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For the past four years we have opened our doors, and our print lab, to the students of the University of Akron Myers School of Art for a hands-on, screen printing workshop. This two-night workshop is one of many opportunities open to design students as a part of the program’s Design Week activities. The poster that we design and print is specifically tied to their annual Fontoween event where each student is encouraged to dress up as their favorite font.


The poster-making process begins with the team at 427 Design collaborating on concepts for the new Fontoween design. A series of sketches are drawn and revised until the team agrees on the final poster concept. Then comes the creation of ink drawings, layers of textures, colorizing and finally setting up the files for film creation to be used in imaging the screens for printing.



When the students arrive at 427 Design they are coached through the steps of creating the art using software and given some pointers and best practices throughout the process.  They are then guided into transferring the artwork to the screens for printing, mixing the colors, and finally, registering and printing the actual posters. This year’s poster included a series of four colors. Since two groups of students participate the workshop, different students attending each night, two unique colors are printed during each session. 


“This workshop gives students who want to learn about screen printing an opportunity to get hands on experience in a more condensed, focused way… while ruining others equipment and supplies”, says Justin Tokos, Vice President and Creative Director here at 427 Design. Tokos, who has been teaching Production and Illustration at the University of Akron since 2008, coordinates the event each year with the head of the Graphic Design Department, Janice Troutman. 


The annual Fontoween screen printing workshop is an event that our team really looks forward to each fall. It’s refreshing to spend a little time with such eager and energetic design students and we really like being able to share our space with them.

Click here to see the previous Fontoween poster design.



So, Kyle — what’s it feel like to be the second of three “K-named” people we’ve hired in a month?

Kinda like being the middle child. But a lot better than being the third (sorry Kevin).

What differentiates you from Kaitlyn and Kevin?

That’s probably the hardest question honestly. I don’t really know Kaitlyn or Kevin that well yet.

Neither do we.

But Kaitlyn is shorter than me and Kevin is taller than me. I know that much.

Where did you go to school?

I went to Manchester High School in southern Summit County and I graduated from the University of Akron last May.

When is your birthday and what embarrassing thing about you can we ice on a cake?

My birthday is February 7th. The most embarrassing thing I have ever had happen to me in my life (so far) was when I accidentally used a women’s restroom in college and was almost caught, so take that as you will I guess. But I find it hilarious now.

Now. We’ll talk again on February 8th.

How do you feel about not having a window in your office?

Well, I do have a window.


But I am forced to absorb all my sunlight for the day secondarily through Brad’s office.

What brought you to 427 — besides the extravagant pay check, two day work weeks and free kittens (we don’t have any of those things here, by the way)?

I WAS told about the kittens so that played a big part until I found out it wasn’t true. But the history, talent, and expectations 427 has makes working here a fun and challenging experience.

In “427 Design: The Movie”, who would play you?

Ryan Gosling

Who is your favorite BK Kid and why?

BK Kids may have been a little before my time, but from what I vaguely remember I’d say Kid Vid because of how much he loves videogames and his cool goggles.

Well, now that I feel officially old, can you explain to me how this Internet business works to me in five words or less?

A series of everlasting tubes.

So just like Discovery Zone?




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.

For the full list of the gaming rules, please click here and don’t forget to RSVP. Hope to see you tomorrow!


So, Andrea Brown — that’s a fairly common name. Maybe too common. Is it fake?

Yes. I’m in the witness protection program. If anyone asks, I have nooooo idea who killed Tupac.

Don’t worry, no one will see this interview.

Are you related to James Brown? Jackie Brown? What’s your favorite color? What is your favorite Cleveland football team?

I am not, but I think that if James Brown and Jackie Brown were to reproduce…I am what you would get. As for football, I prefer to keep my allegiances private…for my safety and that of my family (but there may or may not be a Terrible Towel hanging in my office come football season).

*Editor’s note: Andrea did not provide an answer to “What’s your favorite color?” thereby indicating to us, and the world, that she in fact, has no favorite color.

When is your birthday and what embarrassing thing about you can we ice on a cake?

February 5, whatever year makes me eternally 29. And why on earth would I tell you that?

So, you share a birthday month with Paul, John and Brad — that makes one less cake we need to get. Thank your parents for us.

No problem.

What brought you to 427 — besides the extravagant pay check, two day work weeks and free kittens (we don’t have any of those things here, by the way)?

Time to get serious…that’s easy. There is crazy talent here. CRAZY talent. And I had to be a part of it.

So you think we’re crazy?

My suspicions have been confirmed.

Now that you’re our new Account Executive, can you tell us exactly  what an “account executive” does every day? Because I don’t think anyone here knows.

I have no idea, either, that’s why I changed the title to Client Service + Business Development (Brad said Sr. VP of Awesomeness was a little over the top).

If you were casting “427 Design 2: Lost in New York”, who would play you?

Betty White. Duh.

Were you nervous about occupying an office whose previous occupants have included a web programmer and a Sam Karlo?

No one told me that this was Sam Karlo’s office? That explains all the porn… At least the programmer was smart enough to wipe the system clean.

Do you have any advice for aspiring “account executives” out there, currently coveting your job?

Marry for money. Work for love.

Who is your favorite Golden Girl, and why?

I cannot possibly pick one. Its like asking me which color of M&M tastes better. Each they are all equally awesome!

Did you eat my lunch?

Nope, it was Joe. I saw him do it. And he said he is not afraid of you.

He should be.

According to the musical, Rent, there are numerous ways to measure a year. You can add up the daylights and sunsets (365 of each expected this year, respectively) or even the midnights (the same). You can count the cups of coffee (let’s say, conservatively, two cups a day x 4 habitual coffee drinkers x 52 weeks, minus weekends + an extreme increase halfway through the year when Sam mysteriously discovered coffee = math is hard), or maybe you can’t, really.

You can also count the minutes, but thanks to Jonathon Larson, you don’t have to — in one year there are five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred of them to be exact. Here’s what we did with ours:

We won these!

We won awards:

In February we won 10 local Addy Awards — 5 gold, 4 silver and the Best Use of Paper and in April, we won 3 additional District Five Addy Awards — 1 gold and 2 silver.

We printed this!

We printed all of the things:

We turned a portion of our photo studio into a silk-screening workshop — officially christened, The Print Lab. We’ve since printed posters, t-shirts and basically anything that will sit still long enough under a screen.

Our house was open!

We opened our house:

In April, we celebrated the beginning of our fifth year with our biggest and best open house to date. We had glow-in-the-dark button packs, screen-printed posters and we each built our own robots. Guests dined on moon cheese, astronaut ice cream and posed for a photo booth with custom-made ray guns. Dare we say, the space-themed bash was… out-of-this-world.

We made this site:

In case you didn’t notice, this beautiful (and functional!) site you’re on — it launched in May of this year. We hope you enjoy the weekly blog posts, deep thoughts and portfolio updates, all of which will continue into the new year (and hopefully many years after that).

We made this!

We made a calendar:

We spent the majority of our summer working with Studio Martone and the good folks at Matco Tools on the 2012 Matco Tools Calendar, a huge project that we’re still (nearly six months later) super excited about. We scouted mulitple locations and ended up shooting at six great ones — DSR Racing in Indiana; Cain BMW in Canton, OH; a replica Mobil Gas Station in Waynesburg, OH; Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana; MAPS Air Museum in North Canton, OH and a picturesque farm in Magnolia, OH.

Look for the final art to be added soon to our print and video sections.

We Bought This!

We bought a building:

Somehow, in the midst of the Matco madness, we managed to buy a building. A 58,000 sq foot, cereal factory from the 1890s at 243 Furnace Street. You can read all about the ongoing project here, here and here.

We hired some people:

Over the course of the year, we’ve had two interns (one of which we hired part-time — lookin’ at you, Manders) and hired Sam Karlo and Jameson Campbell on as full-time employees. And we haven’t regretted at least two of these decisions.

Working hard, or hardly working?

We worked hard for the money:

Justin, Amanda and John manned (and wo-manned) the 427 booth at the SEMA show in Vegas this November. They claim that they worked harder than those of us stuck back here in frigid Ohio, but we remain unsympathetic and unconvinced.

And then, we bowled:

To celebrate all 525,600 minutes of our work this year, we had our Christmas party at Stonehenge Family Fun Center last week, where our talents on the lanes ranged from non-existent (ahem, Joe) to inconsistent (hi, Jameson) to why-are-you-wasting-your-talents-working-for-us amazing (Brad “Bad” Hain and Sam “The Hurricane” Karlo). We only managed to get photos of two out of the three ‘teams’, because the third team had already taken their talents to the Ski Ball machines.

We're Pretty Serious About This

Is there a more fitting tribute to a year of great work, hard work and fun work than purple velour jogging suits, two personalized bowling shirts and a little friendly rivalry? We didn’t think so.