst soaking up some fresh air.
The Plains Project
Inspired by Rob Walker and his book The Art of Noticing, I spend a little time getting to know the people and places around me.
Take a little look inside the project…
“One of the best designers I’ve ever had the privilege of working with”
“Kayla is one of the best designers I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. If you’re looking for quality, creativity, strategy and efficiency, Kayla is your girl!
Plus, she’s the most friendly and easy-going person you’ll ever meet!”