About Daniel Solis: Graphic Designer and Game Designer


Email: gobi81 at gmail dot com

Social Media: G+Pinterest | FlickrTwitter | YouTube

Portfolio: Graphic Design, Art Direction, and Layout


"Daniel Solis is an incorrigible game designer with an affinity for the simple and elegant." – David Miller, Purple Pawn

"He has a razor sharp mind for fun, simple mechanics... Solis is a rising star." – Ian Williams

"I think Daniel has somehow managed to thwart the space-time continuum and gotten a hold of a few extra hours per day. That, or he just works his butt off. One of the two." – Michael Harrison, Wired

"Daniel Solis can sneeze on a papyrus and a beautifully designed little game suddenly springs into being." – Alexander Williams

"I think we need more game designers willing to take the organic, human, asymmetric, serendipitous approach to game design that Daniel seems to be taking." — BoardGameGeek

"One of our very best." – Kevin Allen Jr.

"I'm excited by his gamma-powered skills." — Cam Banks, lead designer of Marvel Heroic Role-Playing Game


Daniel Solis is a multiple award-winning game designer. Creator of Belle of the Ball (Dice Hate Me Games); Kodama: the Tree Spirits (Action Phase Games); Princess Bride: As You Wish (GameSalute); Spycraft: Need To Know (Crafty Games); and many more self-published card games! This blog is mostly about game design, graphic design, typography and art direction.

Previous career highlights include:

For nine years, Daniel worked for Third Degree Advertising, starting as an intern then eventually overseeing brand development, directing the writing and design for regional and national brands. He was a key strategist behind Third Degree’s digital media initiatives. He co-developed the award-winning financial empowerment social media campaign Buck The Norm, which led to a doubling in membership. He has rebranded Affinity Federal Credit Union, Welcome Federal Credit Union, Hawaii Law Enforcement Credit Union, OU Research, Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau, ACOG’s Clean Air Campaign, Delta Community Credit Union in Atlanta, and Tinker Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma. He also taught print media design as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma Christian University.

Daniel is focusing more on game design these days, but still accepts freelance graphic design projects, creative consultation, portfolio reviews, book layout and card layout. Daniel thinks it's silly writing in the third-person tense.


Board Game Designer — 2001-Present

  • 2015: Signed, Kickstarted Kodama: the Tree Spirits with Action Phase Games.
  • 2014-15: Self-published over a dozen card games on DriveThruCards, several of which were licensed and translated in China, Japan, Brazil, Poland, and Germany. Licensed Kigi in Japan, where it sold out at Tokyo Game Market.
  • 2013: Signed, Kickstarted Belle of the Ball with Dice Hate Me Games. 
  • 2012 Winner of the Origins Vanguard award, a special judges' award only awarded for an innovative game design that year.
  • 2011 Tabletop Game of the Year from RPGamer.com
  • Frequently cited and interviewed regarding game design, crowdfunding, social media marketing, and online community building. Interviewed on NPR’s On the Media, Wired, WGN Radio, and numerous podcasts.
  • Designed and published Happy Birthday, Robot!, a storytelling game for children and families.
  • Designed and published Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, an award-winning storytelling game for tweens and families.
  • An early adopter of crowdfunding: Successfully marketed, funded and fulfilled three Kickstarter projects with partners and independently.
  • Founded Smart Play Games, an imprint devoted to fun games with opportunities for educational outreach.
  • Designed a new board game a week for several months as a part of the Luchacabra project in 2002.

Freelance Graphic Designer for Games — 2001-Present

  • Layout and graphic design for Colosseum for Tasty Minstrel Games.
  • Art direction and layout for Do: Fate of the Flying Temple for Evil Hat Productions
  • Laying out downloadable content for Margaret Weis Productions' Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and Firefly Role-Playing Game.
  • Designed the cards and graphics for Race to Adventure board game for Evil Hat Productions.
  • Designed and art directed Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple and Happy Birthday, Robot! for Evil Hat productions. Both nominated for awards in art direction and production values.
  • Designing book covers, interior layouts and collateral pieces for game creators Jared Sorensen, Greg Stolze, and John Wick.
  • Developed a reputation for accountability and transparent work process.
  • Coordinated with illustrators, art directors and publishers as a part of that process.

Associate Creative Director — 2004-2012
Third Degree Advertising

  • Hired immediately after graduation, promoted to Senior Art Director in 2010, then Associate Creative Director in 2011. Served as interim Creative Director in Summer of 2011.
  • Developed branding campaigns for organizations of all sizes. Rebranded Affinity Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in New Jersey in Spring 2012. Also rebranded Welcome Federal Credit Union, a smaller credit union in North Carolina in Summer 2012.
  • Developed the Buck the Norm campaign for Tinker Federal Credit Union, empowering Gen Y to take more control of their personal finances. This campaign won Best in Show at the 2009 Addy Awards. TFCU saw a doubling of their membership since the campaign launched.
  • Designed a new logo and helped re-brand Delta Community Credit Union, based in Atlanta.
  • Presenter and speaker at a variety of social media panel discussions and conferences, including The Social Media Showdown at Oklahoma State University. De-bunking the myths and misconceptions about social media.
  • Rebranding Third Degree after departure of long-time creative director. This includes new website, new communication strategies and new stationary. Third Degree's business cards were featured on CardGala.com and actually sought out by prospects rather than getting lost in the shuffle.
  • Created other collateral materials for Construction Industries Board, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Lyric Theatre, Cox Business Services, Nextep human resources, and Express Personnel Services.

Adjunct Professor of Print Media — 2008-2009
Oklahoma Christian University

  • Teaching senior college classes of 10-20 students about advanced print media, including outdoor, installations, murals, time-lapse and ambient advertising. Focusing on creating cohesive, internally consistent campaigns. Directed both solo and group projects. 
  • Recognized with glowing student reviews and praise from the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "I was especially impressed by the high marks you received from the students ni your classes. Congratulations on a job well done!"

Design Intern — 2003-2004
University of Oklahoma Press

  • Awarded the John O. Williams Fellowship in Graphic Design, an intern position at the University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Designed book covers for The Roseto Story: An Anatomy of Health and Jim Thorpe: World's Greatest Athlete.
  • Assisted production of order forms, display posters, catalogs and magazine ads.

Entertainment Journalist — Summer 2001
IGN.com and TNMC.org

  • Wrote reviews of television series Stargate SG-1 and The Tick.
  • Coordinated with editor Sarah Kuhn in California.
  • Traveled to Wisconsin to write about an appearance by James Marsters, star of Buffy: the Vampire Slayer and Angel, at GenCon 2001.


Proficient on Macintosh, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and experienced in Freehand, Dreamweaver, HTML and CSS.


2012 Origins Vanguard Award
1st Place in American Marketing Association's Web/Interactive Category for 3rdº Website 2009
Best in Show, 2009 Addy Awards for Buck the Norm
Rave Award from Wired Magazine
Graduated with Distinction
John O. Williams Fellowship of Graphic Design
College of Fine Arts Dean's List 2002-2003
President's List Fall 2003
Ben Barnett Art Scholarship Recipient 2002-2003


2004 Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Visual Communication –
University of Oklahoma