Archive for the ‘Design News’ Category


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SEEK is a one-day design conference that has been organized by the students of Northern Illinois University for ten years. The event is run by the Visual Communication program at NIU. In the past, SEEK has played host to widely recognized designers including Paula Scher, Kyle Cooper, Chip Kidd, Joshua Davis and in the past year, Jakob Trollbäck and Massimo Vignelli.

This conference provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn and interact with professionals from the field in which they plan to enter. This year, to make SEEK even more engaging, interview-style presentations will be added to keynote and breakout presentations. There will also be workshop presentations as an added opportunity for the students who attend SEEK.

This year, SEEK invites Pentagram’s new partner, Eddie Opara as the featured keynote speaker. Also presenting are designers: Sara Aye of IA Collaborative; Nils Bunde and Dian Sourelis of Brainforest; Kevin McConkey of Grip Design; Justin Ahrens of Rule 29; Matt Toler of Lynch2; Mitch Rice of Three Communication Design; Lance Rutter of Legendre+Rutter; John Harris of a5; Camm Rowland of Digital Kitchen.


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Design Matters
Design Matters, hosted by AIGA National President and recent DesignChat guest, Debbie Millman, will begin it’s sixth season… TODAY! This afternoon at 3pm Eastern, Design Matters will welcome design legend, Massimo Vignelli to kick off it’s 6th season.

As described by Debbie Millman, “Design Matters began in February of 2005 with an idea and a telephone line. I thought it would be a great way to ask my heroes everything I wanted to know about their lives and their thoughts and their careers without seeming stalker-y. In the process, I gleaned the most magnificent view of some of the greatest design thinkers and practitioners of our time. I realized the opportunity to share the brilliance of my guests with an audience I never expected was the gift of a lifetime.”

Massimo Vignelli is the founder of Vignelli Associates in New York and formerly of Unimark. He is responsible for some of the most recognizable design projects of all time. Some of his most famous projects include the 1972 New York subway map and the American Airlines corporate identity system.
Go here to tune in

American Airlines Identity

1972 NYC Subway Map

Bloomingdales Identity


Design Matters
Debbie Millman
Vignelli Associates


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Filmmaker Gary Hustwit, has announced the subject of his third design documentary. Urbanized will focus on the design of cities and the issues of urban planning. The film will complete what Hustwit has referred to as his “design trilogy,” joining 2007’s Helvetica and 2009’s Objectified. The film is said to feature top architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers. Cinematographer, Luke Geissbuhler, who worked on the previous two films, will rejoin Hustwit so stunning visuals can be expected. The film is currently in production and is set to premiere sometime in 2011.

For more information on the film:
Official Website –
Gary Hustwit on Twitter – @Gary_Hustwit

If you haven’t seen the previous two films check them out at their official sites.


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Armin Vit on DesignChat
Wednesday, September 8th at 9pm CST — This week’s conversation is supplemented by the thoughts and opinions of our guest, Armin Vit — one half of the dynamic-duo known to most as UnderConsideration (Armin Vit + wife and co-conspirator, Bryony Gomez-Palacio). We have him about a week before his talk at AIGA Chicago’s Design Thinking II, and we hope to search his head a bit, figuring out what makes him such an effective proponent for good design.

Armin Vit’s career has brought him from his original home in Mexico City, to Chicago, and then to New York (working with Michael Bierut at Pentagram). Today he runs projects through UnderConsideration’s Department of Design in Austin, Texas, and does his best to enjoy time spent with his young family.

Vit has written articles for many of the industry’s leading publications like HOW, STEP, and Eye. He’s also created content for Emigre and the UK-based design publication, Creative Review. As if that wasn’t enough, he continues to oversee the creation of several microblogs and design critique sites while touring the world as a welcomed speaker, talking about what else… our favorite topics… design, branding and typography.

There’s a lot more to Vit then we’ve got here, so check out the links at the end of this post and…
Join us, and Armin Vit, this Wednesday September 8th at 9pm CST, here at for a live video and text chat.
It will be great to talk with him and we hope to see you there too.

The live show is at 9PM CST.
That’s one hour later than usual! Don’t miss it.

Under Consideration Site

Flaunt Cover

Inside Spread From Flaunt

Another Inside Spread From Flaunt

A Few Publications From Armin Vit and Wife Bryony Gomez-Palaci

Graphic Design Referenced by Bryony Gomez-Palaci and Armin Vit

Speak Up (Archives)

Stop Being Sheep (Booklet Covers)

Stop Being Sheep (Year 1, Volume 1)

Stop Being Sheep (Year 4, Volume 4)

Quipsologies Site

Word It Site

Word It, The Book, Front Cover

Word It, The Book, Back Cover

Brand New Site

FPO — For Print Only Site

Lucha Loco. The Free Wrestlers of Mexico.

Start Something New

Learn more about our guest, Armin Vit, at the following links.

Link Round-Up:
DesignChat Live Wednesday Sept 8th, 9PM CST
Armin Vit and UnderConsideration on Twitter
Armin Vit Profile on UnderConsideration
Veer Interview with Armin Vit
Unmatched Style Interview with Vit
Print Magazine Interviews Armin Vit & Wife Bryony Gomez-Palaci Gets Vit to Show Us his iPhone Homescreen talks Flaunt
Brand New
FPO For Print Only
Speak Up Archive
Word It Archive
Archive of The Design Encyclopedia
AIGA Chicago “Design Thinking II” with Armin Vit September 16th.


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Prints On Display

I first heard about the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in 2005 or 2006 while attending the “Seek” conference at Northern Illinois University. I believe one of the speakers was from Thirst and she showed a couple of images that caught my eye. After the talk, she mentioned how great this little place was — this place where they printed the images I liked. It was a design destination only a couple hours from Chicago and even better yet, she mentioned that it was a “working” print museum — a place that might even let you create your own prints. It was obvious that I needed to look into this a little more.

Fast-forward a few years, and a few jobs, and I still had not looked it up. It had almost completely slipped my mind until sometime in 2009 when someone mentioned a new design documentary called “Typeface“. All I could get from the hype was that it was about a museum in Wisconsin dedicated to wood type and somehow involved The Post Family, a group of Chicago area artists and designers who are constantly showing up on the scene. (If you are unaware of these guys, I encourage you to visit their site.)

So… by chance… I noticed that a 9 AM showing of the documentary was scheduled at the 2010 Geneva Film Festival. I bought my ticket Friday night, and headed to the Saturday-morning screening.

That’s when it all came flowing back. I had heard of it, had been told about it, and somehow had avoided going to it. I was one of the folks mentioned in the documentary — one of the people who have not been there. I was one of the folks who have not experienced it and I might even be one of the folks letting it die in obscurity. What a shame.

So, last week (August 22nd), we finally made it happen. I had a weekend that was not completely packed with freelance work, and it felt like a great time to take a break from the Chicago suburbs. It was my chance to go to Two Rivers, Wisconsin and check out the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing museum for myself.

The city of Two Rivers sits directly on the shore of Lake Michigan (map). It’s about a 3 hour drive by tollway and freeway from Chicago and is commonly used as a quick stop-over for Chicago area vacationers on the way to Door County. It’s a city known as the birthplace for both for the ice cream sundae and the automatic clothes dryer (invented by the Hamilton company, the very same company that made the wood type housed in the museum). People seem to do a lot of fishing here, but it’s actually becoming a world-renowned destination for the typographically inclined.

With only one full-time employee, Jim Moran, and the help of a few volunteers it’s a wonder how they keep things straight. Jim’s ongoing schedule of workshops and printings seems to be accelerating as more people hear about its existence. At a recent Two Rivers Historical Society meeting Jim mentioned that they had a couple of designers from overseas come in to the area specifically to visit the museum. Several well known Chicago design schools travel there yearly and according to Jim they were even asked to supply some wood type to the “Levis Workshops“. Unfortunately they were unable to fulfill the request because of under-staffing and time restraints. Many corporate design teams and design boutiques are constantly calling the office looking to hold workshops for their staff. There was a small rumor circulating that Nike’s design group may even be interested in hosting a workshop for its creative team. But you didn’t hear that from us.

Interest in typography has recently hit a high-water mark. Memberships in design groups like Chicago’s own STA “The Society of Typographic Arts” seem to be on the rise. And as you can tell, typography is even in their name. The art of placing type in meaningful and communicative ways into layouts is the very thing that makes most of us design professionals. Who else can FEEL the white-space between the letter “W” and the letter “A”, when inappropriately un-kerned? Past this initial interest, there seems to be a trend toward hand-rendered type and, most fortunately for The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, an interest in what existed before computers — before the mac ruled our world.

The Museum is quickly becoming the centerpiece of Two Rivers and will shortly unseat the ice cream sundae as a reason to stop in for a visit. Its future seems a little brighter than it did in the documentary and we hope its star continues to rise. With continuing support from its volunteers, the printing community and designers worldwide we can be sure it does.

For those of you lucky enough to live near the museum, what are you waiting for? Go go go! And for those who would like to go, but may be overseas themselves, they’ve recently opened a shop on etsy where you can buy one of their limited-edition prints. It’s worth the visit, and although more people are starting to notice it, it still seems to be one of the surprising hidden design destinations you can see before it get’s too big.

We encourage all those interested to follow the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum on Twitter, as well as Typeface (the official twitter account of the Typeface Documentary).

We also invite those who have been here to post a little something about their experiences at the museum. Just use the form at the end of this article. We also ask that you feel free to correct us if we got any facts mixed-up in our post here — after all, I’m really just an Art Director not a Journalist.

A full link round-up is available at the bottom of this post — after the images.
(Click on the images to get a full description of what you are looking at).

An Understated Entrance

Exterior Wall Decorations

More Exterior Type Blocks

Hamilton Wood Type Logo Banners

Main Exhibition Hall

The Exhibits

Behind the Front Desk

O,2 B N 2 Rivers

Alpha on Post

Original Linotype Machine

Linotype Machine In Operation

Norb Brylsky (Pantographer) Illustration


White Brick, Black & White Poster

Shelf Sign

Cooper Old Style Has Nice "W"



Big Arse Press

Test Prints


Outlined Typeface

Reading Between The Lines. Wood Type Close-Up.

Calendar Girl

Woodcut Prints and Calendars For Sale

This Shop Uses Hamilton Wood Type

Dracula House of the Living Dead Print

The Guestbook


Link Round-Up:
Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Hamilton Wood Type on Twitter
Hamilton Wood Type on Facebook
AIGA Article written by Steven Heller
Typeface Documentary
Typeface Film on Twitter
Buy Hamilton Wood Type Prints on Etsy
Our Flickr Set About Hamilton Wood Type
A Flickr Group About Hamilton Wood Type
The Post Family
Hatch Show Print
Take a Trip! Get There by Google Map

Thanks go to Jim for opening the doors to me and my wife on his busy day.
Thanks go to you for being interested in such a unique attraction.

We’re always interested in hearing from you.
Please leave comments about the museum or the article here:


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6th Annual Chicago Printers Ball 2010. Large Headline Image.
When poets and designers collide, it tends to get a bit messy… But it’s a beautiful mess for sure.

The 6th Annual, Chicago Printers’ Ball was held on Friday July 30th. A venue-crushing mob of artists, poets, designers and students were treated to a “celebration of literary culture” as organized by Poetry magazine and the Columbia College Center for Book & Paper Arts.

This year’s theme “Print <3 Digital” seemed to be a comment on how print artists are not really at odds with digital mediums but instead are embracing the tools given to them by the technology. We only spotted one instance of print vs. digital in the space, and noted that students and organizers carried the theme through the gallery, hallways and gathering areas.

Although not busted-up by the police as it was in 2007, according to this post on, it still had a vague feeling of subversiveness and an edge most hope to get when dealing with us creative types. Some said “The people watching at the Ball was awesome…” and we could not agree more. A selection of performance artists roamed the floor as literature-seeking hipsters picked through the stacks of free paperback books and magazines placed throughout the Center for Book & Paper Arts.

We arrived about an hour into the event, missing many of the free hand-outs and readings listed on the schedule, but still found enough to keep us occupied until the After-Party bus started to bring the Ballers (we can call them that that right?) to Reggies, another Chicago-area-hot-spot, for more music and fun. Unfortunately for us, the drive back to the burbs of Chicago prevented us from attending that part of the event. If you went, we’d love to hear how that part of the night/morning went as well.

Highlights for us included the “Copy Jam!” installation by and our first-time watching The Show ’n Tell Show — a growing, and well produced, talk show featuring the Chicago design community, normally held at Schubas. In full disclosure I’d also like to point out that The Show ‘n Tell show is actually sponsored by our good friends at the STA.

We commissioned some instant poetry, drank free beverages, and picked-up some serious swag. We also regretfully skipped the second floor where printmaking and papermaking demonstrations were set-up. We hear there were some really great broadsides by the Chicago Printers Guild. Also missed by our group was the official poster by Sonnenzimmer that I hoped to pick up and add to my collection.

Overall, it was a great experience for us and I’ll be trying to get a larger group of DesignChat participants to go with us when it happens again in 2011. Check out the images below for a bit of the experience.

If you have any other press, articles, opinions or thoughts about the Chicago 2010 Printers Ball, please share them in our comments section. We want to hear about your experiences too!

Amazing papercraft. Greeter at the 2010 Printers Ball.

Agenda For 6th Annual Printers Ball. (2010 Printers Ball)

Main floor at Printers Ball 2010.

"Print Hearts Digital" The theme for 2010 Printers Ball. makes a strong showing at Printers Ball 2010.’s Installation "Copy Jam" was a hit.

Copy Jam! Print. From the Installation at Printers Ball 2010.

Upper floor of 2010 Printers Ball.

The Score! Print seems ahead here at the 2010 Printers Ball. We say it’s rigged.

2010 Printers Ball After Party Poster.

Show ‘n Tell poster. Printers Ball 2010.

Show ‘n Tell show title. Projected on screen. 2010 Printers Ball.

From the Show ‘n Tell Show, Ballless instead of Threadless.

Typeing Guy letter to us.

Typeing Guy. Performance art installation at Printers Ball 2010.

1979 book “Snow Falcon” found in pile of free books.

Poetry on-the-spot. We had the poet, Barbara Perry, write one about “Snow Falcon”

The Snow Falcon Poem. By Barbara Perry.

The poem we had commissioned, by Barbara Perry (please correct us if we got your name wrong): Snow Falcon. Wings spread disappears bright slap of cloud, shatters of French window lording its form over trees, titmice, lightening struck oaks... wait it’s a card in a deck of exotic animals and its flipside says sharp sense of appetite. And it's true a Snow Falcon can see a baby rat 500 yards away. Like you who sees the title of a book that you’ve been looking for. For years.

Printers Ink Art at the 2010 Printers Ball.

Entertainment at the 2010 Printers Ball.

ShopColumbia Sign. Announcing a great idea. Support local design.

Art available for purchase from Columbia College students. Printers Ball 2010.

A Series of "chapbooks" by Poets of the Children's Memorial Hospital.

Rocktober 29. Magazine.

BOMB Magazine.

Table full of swag. Some of the things we picked up at Printers Ball 2010.

A few more links about Printers’ Ball
(Please leave yours in the comments below).

Link Round-Up:
Printers’ Ball
Printersting Vimeo about Copy Jam

TimeOut Chicago’s 2008 article.


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For years, the wine industry has lobbied its way into mainstream entertainment. It’s about time we saw some type being discussed! Check out this wonderful clip from White Collar, where detectives identify a suspect by the typography he leaves behind.


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This year will bring the 3rd iteration of Cusp Conference, the mind-melting, thought gorging, two-day event on ‘The Design Of Everything’. As with years previous, Cusp is looking for students to assist in all areas of the production. This is a cherry way to get into the conference for free so if you are currently a student and want to volunteer your time and energy, get in touch. Here are a few ways: