Friday, April 26th was our seventh annual Open House, and we want to take a moment and thank the more than 200 people that attended. We try every year to top the previous year’s event, and we think we may have succeeded.
We hope you all had fun — maybe you even won a prize — but for those that couldn’t make it here’s what you missed:
Our creative director, Justin, devoted weeks of his life leading up to the Open House building this 100% custom marquee sign (process post to come) that now hangs on a central wall in our office. We wanted to create a piece that would tie in to our Vegas theme, yet not look out of place hanging in our office year-round.
If you didn’t get a chance to see the sign in person, stop by and we’ll light it up for you!
A week before the event, we were busy screen printing t-shirts. We designed this year’s shirts based on the “flapper card” men and women ubiquitous on the Vegas streets/sidewalks. We chose the most obnoxious color possible (fluorescent orange) so that guests had no doubts who was a 427 Design team member.
We printed extra for guests to take home, and despite the cautionary words of our intrepid president, Brad Hain (“Who would want to wear a shirt like that?“), we ran out halfway through the night.
Our delicious, all-you-can-eat buffet was catered by the Diamond Deli — pulled pork sliders, seafood croissants, their famous brownies — and the food went fast!
At 5pm our office space was transformed into a mini casino, with four blackjack tables, a poker room, four slot machines, a roulette table and fireman’s wheel. There were times when we wondered if we’d be able to pack every one in, but we were able to control the chaos for the most part.
Guests played for chips, that they could exchange for raffle tickets. They then took their raffle tickets and put them into boxes to win any of our seven great prizes.
At the end of the night we drew winning tickets for our seven prizes:
- A night at the Horseshoe Casino and souvenir gift basket
- A poker table and poker set
- Trio of flavored whiskey
- Treat basket and Longhorn Steakhouse gift card
- Stow Massage gift certificate
- Las Vegas-themed movie set and Cinemark Gift Card
- 427 Design poster set
Three of the prizes went home with their rightful owners that night and the other winners have been contacted. Thanks to everyone for playing!
The Canned Goods
This year, the Open House also doubled as a fundraiser for the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank. Guests were encouraged to bring in a canned food item (or several), to receive extra vouchers for the games. We were blown away by the generosity of our guests, and ended up with a shopping cart full of food.
Of course we couldn’t resist stacking it in a pyramid for a mini photoshoot before it goes to the food bank.
Thanks again to all of our guests, and if we missed you this year, there’s always next year!
This year we’re celebrating our 7th year in business, and the theme of our annual open house is “Lucky No. 7.” We want all of our friends and clients to feel as lucky as we do, so this year’s party will be a little bit different than the past six.
We’ll have four blackjack tables, four slot machines, a roulette wheel, fireman’s wheel and poker table, and everyone gets a $100 voucher, which you can exchange for chips with any of the dealers.
The night will also double as a fundraiser for the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank. Should you wish to purchase more chips, you can do so with any 427 Design team member throughout the night. One dollar or one canned food item will get you an additional ten dollars in chips.
At the end of the night we will exchange chips for raffle tickets ($10 in chips = 1 raffle ticket) and you’ll have the opportunity to win a variety of awesome prizes.
We’ve been super busy these last couple of weeks screen printing (and glittering!) posters and felt postcards and turning the office into Akron’s own little slice of Vegas. We don’t want to spoil all of the surprises, so you’ll have to come on Friday and see what we’ve been up to. Doors open at 4:27 pm, gambling starts at 5pm, ends at 9pm and the prize drawings are at 9:30 pm.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Elvis arrives at 4:27 PM… and so should you!
- Our all-you-can-eat Vegas-style buffet will be catered by Akron’s own Diamond Deli (with cupcakes by Canton’s own Cloud Nine Cupcake).
- Enjoy (responsibly) a variety of beers and cocktails, including a special feature by the Hoppin’ Frog Brewery.
- Don’t forget to bring canned food items or cash to exchange for additional casino chips.
Hi there! If this is your first time on our site, or our blog, welcome!
If you’ve been here before, you may notice that it looks a bit different. Ever since the total redesign of our site a few years ago, we’ve been working to make the site better. We’ve tried to simplify the design to make it more user-friendly and to not only work, but look great in all applications.
We’ve condensed some projects, retired older ones, and added a ton of new work to our portfolio section. We’ve redesigned the blog to allow for comments and made it easier to find exactly the kind of posts you’re interested in with our tags and authors sections. Our about/process page may have less sparky unicorns than it once did, but now it hopefully explains who we are, what we do and how we do it a bit better than before.
We’ve also added some options to our contact page that will hopefully help us to better help you with your next creative project, or maybe you just need directions to come talk to us in person — we’ve got those for you too.
We’re still adding projects and making small tweaks to the site, but take a minute and poke around and let us know what you think of our latest work or the site in general. And if you’d like to tell us in person, you can do so at our 7th annual Open House, here at 427 on Friday, April 26th at 4:27pm — don’t forget to RSVP!
We had a great time at the 2013 Akron ADDY Awards on Friday night, and we’re super proud of our team and our accomplishments last year. We walked away with a total of 10 ADDYs, plus Best of Show and the Best Use of Paper award. This was our second year in a row winning Best of Show and our third winning Best Use of Paper.
Best of Show and a Gold ADDY for our Flite Test Poster
Gold for the Hudson Farmer’s Market Campaign
Gold for the Matco Tools Calendar Illustrations | Silver for the calendar
Thanks again to AAF Akron and congratulations to all the other winners. We’re already hard at work on next year’s entries!
It’s always a challenge for us to design pieces for ourselves — it’s hard to find the right balance between wanting to entertain our clients and friends, while also injecting the piece with our personalities. Our Christmas card this year was actually two years in the making for this, and other, reasons, but we’re super excited to finally debut the finished piece.
We had the idea last year to do an homage to 1965′s A Charlie Brown Christmas, and we knew immediately that it had revolve around the dancing scene. Equal parts ridiculous and charming, the characters dance so distinctly and we wanted to remain as faithful as possible to the original. But of course, instead of the usual cast of Peanuts characters, we are the ones doing the dancing.
As with a lot of projects, the animation was deceptively simple. What might look like two or three frames turned out to be many, many more in some cases. Here’s a sneak peek into our process:
Everyone who has ever turned on a TV in the month of December knows of A Charlie Brown Christmas — 47 years later, there’s still a Charlie Brown balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We didn’t want to parody the classic characters, rather, we wanted to remain faithful and respectful to the original. This meant doing our research, and painstakingly capturing the scene frame, by frame for static reference.
Turning Peanuts into 427 Design
Our illustrator, Joe, took those reference frames and turned them into sketches — one-by-one modifying the Peanuts gang into the 427 Design crew. We chose characters that were close to our own personalities or with which we shared a physical characteristic: Joe is holding a jacket instead of a blanket, Allie and Sally are both blondes, and Andrea added a blazer and pants to her pink shirt.
Hundreds of Frames
After each character was born, Joe illustrated their dance sequence, frame by frame. Some were more complicated than others, but he drew hundreds of frames for the final animation. These line drawings were then colored and animated in After Effects.
In addition to the actual characters, we wanted the entire animation to feel like it took place in the Peanuts universe. We illustrated our office building for the beginning, and a snowy field for the ending. Everything you see is custom and hand-done, from the individual borders at the end, to the ribbon type “Merry Christmas”.
We hope you enjoyed watching our card as much as we enjoyed creating it! Merry Christmas from all of us at 427 Design!