Handmade Art / Handmade Design

Adventure Awaits


We recently bought a cabin in Big Bear, CA and I have been busy decorating.  We got the place furnished and it needed a lot of help, from the linens, to the beds, to the decor.  It was fun to throw away and donate all the stuff we didn’t find a purpose for and buy all new stuff.  In addition to buying new stuff though, we had some fun repurposing a few things.

So, there were all of these dead taxidermy animals on the walls and while I would never repurpose dead animal (is that even possible?), I did want to repurpose a lot the amazing wood these things were mounted on.  I love typography and knew I had to do a hand painted sign for our new space.  This is what I came up with.  Adventure always awaits when you are in the woods at the cabin!





Wedding Invitations

Bohemian Wedding Invite


When my husband’s cousins came to me and asked me to design her wedding invites, we were on the same page right from the start.  Her and her fiancé are very earthy, free spirited people so I had an idea of what was about to transpire, but I never imagined they would turn out this amazing!

From the really nice, thick, kraft colored, card stock to the little feather and arrow details, this invite is the perfect example of knowing what my client wants and taking them in the right direction.

Sarah knew where they were getting married, how the day would look and probably every other detail besides the most important thing, the invites!  She needed help in deciding how they wanted them to look.  We perused the internet for ideas and after narrowing down the likes and dislikes we settled on the perfect balance of airy and earthy.

I hope you like them just as much as I did making them for her.



Sarah and Rich Wedding


Wedding Invitations

Backyard Wood Wedding


My best friend had me create her wedding invites and we had such a fun time collaborating that when she came to me and said her sister was getting married, I knew I had to design these for her.  She was planning her wedding in her parents backyard, up north in MN and wanted a woodsy, cabin like invite.  She came to me with some ideas and I was off and running.

The earthy tones and intimate design reflect exactly how her wedding was.  It was a special, one of a kind (“Kind” just happens to be her maiden name) event that took place in a most special location with only close friends and family.  She was so pleased with these, as I hope you think so too!

Wedding Rustic

Rustic Wedding Package

Bridal Shower Invites

Birdcage Bridal Shower


I got the honor of throwing a bridal shower for my cousin on June 6 but the planning for it started months before that and so did creating these one of a kind bird cage invites.  Getting married is such a special occasion and so are all the little events leading up to it.  I knew her shower had to be special and delicate and what better way than with birds and bird cages?

From the invite to the thank you and the recipe card, the whole package was perfectly complimentary to her special day.  To create these invites, I had looked all over the internet for some unique elements and what bridal shower stuff was trending at the time.  A big thing at the time, in addition to birds and bird cages, were recipe cards for the bride, where everyone would write down their favorite recipe and the give it to the bride for her shower.

She was so surprised by these invites and uses her recipes on the regular!  There are just too many possibilities when designing something so fun!

Bird Cage Bridal Shower Package

Direction Designs News / Website Launch

Welcome to Direction Designs


Hello all!

My Name is Jackie Ruiz and even though I have been around a while, I am just starting to launch my freelance design work here in San Diego.  I went to school at the University of Minnesota Duluth in Duluth, MN and I graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and a Minor in Art and Photography.

In July of 2013, I became a mom which has been on of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  There are moments in life that define us and if you can remember those moments, I believe they hold the key to what you are looking for in the future.  I knew graphic design was a great choice for me but never expected to not know what to do with it after college.

So a little backstory about me.  I grew up in Minnesota, went to college and graduated in the winter of 2006 and decided to take all of 2007 off and just work and apply for jobs.  Well, I met my husband in the spring of 2007 through my sister and brother-in-law (who lived in San Diego) and the seed was planted.  I quickly picked up the pace and got a second job in the hopes that I would make it out to San Diego at the beginning of 2008, and I did!

I got to San Diego on January 1, 2008 and hit the road running.  I must have gone to 20 graphic design job interviews and nothing panned out……they all wanted experience.  Well, how do you get experience if no one will hire you?  I got discouraged but just as I was about to give up and start applying at retail shops, I found a job right down the road from where I was living.  It was a blessing in more ways than one and although I only worked there for 10 months, it was one of those defining moments that gave me a glimpse at my future.  From that job I started working at General Dynamics NASSCO and quickly discovered that even though I wasn’t doing graphic design full time, my skills were still required for the work I was doing.  I made a lot of really great friends, stayed close with my old bosses and started doing more freelance work.  Now, my husband and I, along with 3 other families own Helm’s Brewing Co. in San Diego, CA and I have done all the design work since the beginning.

So long story short, I am a freelance designer specializing in logo/web/print design, I am a brewery owner, a wife and mother.  Needless to say, I love all my jobs and think that I do them very well.  All my choices have led me where I am today and I couldn’t be more proud.

Hope to see you around here more often!