Grand Ciel Design. Our Name Means Big Sky.

Grand Ciel is a name chosen in the spirit that all things are possible and believing in the power of imagination. It honors my paternal grandmother’s French heritage and her endearing practicality.

About Grand Ciel Design

Equipped with a visual arts education and invaluable on-the-job experience in branding, design and marketing communications, I left the corporate world in 1996 to launch Grand Ciel Design. Everything is based on the love and knowing what good design can do. Its effectiveness to communicate, to empathize, to emotionally connect, and the positive impact it brings is what makes the design industry so rewarding for me.

When I started Grand Ciel, I worked with clients who had similar values and respect for good design and who enjoyed the results from our working together. However, things felt too generalist and I was working in areas that were interesting but not all together passionate about. A little over three years ago, I began focusing working with clients in education and the environmental sectors, bringing my experience and energy to these areas.

Why Education?

As a college graduate from St. Olaf College back in the 1920’s, my grandmother knew the value of education and set aside a college trust fund for my brother and me. That was an early influence on my destiny and it’s turned me into a curious lifelong learner. I understand first-hand how empowering and life-changing knowledge can be. Having access to a good education should be a human right, available to anyone who wants it, no matter race, gender or religion.

Why the Environment?

I may be an artist at the core yet there are strong leanings towards all things biology and am fascinated by how every living thing on this planet is so deeply interconnected. I envision working on Cousteau’s Calypso or out observing wildlife in remote jungles like Jane Goodall. In the end, art has made me an environmentalist, much like a Beatrix Potter. The urgent news is we, globally and collectively, need to cut all carbon emissions. If not, in 12 years we are beyond a tipping point and the world we call home will be forever altered. Environmental initiatives are now more important than ever.

As a Creative Professional

I keep an open mind, strive to break out of conventional thinking and blend the disciplines of design, art, and storytelling. I work with clients strategically as their branding and design partner to visually define their brand voice and tell their brand story. I’d love to hear yours. 


Creativity doesn’t start and end with design or art direction. I’m a practicing and exhibiting fine artist, specializing in watercolors, graphite drawings, oil pastels and maker of Little Books for Grownups. The artwork that I do positively impacts my professional graphic design project work. A win-win for both the creative spirit and for my clients. Check out my artwork here and find prints and for sale here.


When a client or project calls for it, I draw on the talents of professional colleagues — experienced marketing strategists, SEO experts, programmers, web developers, copywriters, and social media consultants. This allows me to build a collaborative creative team that is best suited to work efficiently, effectively and responsively to fulfill your needs and meet your expectations.

Grand Ciel Design certified as a Woman-Owned Business (W) with the Central Certification (CERT) Program sponsored by Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis, Ramsey County and the City of St. Paul.

Founder Art Director/ Designer
Kristin Maija Peterson


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

Years In Business

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