About This Site

This blog was originally created for my students at the California College of the Arts (CCA).
It has since evolved into a repository of general thinking and writing on design, creativity and culture.


Christopher Simmons is a Designer

Christopher Simmons is a San Francisco-based designer, writer, educator and design advocate.

He is the principal/creative director of the noted San Francisco design office, MINE™ where he designs and directs projects for a variety of clients, including Facebook, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, The Nature Conservancy of California, Chronicle Books, Simon & Schuster, Obama for America and a diversity of nonprofit and entrepreneurial clients. His work has been exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Hiroshima, Japan, The Pasadena Museum of California Art, The Museum of Craft & Design, The Smithsonian Institution, and is part of the permanent design archives of the Denver Art Museum.

The author of four books, Simmons also lectures on design issues for colleges, universities and professional associations throught the United States, and frequently participates as a judge for major design competitions. He is an adjunct professor of design at The California College of the Arts (CCA) and a past president of the San Francisco AIGA, the professional association for design. Among his enduring accomplishments in that role were the creation of San Francisco Design Week, and the introduction of the first public design-oriented lectures at the Apple Store. On completion of Simmons’ tenure on AIGA’s board, mayor Gavin Newsom issued an official proclamation declaring San Francisco to be a city where “design makes a difference.”

Simmons has been interviewed on design issues by National Public Radio, the New York Times and the CBS Evening News, and has appeared as a guest on 99% Invisible and Design Matters. In 2013 he was named one of “50 most influential designers working today.”


Selected Audio Interviews


Lists & Links

Writing (Books)

Just Design, 208pp (HOW Design Books, 2011)

LogoLab, 144pp (HOW Design Books, 2005)

Color Harmony, 160pp (Rockport Publishers, 2006)

Letterhead & Logo Design 9, 224pp (Rockport Publishers, 2005)


Writing (Editorial)

The UC Logo Controversy (AIGA.org)

What Design Can’t Do, (GAIN, AIGA’s Journal of Design & Business, 2010)

Interview of Doug Akagi, (AIGA San Francisco, 2011)

My First Time (STEP Magazine, regular column since 2007)

The Process of Teaching Process, Feature Article (Art Bistro/Monster Worldwide, 2008)

Being Original, Feature Article (Art Bistro/Worldwide, 2008)

How to Be a Good Student, Feature Article (Art Bistro/Worldwide, 2008)

The Right Fit, Feature Article (Art Bistro/Worldwide, 2008)

For Goodness Sake, Feature Article (HOW Magazine, 2008)

Design Moves West, article (Create Magazine, 2005)

That Sound You Hear Sucking, Guest Editorial (Speakup, 2004)


American Institute of Architects (AIA), San Francisco

AIGA National Conference, 2009

AIGA National Conference, 2013

AIGA Honolulu

AIGA San Francisco (Keynote Speaker)

AIGA Y-Conference 12, San Diego, CA

Art Directors Club, Washington, DC

Association of American Law Schools

Brand New Conference

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA

CASE Conference


Cusp Conference, Chicago, IL

Dallas Society of Visual Communicators (Keynote Speaker)

HOW Conference, Boston

Lotus Awards, Vancouver, BC

Public Relations Society of Sacramento

Re:Charge 08 (Keynote Speaker), Jacksonville, FL

Re:Design / Creative Directors, Palm Springs, CA

Re:Design / Inspire, Los Angeles, CA

RGD National Design Conference, Toronto, ON

Sacramento Art Directors and Artists Club

Sacramento State University

San Jose State University

UC Santa Cruz

Western Art Directors Club


AIGA 365 / Year in Design

AIGA: Justified

AIGA Cincinnati

AIGA Hawaii

AIGA Pittsburgh

AIGA San Francisco

Art Directors Club, OK

Art Directors Club, Washington, DC

Graphic Design USA

Lotus Awards (Canada)


RGD Ontario (Canada)

STEP Magazine

Web Marketing Association