Grand Ciel.

The name means “big sky.”

Founder / Art Director / Designer / Writer / Artist


Kristin started Grand Ciel Design with the vision of delivering effective design with purpose to nonprofits and socially responsible organizations. With 25+ years of experience partnering with nonprofits and start-up foundations, she has a keen understanding of the special needs and challenges faced by the social sector.

Prior to founding Grand Ciel Design, Kristin held art director/graphic designer positions in book publishing, corporate incentives, and marketing communications. Kristin received a BA in Studio Art, Art History, and Biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris and went on to study design through courses at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Ever curious and an insatiable learner, she continues her professional and artistic development through online course work, and through classes in the book arts at Minneapolis Center of Book Arts.

Kristin is a past board member and design volunteer for Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications and is an active advisory board member and art director for The Mars Generation.

Kristin is also a practicing visual artist. Her current work is influenced by the scientific knowledge she absorbs working with her environmental clients, climate change and the natural world.


Kristin has a deep heart and an intuitive feel for design. She’s not afraid to ask the hard, “old school” questions that lie at the heart of any creative challenge, instead of just relying on “new school” bells and whistles and smoke and mirrors.

Kristin isn’t a designer simply because it’s fun or it’s lucrative. She’s a designer because she is an artist and a creative soul who NEEDS to design. It’s a rare thing to work with someone who has talent as well as that kind of passion.

— Jennifer Kane, Owner of Kane Consulting, Social Media Marketing & Digital Communications Strategist

About the Studio

Founded in 1996, Grand Ciel is a design studio committed to getting measurable real results for non-profits, environmental and educational organizations as well as socially responsible enterprises. We create brands and communications that build critical awareness, connect people to the amazing work our clients are doing, to inspire them into action.

Grand Ciel Design is certified by the State of Minnesota as a targeted Woman-Owned Business (W) with the Central Certification (CERT) Program.


Grand Ciel Design functions as a virtual studio, bring together teams to best respond to each client’s unique needs. I have a tight network of highly professional experts in marketing strategy, copywriting, photography, video, web development, and SEO strategy that come together with one goal in mind—to help you fulfill your mission in making the world a better place.


I kick off every project by listening to you and gathering information to better understand your organization. Together we will plot out a Creative Brief to ensure we’re on the same page about the project vision, scope and end result goals. Next, I and my team will thoroughly research your organization’s history, previous marketing efforts, target audiences, obstacles and desired outcomes before any design work begins. This establishes a winning foundation as projects move from concept phase to final roll-out.


Not only do I love collaborating with my team but I love collaborating with my clients. Depending on the project scope, I’ll provide different design directions for you to choose from. I’ll explain the thinking (along with presented written rationales) behind my recommendations and listen carefully to your feedback. I believe this exchange of ideas helps uncover the best solutions and deliver the best outcomes.


I understand the importance of coming in on time and on budget. I communicate clearly to clients about timelines and costs to keep everything on track. I will also share my process from the beginning to help set goals and expectations.


Once your project has been reviewed and revised, and is ready for production, all the details will be handled on my end, so you can continue to focus on the next steps of your marketing, your event outreach or your business at hand.

The Best Relationships Start with a Conversation.