June 2021 marks the first anniversary of Arjun Kumar working for me at Design Axl—I could not be more thrilled to have him. He has not only been a great designer and comrade over this trying year—he has inspired and elevated the work of Design Axl. …


I know we’re all set with 2020—and on to 2021—but I feel the need to reflect on some of the silver linings to officially scratch 2020 off the list.

Teaching was difficult — but amazing work still persevered — client work made me grateful — but never compromised — and I could not have asked for more from my family. I am so grateful for many things and pray for everyone’s health and safety now and throughout 2021. …


Part 2: pedagogy

In continuation from a previous post, Summer reflection Part 1: practice, Part 2: pedagogy focuses on the 2019 spring semester and summer session at Boston University. After two years teaching full-time at BU I would like to think I have a handle on things, but I continue to push myself…


Part 1: practice

As summer winds down I want to reflect on my work over the past 8 months. A lot is happening with my practice, Design Axl, as well as my pedagogy at Boston University. The two have gained momentum and continue to support each other. Design Axl supports clients in three…


A reflection on a very challenging yet rewarding year for Design Axl and design teaching at Boston University.

2019 Design Axl postcard: If you’d like one, let me know!

Happy 2019

I’ve enjoyed working on some really awesome projects with some great partners and clients. I’ve also been able to build a design curriculum in lockstep with client work and vice versa. Please read on to see some highlights from the past year.

UI and UX and AR, oh my!

I’m sure there are a few acronyms I…


We’re excited to announce the new T3 Advisors website! This article covers the 16 week collaboration between Design Axl and T3 Advisors. Design Axl, in collaboration with Code Greene Interactive, created a completely new information architecture, visual design, front-end, and back-end system.

T3 Advisors’ focus is on real estate and…


(Original post Spring 2018 — check for latest updates here) It’s official, my one year Lecturer position is coming to a close and I have been offered—and accepted—the position of Assistant Professor of Art, Graphic Design at BU!

Photo by Liz Linder

It’s been a very exciting year juggling all new classes, new clients, and at the same time preparing to apply for the Assistant Professor position. It was a lengthy application process which included meeting with the National Search Committee, the Director of the School of Visual Arts, and the Dean…


Vaughan Oliver is an award-winning, legendary graphic designer, artist, and author of several books, including Exhibition/Exposition and This Rimy River.

Vaughan Oliver workshop RISD: James Grady, Camila Afanador, and Milan Nedved

James Grady: I had this revelation, and it was through my daughter, Joy, and all of these different things going on at once. Then reflecting back on the workshop I had with you where I felt really liberated, and I wasn’t forcing a conceptual narrative or social policy on what…


Boy with a Movie Camera, Kona, Hawaii 1992

When I was fourteen, my family went on a trip to Kona, Hawaii, and I brought my first video camera with me, a Sony HI8 HandyCam; I was rarely seen without it. Although most tourists capture Hawaii’s environmental beauty, I, for some unknown reason, mostly chose to film anything but…


Intuition. Transformation. Feedback.

Shift, in concept and method, is a view on empirically based graphic design. Inviting constant shifts of perspective — from one place, position, direction, or person, to another — I assume the stance of observer and documentarian of the transitory. My work, which operates in the liminal space between ordinary…

James Grady

Principal, Design Axl & Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Boston University

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