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Rick Penn-Kraus

Rick Penn-Kraus
Founder and creative director at RPK Designs.

  • Book publishing, marketing, entertainment and advertising

  • Pitch decks/Look books

  • Art direction/graphic design

  • Photography

  • Illustration

  • Social media content creation

  • Creative department manager

  • Software instructor

  • Volunteer

Software used:

  • InDesign

  • Photoshop

  • Illustrator

  • Premiere

  • AfterEffects

  • Procreate

  • Animate

  • XD

  • Excel

  • and more

Clients I have worked with



Rick’s knowledge of art and design is absolutely top-notch. His ability to look at substance in a base form and create an effective artistic vision was truly impressive. Also, his ability to set the right tone for the material and apply an effective composition on each page was incredibly helpful for this project. Quality of work: Exceptional. Everyone that has reviewed Rick’s work has loved it. He is professional and collegial—a pleasure to work with.

— Doug L.

Acting Director, RAND Corporation | 2023

I've had the pleasure of working with Rick on high-visibility, complex, custom-designed publications and his creativity and inspired approach has always amazed and impressed me. When Rick takes on a project, he jumps in with both feet and always fully invests himself in its success. He embraces a challenge and is never shy about taking a novel approach. The icing on the proverbial cake is that Rick is a genuine joy to work with, cares about his teammates and stakeholders, and is always open to others' thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It's wonderful to have an opportunity to recommend working with him!

— Todd D.

Publications Production Manager, RAND Corporation| 2023

I have worked with Rick on a variety of design projects at RAND, including covers for reports for which I was an author and graphics for content in reports. In every case, Rick brought a first-rate design eye to the task; paid attention both to details and the big picture, from font size to overall composition; maintained excellent communication; and was easy to work with. My most recent project with him was the cover for Reconstructing Ukraine: Creating a Freer, More Prosperous, and Secure Future, Rick knew this was important and came up with a striking cover and overall book design that welcomes the reader and invites interest in the topic. Rick is creative and is an outstanding designer, artist, and craftsman who will make any project special.

— Howard S.
Senior Economist at RAND Corporation| 2023

We reviewed several portfolios and after much deliberation, we chose Rick to take the photos at our daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. While they were all competent photographers, Rick’s work stood out to us, because he has the rare ability to capture the emotion and essence of an occasion. From the outset, dealing with Rick was a pleasure. He handled the business side of the relationship professionally, and at the service in the morning he was discrete and unobtrusive. He listened carefully to our requirements, and met them without hesitation. We had a big party in the evening, and again, Rick got all the pictures we wanted, and plenty more besides. We knew that left to our own devices, we would probably never get around to putting an album together, so we worked with Rick to come up with something nice. What we ended up with exceeded our expectations – a priceless collection of beautiful photographs that perfectly captured our special occasion. A wonderful reminder of a great family event that we will treasure for years to come. Rick is a true gentleman, and we couldn’t have been happier that we chose him.

Nick & Kate C.

Rick serves as a graphics consultant for my nonprofit agency. He recently provided a new logo and designed our new website. Rick is extremely talented and has a gift when it comes to graphics, illustrations, photography and overall design. He quickly grasps what we’re trying to accomplish and then puts his creativity and know-how to work and produces a finished product that exceeds our expectations. He is a joy to work with!

— Cindy R.

Executive Director of Hebrew Free Loan San Francisco


Rick saved the day. He had been given an impossible deadline and met it handily. His creative ideas were spot on based on our needs and his pleasant disposition made the process enjoyable. We look forward to finding more projects to work on together.

— Ruth S.

Rick served as a distinguished judge for the international Summit Creative Awards. His high standards and virtually unflappable dedication for creative excellence served our contestants well. His team approach and conviction of option is the perfect combination of skills desired for a Summit judge. He has a standing invitation from our organization.

— Jocelyn L.

President, CEO Summit Creative Awards


Rick is an incredibly energetic and insightful leader, art director, and designer. Rick’s insight and feedback were invaluable. He has a way of challenging you to think about a problem from all angles and not just settle with the first or easiest idea that comes about. Rick is truly a phenomenal designer and I welcome the opportunity to work with him again.

— Dominic Bodden

Illustrator for RAND Corporation project

Rick's vision and creativity, patience with novices, attention to detail, and high personal standards of excellence led to the creation of a beautiful website for for our project. He is a pleasure to work with. He listened closely to what we needed, steered us in achievable and manageable directions, and produced a beautiful final product. I look forward to another opportunity to work with him.

— Laura W.

Rick is exceptionally creative, he has wowed some of our most discerning corporate clients providing key creative results on-time, under budget and frequently working with limited resources. Making something AMAZING from nothing is probably one of the things he does best! I highly recommend Rick and would hire him again in a heartbeat!

— Sophia H.

As the West Coast sales rep for a major book publisher, I had almost daily interaction with Rick on what art work might work best on the various audio and children's book titles published by the company. In all my years of publishing sales (over 30), I have never seen exhibited a higher level of talent and his professionalism is unparallelled. Rick Penn-Kraus would be an asset to any organization.

— Jay W.


Rick was a terrific colleague who was able to move quickly to respond to ever-changing client needs. He's smart, seasoned and creative - one of those people who gives his all to meet a client's needs.

— Eric B.

Vice President, Hill & Knowlton


Rick's creativity, professionalism, flexibility, and thoughtfulness make every project run smoothly and look fantastic! I highly recommend Rick for all your graphic design projects.

— Cantor Jamie Marx


I've hired Rick for several projects for my agency for several world class clients. I've worked with Rick on a range of creative projects, from design, to copy writing to photography, which all resulted in stellar results. Rick turns projects around very quickly, is detail oriented, makes great recommendations on how to improve any given project, and infuses all he does with a creative flair that is unique, innovative and always on message and on brand. I can't recommend him highly enough!

— Danny K.

Marketing professional

Rick Penn-Kraus is an amazingly talented graphic designer and created a much-talked-about cover for our Jilly Jambo CD literally overnight. We have highly recommended him to many of our colleagues. And he is extremely sweet as well!

— JulieAnne S.

Rick was a client of mine while at Hill & Knowlton and I found him to be one of the most knowledgeable creative people I had ever worked with. His desire to take suggestions on how to make things work better was a tremendous asset to our relationship. His creativity only added to his personality.

— Corey R.

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