Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category


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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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This week DesignChat welcomes the design collective Quite Strong to the conversation. They’re made up of 5 strong-minded women in Chicago who have combined forces to rule the design world. I’m not sure how this conversation is going to go between myself and five freaking guests, but its sure to be a little nuts. There was some talk about doing this game-show style, but who knows. The ladies assured me they have ‘visuals’ to present on Wednesday night, so if you’re alive and have an internet connection, you pretty much don’t have any excuse to miss this.

Here is how they describe themselves on their site:

Quite Strong is a collaborative made up of five female Chicago-based creatives. Professionally we are designers, art directors, web developers and illustrators. Personally, we are dreamers, crafters, lovers, bikers, nerds and wanna-be foodies. We love Chicago, we relish creativity, and we want to share what we’re into with you.

222 is the Quite Strong studio located in Logan Square. It serves as a collaborative space for us and for those that want to join us in creative endeavors.


A collaboration between Jennifer Sisson & Elaine Chernov for Eco Plumbing Co. — An eco friendly plumbing service.

Fast from the hog y’all, Mixed media on Canvas by Elaine Chernov.

The following are Illustrations by Jana Kinsman:

Winter at the Whistler, Window display by Jana Kinsman

A collaboration with Katherine Walker for Out For Justice: Identity and Website designed for organization that provides support, visibility, and awareness surrounding crimes against the LGBTQIA community. Chicago Pride Parade June 2010:

Brain Milk Media, Identity system by Victoria Pater:

A UI collaboration between Victoria Pater and Elaine Chernov. Read more about it here:

So if you’d like to meet all the women responsible for all of this fantastic work, you can! On Wednesday, September 1st, go to the CHAT page and log in! You can ask text questions or live video questions. See you there!


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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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UPDATE: SamataMason just changed their name today, August 17th, the day before the show to smbolic. I can’t wait to talk about this!

This week on DesignChat we’re speaking to 2 of the partners from SamataMason, a heavily decorated design firm in West Dundee Illinois. If that name sounds familiar, its because I say it every week on the show. SamataMason is where I broadcast from, and they have been great supporters of DesignChat and what we are trying to accomplish. Dave Mason and Kevin Krueger are going to take us through the history of their shop, and also what motivated them to start one of the most intriguing design conferences today, Cusp. I was lucky enough to attend and do a live show from Cusp last year, and I’m excited to say that I’ve been asked back! Follow me on Twitter to hear more announcements about who I’ll be interviewing.

Dave Mason was born in England and raised in Canada, where he formed his own design firm in 1984. He and co-founders Greg and Pat Samata formed Chicago/Vancouver-based SamataMason Inc. in 1995. His strategy and design work for clients such as Sesame Workshop, Swiss Army Brands, TRW, Broderbund Software and QLT has been honored in hundreds of national and international competitions and publications. He has served as a guest speaker at design industry functions and schools and has served as a juror for design competitions across North America and in Asia. Dave has also co-founded a number of successful business ventures including OpinionLab, Inc., the leader in web-based VoC (voice of customer) intelligence systems, Cusp Conference LLC, which produces an annual conference about “the design of everything,” and documentary producer NoisemakerFilms.

Dave Mason was recently awarded FGDC status as a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada—GDC’s highest honour.

An Ohio University graduate, Kevin was a designer at Herman Miller before joining SamataMason in 1996. Kevin’s worked for a diverse range of clients such as the PGA Tour, Whirlpool, Devon Energy, International Truck, and Motorola. His print and interactive work has been honored internationally in numerous competitions and publications including AIGA Communication Graphics, The Art Directors Club, The Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, International ARC Awards, Graphis and How Magazine. A former Chicago Chapter board member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), he is a frequent lecturer at design schools and organizations, and has served as a juror for numerous design competitions. Kevin is also a co-founder of Cusp Conference LLC, which produces an annual conference about “the design of everything”.


The BARREL ROOF of the SamataMason office has eight large skylights; glass walls divide working spaces. Gutters were removed and replaced by lanes in the center gallery of this renovated bowling alley.


Cambridge Solutions Ltd., client

Golin Harris, client

Evan’s Life Foundation, client

Stephen Wilkes Photography, client

Motorola, Inc., client

Sesame Workshop, client

An EVAN’S LIFE FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT combined translucent paper with photos of grant recipients to portray the variety of children aided by the organization.

EVAN’S LIFE FOUNDATION’S “One Boy” campaign depicts a day-in-the-life account of a typical child the foundation supports.


Cusp is a conference about ‘the design of everything,’ bringing together thinkers, innovators, performers, skeptics, believers, visionaries and explorers from the arts, sciences, technology, business and design. Cusp Conference is for anyone who believes that the best way to predict the future is to design it.

Cusp Conference is a magnet for the design-centric, but a significant percentage of attendees do not describe themselves as ‘designers.’ They describe themselves as business people, entrepreneurs, educators, policy-makers, physicians, consultants, students and managers.

Cusp attendees have included people from the worlds of: advertising, architecture / planning, broadcasting, construction / tech- nical services, consumer electronics, consumer finance, corporate communications, education, equity management, filmmak- ing, furniture, graphic design, industrial design, international tax law, journalism / writing, learning technology, manufacturing, medicine, not-for-profit, technology, philanthropy, public relations, public transportation, publishing, printing, research, web devel- opment, web analytics, and a whole bunch of high school students.

Cusp Conference 2010 presenters and special guests to date include:
Sean Adams • Graphic designer / AdamsMorioka Designer
Natalia Allen • Design Futurist / member Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business
Sakchin Bessette • Multimedia designer / founder of Moment Factory
Maggie Breslin • Designer / SPARC Lab at Mayo Clinic Rap troubadour
Baba Brinkman • Rap troubadour
Josh Elder • Cartoonist / comics in the classroom advocate
Randy Fielding • Architect / FieldingNair / school design leader
Whitney Hopkins • Product designer / Smart Design, member of the Biomimicry Guild
Michelle Kaufmann • Architect / sustainable design leader
Noreen Morioka • Graphic designer / AdamsMorioka
Dr Jay Parkinson • Doctor / designer
Diana Rhoten • Education innovator / co-founder / STARTL
Amy Krouse Rosenthal • Author / filmmaker
Diego Stocco • Sound designer
Tim Will • Social entrepreneur / founder of Foothills Direct / winner of The Purpose Prize
Richard Saul Wurman • Author / designer / founder of TED Conferences
And more to come!


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AUG 11th 2010 DesignChat guest Erik Spiekermann. Title Image.
This Wednesday, August 11th, at 8PM CST, DesignChat welcomes the universally-respected creative director, typographer and design advocate, Erik Spiekermann to the conversation. Original designer of typefaces like ITC Officina, Unit, and even Meta— called one of the most successful humanist sans serif typefaces of the previous decade. (The Helvetica of the 90’s?).

Spiekermann has lead the industry with game-changing innovations like FontShop — the first independent digital font distributor — started in 1989 with Neville Brody and wife Joan Spiekermann.

He also founded Germany’s largest design firm MetaDesign in 1979, branching it to London, Berlin and San Francisco. His work there included way-finding projects for the Düsseldorf Airport as well as identity and brand-image projects for internationally-known companies like Audi, Volkswagen, Lexus and Heidelberg Printing. In 2001 he left MetaDesign and is now a partner in Edenspiekermann with offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London and San Francisco.

On any given day you might find his likeness providing color commentary on fonts in movies like Helvetica…. or even advising the members of the European Union in matters of design. It’s a long way from “…redrawing old hot metal faces from the Berthold library, back in the 70s.” (Responsible for the original modernization of fonts LoType and Berliner Grotesk.)

With his book “Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works” in its second edition and a list of international associations and board memberships and too long to type, we know he’s one of the sharpest design-minds out there.

There’s so much to this guest that we feel inadequate to cover it completely; so, please…
Join us, and Erik Speikermann, this Wednesday at 8pm CST here at for a live video and text chat.
We feel honored to have him and hope to see you there too.

Image of work-in-progress. Mark-ups for a typeface being worked on by Edenspiekermann.

Eurotaxi Interview

Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works. Editions 1 and 2 by Erik Spiekermann.

Erik Spiekermann holds up a sample of his font ITC Correspondence. Now called ITC Officina

FontShop founded by Erik Spiekermann and Neville Brody 1989. First distributor of digital type.

Some fonts by Erik Spiekermann, as seen on

More fonts by Erik Spiekermann, as seen on

Deutsche Bahn. German Railway. Identity by Edenspiekermann.

Deutsche Bahn German Railway. DB typeface. 2007 Gold Design Award from German Federal Republic.

TCHO Chocolate. Identity work by Edenspiekermann.

TCHO Chocolate packaging. Identity work by Edenspiekermann.

BOSCH signage. Identity update by Edenspiekermann.

BOSCH typefaces from brand book. Identity by Edenspiekermann.

BOSCH brand book. Identity by Edenspiekermann.

Identity mark for Gravis explained. Germany's largest Apple retailer.

Identity mark for Gravis in-use. Germany's largest Apple retailer.

Birkhäuser, science book publisher, book spines. Identity by Edenspiekermann.

Birkhäuser, collateral for Science Book Publisher. Identity by Edenspiekermann.

Birkhäuser, science book publisher, covers. Identity by Edenspiekermann.

Bauwelt, a leading German architecture publication. Identity by Edenspiekermann.

Spread from Bauwelt, an architecture publication. Identity by Edenspiekermann.

Screen capture from the movie Helvetica. Erik Spiekermann talks about type.

Additional Interview From the DVD version of Helvetica

A montage of images from the account of Erik Spiekermann .

Learn more about Erik Spiekermann.
Link Round-Up:
@espiekermann on Twitter
Spiekermann’s Blog
Prof. Dr. Erik Spiekermann’s xing profile
Twitpics from Spiekermann
ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) Talks about Spiekermann
FontShop designs by Spiekermann
Linked-In to Speikermann
design mind article
Spiekermann at Edenspiekermann
The Edenspiekermann Manifesto


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Last week I was told I had to take a print ad that I designed and develop it into a flash web banner. No biggie, right? The only catch was that the final file size limit was 25kb. Ouch! The ad was heavy on photography, so I knew I had to illustrate every visual so that the artwork was completely vector-based. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done this, I’m always daunted by the idea of illustrating for the web with the goal of photo-realism.

After I finished one element, the above tomato, I looked at what it took to get there and thought, “that wasn’t so hard.” The truth is, its really not difficult. Just walk through the steps below, and you can illustrate something like this in MINUTES!

SET UP YOUR FILE: (Note: I’m using CS4)
Create a new Illustrator file and make sure that its the same pixel dimensions as your ad. This is important because any effects that look at rasterization will change depending on the size of your artwork.
Next go into the menu, click Effect>Document Rasterization Settings. Make sure “Screen (72 ppi)” is chosen and click OK.

Place the image you need to illustrate in the document, and scale to the correct size for the web. Create a new layer, name it ‘image.’ Move the image to this layer and then lock the layer. Make a new layer on top of the image layer and call it ‘art.’ This is where you will be drawing.

You always want to break down your illustration in to the most simple elements. In this instance red and green become the primary colors. From there I pick 3 lighter and 3 darker shades/tints of each hue. You don’t have to use every single resulting color, but it at least gives you a starting point.

Choose the pencil tool and begin drawing your basic shapes. I like to draw right on top of the image, but to do so AND still see what you’re looking at, you need to put the art layer into outlines mode. To do this hold the command key and click on the visibility button (eyeball) on the art layer. What this does is show just the vector shapes you are creating with no fills or effects. Once I’m happy with the shapes i’ve drawn, I command click on the layer visibility again to select the objects and tag them with color.

I like to start with the base color and draw the silhouette. Then I’ll draw a few of the darker shades. If you’re having trouble deciding where to make the shapes, squint your eyes. This will blur the image and allow you to see a better range of space for the colors. Be loose and organic, but STUDY your image. This is the most difficult part to get right.

Continue looking at the shapes, but now start to focus on the lighter tints. I know that at this point it sort of looks like a lame army camouflage pattern, but don’t worry – we’ll fix that in a minute.

Move on to the other parts, using the same methods as above.

Don’t forget the shadow!

This is where the magic happens. Select individual shapes and add a gaussian blur to them. You can find it in the menu under Effect>Blur>Gaussian Blur. For my purposes in a flash web banner, very little blur is needed because of the small scale of the artwork. I only used settings of 2-8 pixels. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, you can adjust it later. However, you don’t do it through the menu; you have to select the object you want to edit, find your appearance palatte, and click on gaussian blur to bring the window back up.

Right click ‘download’ to get the illustrator file: DOWNLOAD.

When I took this artwork in to flash, I had another hoop to jump through. The blurred shapes didn’t look right, so the following steps describe the process I went through to make adjustments.
I grouped my tomato in Illustrator and hit command+C on the keyboard. I then opened my flash web banner file and hit command+V. Make sure ‘Paste using AI File Importer preferences’ and ‘Apply recommended import settings to resolve incompatibilities’ are checked. This is important because it makes sure that Flash reads this object as vector, and any blur effects that were applied are interpreted by Flash as a filter, not rasterized shapes. Rasterized art take up much more memory than vector-based art – which was the whole reason I was illustrating this ad in the first place.
So now I’m looking at the tomato in Flash and I’m not happy with it. All the shapes are there, but the blurring had decreased, and didn’t look as real as it once did. After turning the group into a movie clip, I went down in to each individual object and had to adjust the blur in the ‘filters’ palatte. I had to double the number for each object until I was happy with it. I’m not sure why there is a difference but regardless, I was able to fix it and it looks great in a flash movie.
If you have any questions please ask them in the comments. Happy illustrating!


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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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Crystal from Graphic Hug shares with us a piece by Ben Crick that reminds us that as we try to make a name for ourselves as designers, we sometimes fall for the siren song of great exposure but at the cost of doing the work for free. She points us to an article reminding us that doing work for exposure can adversely affect the business of design.
I love the quote from David Ogilvy from commenter grez, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”
See Crystal’s article HERE.


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Kate Bingaman-Burt on DesignChat
This Wednesday, July 28th, DesignChat welcomes Illustrator & Graphic Design Professional Kate Bingaman-Burt — Author of “Obsessive Consumption” and Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University.

Bingaman-Burt’s career continues to light-up the DIY, twee-style, & craftism movements with sometimes colorful, but always beautifully-simple, illustrations — illustrations that really capture the feelings behind each image, whether that be guilt, envy, greed or sometimes lust. Think school notebooks full of lovingly-drawn spontaneous sketches. It’s a movement captured by her pen and embodied by current cultural touchstones like ““, “Renegade Craft fair” and “ReadyMade” magazine; a magazine for whom she’s created several headers and titles in her recognizable style.

Her other works include illustrating the book “Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design” as well as promotional materials for the documentary of the same title.

She continues to teach Graphic Design as an Assistant Professor at Portland State University as she shows her work with artist representation. Her illustration and much of her Obsessive Consumption works are available through 20× an endeavor that’s “making art available for everyone” — worth a look for affordable contemporary artwork you CAN afford.

Most importantly, Kate Bingaman-Burt seems to be living and documenting her life as a statement about consumerism. Not really preaching about it, but instead just observing her own consumerism and taking us along for the ride. Screen printing, education efforts, illustrations, zine workshops, and soon-to-be museum exhibits, all seem to hold a mirror up to society. Bingaman-Burt truly embodies the quote “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

Join us, and Kate Bingaman-Burt, this Wednesday at 7pm CST here at, for a live video and text chat.
We’re already “obsessing” over what to talk about first.

Kate Bingaman-Burt Photo

Kate Bingaman-Burt's book "Obsessive Consumption" In a shelf spines out.

Kate Bingaman-Burt's Book "Obessive Consumption"

"Obsessive Consumption" Intro Pages

Selected spread from "Obsessive Consumption"

Kate Bingaman-Burt  "Obsessive Consumption" Illustrations

A few more illustrations by Kate Bingaman-Burt

ReadyMade Magazine Header by Kate Bingaman-Burt

Another ReadyMade Magazine Header by Kate Bingaman-Burt

Kates Illustration for her feature on

From the inside of the book Handmade Nation

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Steven Bogda caught some amazing video of the Transformers movie being filmed in Chicago. Shot on a Canon EOS 7D, his moving pictures look like candy. You can see all of his videos here.
It makes me wonder if movie studios are warming up to the idea of the public being able to cover the production of films. Sort of leaning on them for publicity of a highly anticipated film such as Transformers. In August of 2008 we saw a surge in sharing after a behind-the-scenes image of a bulked-up Jake Gyllenahal surfaced from the production of The Prince of Persia.
Steve writes about his experience:
Synopsis::::Transformers 3 was in the making outside of my work on Michigan Ave over the weekend. I spent 5 hours there with my camera looking down on it. I missed the explosion, but got Shia’s reaction to it at the end which is funny to watch.
Music::::Nine In Nails – La Mer

Transformers 3: Michigan Ave, Chicago (7D) from Steven Bogda on Vimeo.