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Work Hard, Play Hard

master’s thesis

Work Hard, Play Hard: Prompts for Fun in Graphic Design

This publication is intended to be a tool for both teachers and students of Graphic Design. It explores the meaning of play in design through a series of assignments, prompts, and experiments. It encourages the absence of concern about outcome and judgment, as well as trying new ways of doing things and taking risks in ways that are crucial to learning.

The project features two books: a Work Book and an Example Book. The Work Book collects all of the prompts and presents them along with the prompt’s objective, spare paper for working on, and a pocket with materials to work with if needed. The Example Book shows examples of each of the prompts completed and is meant to be an inspiration piece viewed separately.

The books are accompanied by a deck of playing cards, which condenses the prompts from the Work Book in a fun and easily accessible way. It allows the user to shuffle the deck and select a prompt to complete at random.


The prompts included in this publication were inspired by books I read in design school, collected from assignments professors wrote for my classes, or written by myself.

Books Referenced

  • Creative Block: Over 100 Tasks to Get Your Head Into a Creative Space – Gemma Lawrence
  • You are an Artist: Assignments to Spark Creation – Sarah Urist Green
  • Graphic Design Playbook: An Exploration of Visual Thinking – Sophie Cure and Aurélien Farina
  • Taking a Line for a Walk: Assignments in Design Education – Nina Paim, Emilia Bergmark, and Corinne Gisel

Professors Referenced

Cheryl-Towler Weese, Sharon Oiga, Pedro Neves, and Pouya Ahmadi


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