Get a design
school education
in 9 days.

Regain confidence in your design work.

Do your designs end up different from what you picture in your mind? Feeling unsure of how to improve your work? If so, it's likely you missed learning aspects of design theory.

TheorySprints is an online course that will teach you design theory and process in 9 quick learning sprints. You'll regain confidence in your abilities and get back in action quickly.

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Learn more about the course

Because I wasn't classically trained in graphic design, I felt that I lacked vital foundational knowledge. Since taking TheorySprints, I have more confidence in myself as a designer.

Meghan Hartman

Helpful and practical, especially the video demonstrations that show how principles work. I understand better how to apply these design concepts in my own projects. 

Ann Tai

For me, the demo videos in TheorySprints were the biggest value. The sequence of how to create a design and the whole process in practical terms is really valuable.

Daniel Marek

See how these designs were made.

Get unstuck. Learn to move past bad ideas and make awesome design.

Example Project: Proximity School Homepage Example Project: Off Center Type Example Project: Studiofellow.com

Sometimes you hit a creative rut or feel lost. The details in your design don't work the way you picture, or it feels like every idea you have is bad.

This happens to every designer. Instead of trying to avoid having bad ideas—which is impossible—learn to move past them.

TheorySprints includes in-depth videos showing how real designs are made. You'll see how I move past bad ideas and make awesome design anyway. You'll see how design theory can propel you forward when you feel stuck, burned out, or uninspired, and you'll learn simple ways to use design theory right away.

Registration is Closed

Get notified when the course opens and try a free lesson while you wait:

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Theory Sprints

Course Outline

Become a Better Designer by Learning the Design Theory You Missed

Fill in your knowledge gaps so you can start making progress again. TheorySprints includes a quick learning sprint for every principle you need to know. Complete each sprint in just an couple hours—after 9 days, you'll have all kinds of new ideas to try.

Learn to Plan Design Projects and Avoid Guesswork


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Sprint 1: Process

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Sprint 2: Planning

Learn the Key Design Principles


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Sprint 3: Typography

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Sprint 4: Alignment & Grids

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Sprint 5: Proximity & Space

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Sprint 6: Color

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Sprint 7: Repetition

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Sprint 8: Visual Hierarchy

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Sprint 9: Dominance &
Contrast

Anatomy of a
Theory Sprint


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Analyze how you've used each design principle in the past

Learn all about each design principle in written lessons

Observe how an experienced designer uses the principle

Plan how you'll use the principle differently in the future

Practice using each principle with quick exercises

What's a sprint?

A sprint is a group of lessons and content focused around one topic that you can complete quickly. Sprints are composed of 5 stages to help you understand, apply, and then master using each principle. The course focuses heavily on application, so you'll leave each sprint knowing exactly how to use the concept.

Features & Bonus Content


  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
  • Online course access forever
  • Download and keep all the content forever
  • Design Stories video series: see real designs created from scratch
  • 19 videos (Over 5 hours total)
  • 12 written lessons (pdf & mp3s included)
  • 18 worksheets to help you apply what you learn
  • Private Facebook Group Access
  • 6 Design process templates & worksheets (Sketch + Adobe formats)
  • Demonstration project source files
  • UI design patterns & examples PDF

Get the Complete Course for $249 $199

Registration is Closed

Get notified when the course opens and try a free lesson while you wait:

Grab a Free Lesson

Overall, it gave me the confidence to rock a final round interview and land a job at Facebook.

Kenny Raymond

You took all that nonsense from our over-saturated industry and really made the value a slam dunk. You know how they say there is no manual for motivating someone? I believe this course can do just that!

—JJ Hiller

As self trained 'designer', I can attest to the excellent instructional course Jarrod has created. Walking back through the basics, and showing his ideas develop as the layers of design come together. An excellent investment indeed.

—Nicky Tillyer

A List Apart

I'm Jarrod Drysdale, creator of TheorySprints

I created Proximity School and TheorySprints after meeting many designers who struggle more than they need to because they never learned basic design theory. Most design programs and training barely teach visual design and design theory and skip past them to more advanced topics—and this does designers everywhere a huge disservice. So I created a course to teach it myself.

Here's more about my experience. I've been a professional designer since 2004. My design business earns 6 digits per year. I've worked at top agencies, and have served clients like State Farm, LensCrafters, McDonald's, Kraft Foods, New Line Cinema, Domino's Pizza, Scottrade, Intuit, and Bloomberg. My email newsletter has reached over 40,000 unique readers and has operated for 6 years. Tens of thousands of people have used my design courses and books.

My work and writing have appeared in:

  • A List Apart
  • AIGA
  • Smashing Magazine
  • Communication Arts
  • The Creative Bloq
  • Net Magazine
  • GOOD magazine
  • Fast Company
  • Despreneur
  • Design Taxi
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Questions?

The course is entirely at your own pace. When you join the course you get instant, unlimited access to all the lessons and content. There are no rigid schedules, waiting periods, or time limits. Complete lessons whenever you like. Your account will stay active forever and you can revisit any lesson anytime.

The sprints are planned so that you can study each design principle for a single day to really absorb and apply what you learn in a focused way. A sprint shouldn't take more than 2-3 hours total to complete (the longest part of each sprint is the video demonstration, some of which are over an hour in length). However, if you prefer, you could complete 2 or 3 sprints in an intense day.

After you complete the sprints, you should commit to practicing what you learn regularly. The course provides advice about how much you should practice, and this should be a larger time commitment than completing the lessons.

TheorySprints is written for designers of all experience levels. New designers will learn the most, but people with more experience still take the course. Many of us can benefit from new perspectives, seeing how others work, and filling in knowledge gaps. (And for the record, knowledge gaps happen regardless of whether you are self taught or went to design school.)

This course is for people who already are or want to become web designers, graphic designers, interaction designers, mobile designers, visual designers, and hybrid designers / design generalists.

This course will not teach you to become a UX expert. But, you should know that UX has become a very murky term in our industry. Many who have the job title "UX Designer" often do visual design and interface design.

If you want to design how things look and function, this course will help you. But it's not a user research course.

If you are a developer, writer, marketer, or other non-designer, TheorySprints will absolutely teach you design, and many people in other industries have been satisfied with the course.

TheorySprints is a design course, not a software or coding course, so you will not learn how to use design tools.

Part of the problem with most design education is that instructors get distracted by tools. TheorySprints is focused completely on design theory, and I intentionally avoid teaching tools so that you aren't distracted from that core focus. There are many places to learn design tools, and you should be able to learn enough to get started with Photoshop or Sketch in a couple of days. Here are simple places to start with Photoshop tutorials and Sketch tutorials.

That said, the course does include a bunch of Photoshop and Sketch files you can rip apart and decipher to pick up some techniques and tricks. The intent behind these is allowing you to see how a design is pieced together, but you will be able to see how I use software too (especially Photoshop since it's my personal preference).

On the other hand, learning to code takes substantially longer. For newer designers it can distract from developing basic design competency. So, I recommend focusing on one topic at a time: learn design, then learn to code separately. Learning both at once is way too much. (That said, I write code, and I think it's a very worthwhile skill for designers to have.)

There are no prerequisites for taking TheorySprints. The course is intended for all experience levels, including both people just beginning to learn design and more experienced designers looking to round out their knowledge.

To use your new knowledge of design theory and complete the included exercises, you'll obviously need to be able to use design software to start making designs. Design software isn't covered in the course, but you should be able to learn enough to get started with Photoshop or Sketch in a couple of days. Here are simple places to start with Photoshop tutorials and Sketch tutorials.

Refund requests are extremely rare. I've only had a few in over 7 years of writing design books and courses to thousands of students.

If you aren't satisfied, shoot me an email and tell me what's wrong. I want to help!

You have 30 days after purchase to request a refund. Refunds are at my discretion, but if I can see you gave the course a sincere effort and it isn't working for you, I will happily refund 100% of your money.

"Sprint" is a term that dates back to the Scrum software development framework, but the book Sprint by the Google Design team has popularized the term in the design industry.

Essentially, a sprint is a technique of focusing on a narrowly-defined task, goal, or topic and trying to complete it in a short time frame. Many design and development teams run project sprints following specific structures, some using Google's sprint framework and others inventing their own structure.

In TheorySprints, a sprint is a group of lessons, videos, and content that is narrowly focused around a single design topic. The structure allows you to dig deep into one topic at a time without becoming overwhelmed by trying to use and learn multiple principles at once.