Ed Shems is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has been illustrating and designing for more than 25 years.

edfredned illustration

Ed has worked primarily in the education markets as well as for middle grade books and early readers. He also writes, storyboards, and designs animated shorts for large companies. Ed’s current obsession is with writing and illustrating chapter books, graphic novels and comics.

Ed is the special guests coordinator for the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE), and chief tomato grower for his garden.

Ed is a member of the Illustration Advisory Council for the Rhode Island School of Design.

In 2014, Ed testified before members of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives in a hearing alongside the publishing industry on behalf of the Graphic Artists Guild, The Copyright Alliance and all visual artists concerning changes to the First Sale Doctrine.

edfredned graphic design

Good design can communicate your message, get you noticed and bring in new business. Ed listens to his clients and translates their goals into strong design.

In 2020 his client, Surprise Cake, appeared on Shark Tank and received accolades from Laurie Greiner (“Queen of QVC”) for the package design Ed created.

Ed is an award-winning graphic designer and was on the design advisory committee for DIGMA: The Design Industry Group of Massachusetts.

Ed has a separate site for his comics and graphic novel work. At Edfrednedcomics.com, you can read all of his comics in their entirety. And you should, cuz they’re pretty funny.


Red Barky Dog Hand Lettering

Ed has a separate site for his hand lettering work: Red Barky Dog. You can find his lettering work at schools, small businesses, non-profits, places of worship, and a national movie theater chain. His non-commercial work is over at Etsy.


Partial Client List

Scholastic Books, HMH, Evan-Moor, Sterling Publishing, Wiley, CarrotNewYork, Disney Adventures Magazine, Sports Illustrated Kids, Yale University Press, Highlights for Kids, ASK Magazine, PTO Today Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, Weekly Reader Magazine, Hasbro, Read and Rise Magazine (Scholastic), Young Minds Inspired, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, National Amusements/Showcase Cinemas, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Boston Medical Center


“I can’t thank you enough for your amazing work on this issue. It has been such a pleasure working with you and I can’t wait to collaborate again.” Anna C., Honeycake Magazine

“Love the illustrations I’ve seen so far, it’s been really cool to see you take these concepts to places that never occurred to us…” Andrew F., BB&N

“…I really enjoyed the whole design process with you. It went from nightmare scenario (previous designer) to so enjoyable and fun!
Thanks. I’ve already given your name out as a referral…” Sue S.

“Thanks for all your work on this project. Really great work, I’m happy you were on the team.” Brian W., CarrotNewYork

“…The work you’ve done for my alma mater, Simmons, differentiates the college + conveys its warmth/personal culture.” Alice S.

“Not only is working with Ed fun but totally stress-free. His process is highly professional, he grasps ideas very easily and is super quick with revisions. Also, he’s 100% responsive with emails. He will deliver his work in time (sometimes even ahead of schedule!). His illustrations are fun, modern and very consistent. I really enjoyed working with Ed, and look forward to more projects in the future.” Yoana Y., Scholastic


House Judiciary Committee: Guild Member Ed Shems Testifies on Copyrights and First Sale 

Interview by Pepper Gang

Interview at Mass. Independent Comics Expo on the Strip Search podcast (begins at 11:50)

Interview for International Design Day 2022

Articles by Ed