Radical Design 2.0
A rebellious, potentially life-changing design course by Jack McDade

Satisfaction guaranteed, like cereal from the 90s.

In this course I will teach you how to develop your own design style, stand out against competition, and be remembered in a noisy world full of copycats and boring templates. This ain't like other design courses. You'll see.

Are you an aspiring designer, developer, marketer, or cupcake taster? Maybe you're a burnt-out designer struggling for fresh ideas, or perhaps you have no idea where to start with design? Do you need to find a way to make your sites less boring and more memorable? Well then, this course is for you.

Watch this intro to get a taste for the flavor (or flavour if you're from the UK) of this course!

Who is behind this course? What is this course? Why is this course?

I’m Jack McDade. I designed and created Statamic, designed Laravel.com, Laracon (a few times), Justin Jackson’s highly acclaimed site, and a whole pile of others.

I think the web has become too boring. There are too many fill-in-the-blank websites full of derivative content, lacking in personality. I've made a living zigging when everyone else zags. Design helps a site or brand stand out and be remembered, and applies equally to your personal portfolio or sophisticated, high-profile client project.

In this course I'm going to help you take your work from bland to grand. Bleak to chic. Boring to really quite very remarkably good. I'll turn you into a designer.

It's time to call bull@#$% on bad advice, show you shortcuts over here, delightful detours over there, and give you permission to get weird. This course is gonna get real. It’s gonna get practical. Silly and serious at the same time, even. I’m gonna teach you everything I know before I forget it all and have to mow grass for a living. Again.

A decorative Celtic knot in the corner
It's a Thumbs Up

You Will

You will learn how to design sites and write content that will be remembered.

You will learn ways to be original, unique, and make your designs stand out. Boring sucks.

You will learn how to design quickly and efficiently so you can get on with the other 71 things on your todo list.

You will learn how to develop a unique style of your very own.

You will learn how to be excited about design instead of dreading it.

You will learn the value of humor in your designs.

You will learn how to use a wide range of design tools & apps.

You will learn important fundamentals.

I will hide content behind poorly executed hand shakes.

It's a Thumbs Up flipped around to be a Thumbs Down

You Will Not

You will not learn how to get popular on Dribbble or how to be featured on Behance.

You will not be bored if I can possibly help it. Design is a crap ton of fun.

You will not learn how to copy the Stripe or Linear websites. They’ve been done a thousand times. You don't want first reactions to your work to be “What a total rip-off. No thanks.”

You will not learn how to code. That's a totally different course and skillset.

You will not learn how to write fluff content to make your boxes have the same amount of text in them for balance-sake. That’s called noise and it gets in the way of your message.

We can't be copyin' nobody else's style – we have our own style! If we look Jamaican, walk Jamaican, talk Jamaican and IS Jamaican, then we sure as hell better bobsled Jamaican.
Left Quote Left Quote

I am not Jamaican, but...

This course is kinda like this scene from Cool Runnings. You’re not gonna learn how to design exactly like Jack McDade (that’s me!), MDS, Dann Petty, Steve Schoeger, or Rogie. You’re gonna learn how to design like you. And nobody can design like you better than you. I'm here to release your inner spirit designer.

You’ll learn how to take advantage of stock assets in creative ways, how to remix anything and everything to create original concepts, blend old with new, and tap your hobbies, interests, and personality for inspiration.

We’re gonna work on your Fundamentals. We’re gonna get weird. And when I’m done with you, you’re gonna be a force to reckon with. Or at least your side-hustle will have a kickass and memorable landing page you’ll be proud of — and that alone is worth the price of admission.

(This course isn’t focused on a specific design tool like Sketch, Figma, or whatever the latest hotness is. I’ll cover some of the basics in each and jump into Photoshop too because nothing else can do everything Photoshop does.)

Okay, so you want to know what this course includes, right?

It's not a book, and it's not a step-by-step video course either. It's a self-guided, Choose Your Own Adventure™ style hub that dives deep into many different areas of design. Yes, it includes (many) videos, articles, and tutorials, but also downloads, example design files, elements, components, hand-crafted SVGs, and all sorts of other good stuff. I’m going to share all my resources, secrets, and my personal treasure trove of hot links (bookmarks, not sausages), font recommendations, asset libraries, and more.

You'll also get access to the private Radical Design Discord server so you can collaborate, share ideas, give each other feedback, and all that stuff. I'll be in there as often as I can to help answer any questions or provide critiques and feedback.

Plus, I'll be regularly updating this course with new videos and resources. It's like the giving tree. It'll just keep giving and giving.

Some dude jumping the shark

Course Preview

I mean, you gotta know what you're getting into right? Here's a sneak peek. A vibe check.

Section One - Think Like a Designer

1. Intro to the Intro (Free!)

(5:03)

Every journey starts somewhere. This one begins here, at the beginning of the beginning. I'm glad you're here.

2. How to Use this Course

(4:00)

This course is a bit non-traditional and non-linear. Let me explain how you can get the most out of it.

3. The Big Secret

(4:21)

In this lesson I reveal the big secret most people don't know about designers and the designs they design.

4. Start Curating (Free!)

(4:34)

If you're serious about design, become a curator and start collecting everything anything that inspires you. I'll show you how to organize it (Hint: don't).

5. Start Stealing

(7:25)

Creatives steal. It's the way of a creative's live. Artists trace, musicians cover, writers do copy-work. This is where learning begins.

6. The Radical Design Process

(3:38)

Everyone has their own process, whether it works or not. I'll explain mine and why I think it's the right one for you too.

7. Choose Your Own Adventure

(1:34)

Once you finish this video, you can watch anything in any order. If you want. I still put everything in the order that made the most sense to me though.

Section Two - Plan Like a Designer

1. Gather: Create from Abundance (Free!)

(5:57)

Do you start cooking a meal with an empty fridge and pantry? Wait, you do? Holy cow please explain how you don't starve to death!

2. Gather: Inspiration

(13:06)

Flee from trends! Let's dig into some non-traditional places for inspiration to make sure the work you do is unique and fresh.

3. Experiment: One Banana Per Day

(1:10)

Please don't eat a hundred bananas in one day.

4. Experiment: Don't Work. Play.

(17:23)

Experiments are like exercising. You need to be prepared for the main event.

5. Unleash: Stop Consuming. Ignore Everything.

(1:50)

Once your inspiration cup is full, it's time to ignore everything, plug your eyes, and cover your ears because it's time to bring your design to come to life.

6. Unleash: Establishing Goals

(1:26)

Not to keep you from the fun parts, but you must have the answer to the who, why, and what questions before you design so you can know when you're done.

7. Unleash: Good Design Begins with Content

(2:47)

If you don't have content, you have nothing to design with. The best designs come out of the best content. Here's the bare minimum you need to start.

8. Unleash: Make Garbage

(3:19)

Staring at a blank page sucks. Make some garbage and get rid of that blank canvas.

9. Where to, Gumshoe?

(2:38)

You've finished another section! What's next? Oh no, poisonous lizards! 🦎

Section Three - Design Like a Designer

1. The Truth About Best Practices

(3:44)

In this section we're going to put all this theory into practice and design a landing page from start to finish. But first, let's talk about "best practices"...

2. Writing Good Content

(12:15)

Having good content is a critical first step to making any progress on a good design. In this lesson I break down my content refining process.

3. Style Drives Layout (Part I)

(19:15)

Different design styles have their own way of treating content and images, which is why style should drive the layout, not the other way around.

4. Style Drives Layout (Part II)

(19:00)

We have one design concept, let's do another one and see where we end up.

5. Balance vs Grids

(14:39)

Design Grids are overrated and annoying to work with. Let's get into a much simpler way of laying out a design. Balance.

6. How to Trick People into Reading

(22:49)

People hate reading. Most people will do anything to avoid it. So how can you possibly get your content into people's brain sacks? Let's open my bag of tricks.

7. It's Font O'Clock

(16:27)

This is one of my favorite steps in the design process – playing with awesome fonts. Let's explore my favorite places to find good fonts for this design.

8. Calls to Action

(14:22)

It's time to design the areas of the landing page where we want a user to DO something — like click a button, fill out a form field, or take a shower.

9. Fiddly Bits

(23:00)

Now that we've laid out the content, it's time to decorate and ornament the site with all those little fiddly bits that give a site a real personality.

10. Easter Eggs

(11:04)

We've finished a design! Now we can take one more pass through it and look at how and where to hide easter eggs — fun little hidden details — to delight your users.

11. Strategic Squishing for Mobile

(21:55)

Let's not forget about the mobile layout for our design. We'll have to bring someone of our fun little elements to the chopping block.

Section 4 - Tools of the Trade

1. Design Software (Free!)

(8:14)

Let's talk about all the different design apps available today, what they're best suited to, and what I recommend you use if you don't already have your favorites.

2. Sketch

(17:57)

Sketch is my design app of choice. I know, Figma is probably more popular (and may even have more features), but I'll explain why Sketch fits me and my process best.

3. Photoshop

(24:43)

The OG. The mac daddy. The most versatile raster image editing tool this side of the asteroid belt. Let me show you why I think every designer should have it.

4. Illustrator

(24:30)

Illustrator isn't the only vector editing app, but it's by far the most powerful. With great power comes great complexity — which I hope to strip away for you.

5. MidJourney

(19:14)

AI certainly has its place in the design process. I'll show you how I use MidJourney as part of my personal design toolkit.

6. Asset Libraries

(15:17)

I couldn't have accomplished what I have in my career without the aid of asset libraries. They multiply and expand your capacity far beyond your wildest dreams.

Section 5 - The Rad Bag

1. Goodbye Icons, Hello Monochrome! (Free!)

(8:47)

In this video I redesign boringrails.com using a few constraints from the board. Let's start by getting rid of icons and images, and then finish by going full monochrome.

2. Using JSON in your Sketch Designs

(8:24)

Did you know that you can use JSON to populate your designs and generate cards, lists, and other repeatable elements? Well you can. This one is aimed at devs.

3. Vectorizing Paper + Pen Drawings

(4:55)

Let's draw something, take a picture of it, and then turn it into a vector SVG using Illustrator's Live Trace feature — all in under 5 minutes.

4. The Hidden Secrets Inside Your Fonts

(3:49)

Did you know that some fonts are packed full of extra glyphs and ligatures that you can leverage to add spice and sizzle to your designs? Let me show ya.

5. Fast, Dramatic Social Media Images

(4:15)

Pressed for time and need to design something quick and dirty? Here are a few quick tricks to just get the job done and move on.

6. How I Make Hand-Drawn Dashed Lines

(1:27)

Curious how I make those hand-drawn lines in almost all of my designs? I'll show you!

Bonus Section - Extra Goodies

1. Bloopers & Outtakes (Free!)

(2:54)

Sometimes words just abandon me, leaving me stranded. Other times I thought I knew what I was doing but it turns out, nope — Noobville Population: 1.

2. The Radical Radical Design Design

(45:02)

Want to watch a super-condensed version of me designing radicaldesigncourse.com? Sure you do. I got 7 hours of work down to 45 minutes for ya.

Horn Tooting

I don't love tooting my own horn so I enlisted the help of some other people to do it for me.

“I'm often asked ‘where do I go after Refactoring UI to continue learning about design?’ Jack is the only person I know with a wicked sense of design that also understands how developers think.”

“Dude, your designs are absolutely awesome. Pumped for your design course.”

“My friend Jack is multi-talented. He rolled a CRT monitor through Times Square better than anyone I’ve ever seen. But he’s also truly a master at unique, powerful designs that have lovable personalities.”

Taylor Otwell Creator of Laravel

“Nobody proves how different two Tailwind sites can look better than Jack McDade.”

“Multiple times I’ve been looking at a website and thought, ‘Who designed this? It’s so dope!’ I’ll look in the credits and EVERY SINGLE TIME it says: Jack McDade.”

“Jack McDade taught me that turtles can breathe out of their butts. Oh, and he’s also THE stand-out designer in a world of internet same-same’s. Jack has a knack for mashing up his unique style with what each website needs in terms of it’s own visual language. Stop thinking about turtle butts and buy this course already!”

A little bit more about me & my background. Perspective Matters.

I've designed literally hundreds of bad websites & dozens of really good ones. I spent my time in the trenches to get good at this. I've had to make the logo bigger 410 times. I've been forced to work with both Comic Sans and Zapfino on the same project. I used to make rounded corners with 4 separately sliced out .GIF files. I’ve been a designer for 15+ years in a whole pile of roles and companies, including…

  • A cog in a huge marketing agency machine
  • The Director of Interactive at a growing web agency working 60-80+ hour weeks where I slept on the office couch many times
  • A “Design Technologist” on the Design System Team at (the short-lived) GE Design in San Francisco
  • A freelance designer branding startups and MVP UI design
  • The designer behind everything in the Laravel ecosystem for a while
  • The owner of my own small agency, Wilderborn
  • Creator of Statamic, my bootstrapped indy CMS.

So yeah, I've probably been there and done that.

It's me in 1987 with a sweet bowl cut!

Not going anywhere anytime soon price!!

Buy The Course

And if you don’t think this course delivers enough value + inspiration for the money, you can have it back.

The Complete Course

$349
$499
One-time
  • Lifetime Access
  • 7+ hours of content across 6 modules and 41 video lessons.
  • Dozens of Daily Design Prompts to help you apply what you learn as you go.
  • Access to the Resources area with hot links to fonts, articles, downloads, assets, recommended software, and design assets.
  • $851 in exclusive discounts on fonts, assets, and other design tools just for Radical Design members.
  • Bonus section including condensed and unedited screen recordings of me designing this very landing page.
  • Access to the Radical Design Discord chat room where you can ask for feedback and share your work with other designers (I'll be in there as much as I can, too!)
  • Free access to Radical Icons, my library of hand-drawn icons and graphic elements.
Buy Now

The VIP Experience

$850
$1000
One-time
  • Lifetime Access
  • Everything in the Complete Course including all modules, lessons, bonus content, Resources, and discounts.
  • A 30 minute, private 1-on-1 call with Jack to get personalized guidance on all things design related.
  • Two separate video critiques of any design work of your choosing.
  • Access to the #VIP Discord channel where my time is prioritized in answering questions, providing feedback, ideas, and taking suggestions and requests for more videos.
19 spots remaining
Go Big & Buy Now

Want to buy the course for your whole team? contact me for team pricing!

FAQs

Let’s be honest, nobody actually asked these questions –
 I just want to write them from your point of view to plant ideas in your head.

What software do I need for this course?

You don’t have to have any software to level up your design skills. I use Sketch and Photoshop primarily, but most (if not all) of what I teach can be used in any software – Figma, Canva, Webflow, Adobe XD, and even Powerpoint or Macromedia Fireworks — if you have an ancient computer still running it.

How long is the course?

If you sat down and watched it end to end without stopping to eat, you would starve to death. Just kidding. It’s roughly 7 hours of content but you can jump around through some of the areas of the course if you want. It’s designed that way.

Is there a money back guarantee?

You bet. If within the first 14 days you decide this course isn’t worth the money, you can email me for a full refund. The only exception is if you bought the VIP experience and I've performed one or more design critiques for you. In this circumstance, I can only refund you the base price of the Complete Course.

Do you offer student or PPP discounts?

Absolutely. All you need to do is send me an email and I’ll get a coupon code set up for you. This applies to any student currently in high school, college, homeschool, evening classes, trade school, or non-Matrix style education program. If you’re currently in a Matrix-style program please let me know how to enroll. I want to know Kung Fu. And how to play the saxophone.

If you have any other questions, just email [email protected]

Alright, you can be done scrolling. If this wasn’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what else to do, besides say this:

I genuinely believe that if enough people apply the principles I teach in this course, we can change the face of the internet for the better. Or the gooder, as my kids would say. You are creative enough and have what it takes to do this.

I’ve never put more thought, care, energy, passion, or creativity into anything else in my entire life. This course contains everything I have. Everything I can summon. Every piece of myself I can afford to carve off and give to you. If you want to see what that looks like, please consider purchasing. And if you can’t afford it, please let me know & i’ll see what I can do.

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