Designers have realized that they have all of the skills
necessary to create successful businesses and build careers without clients. Kern and Burn shares their stories.

  • Kern and Burn is an online and print publication that curates discussions, interviews, and essays about design entrepreneurship.

  • We celebrate designers with perspectives—those who make arguments that invigorate the community.

  • We celebrate designers with vision—those who hustle to turn good ideas into great realities.

  • We celebrate designers who are curious—those who push the definition of design to pursue their passions.

About Kern and Burn

In the midst of the hustle, the tweets, the Dribbble shots, and the growing TeuxDeux lists, designers are working together to create products that make the world a better and more beautiful place.

We believe that you can do anything you want. That the world is changing. That production cycles are collapsing, and that the middleman is dead. We've spent the last several months interviewing designers who take their lives into their own hands and break rules to follow their passions. Khoi Vinh, Mixel founder, told us to love our families, Jake Nickell, Threadless co-founder, told us to make things with our friends, and Frank Chimero told us to keep moving forward.

We decided to make a book that captures the energy and excitement of design entrepreneurs. A book that inspires the design community to Kern and Burn—to perfect our craft and to work obsessively hard. It is a book that focuses on designer's lives, decisions, and aspirations rather than their techniques and color palettes. A book that challenges our peers to believe in themselves, and think about their lives as a design problem.

We love the opportunity to inspire others so we share our research and insight on the blog. Thanks for joining us on the journey.
Say hello at

Tim Hoover

Pretty much burn.

Jess thinks Tim needs to focus on the details, sleep more, and think about cleaning his desk.


Jessica Karle

Pretty much kern.

Tim thinks Jess needs to embrace imperfection, dream more, and buy him more gummy bears.