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Once again, AAF-Akron hosted a varietal Who’s Who of the Akron advertising professionals and students. This year 427 Design received six Silver ADDY Awards from AAF-Akron at the aptly presidential-themed celebration of the Akron creative community on February 12th – Abe Lincoln’s Birthday.


At the close of each awards season we like to take the time to thank those who make it possible for us to do what we love. Our clients entrust us with their brands, engage us in overcoming their challenges and allow us the opportunity to produce and implement creative, in some cases award-winning, solutions. A few of the silver statues we received were awarded for work we did for Neil Zaza, Diversified Digital and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.




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2016 Akron ADDY Awards

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School 2015-2016 Admissions Guidebook
Client: St. Vincent-St. Mary High School

STVM viewbook 4

Diversified Digital Managed Services Sales Collateral
Client: Diversified Digital


Album Art: Neil Zaza Peach
Client: Neil Zaza


Poster: Meow.
Client: 427 Design

427 Tiger Poster

Open House IX Invitation
Client: 427 Design


Open House IX Campaign
Client: 427 Design

Open House 2

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2016 ADDY awards. The work produced by the greater Akron creative community last year was outstanding and, as always, we are proud to be surrounded and challenged by each of you. Cheers to you, and here’s to another outstanding year.


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.



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:

The Sign


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!

The Shirts


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.

The Food


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!

We also had amazing cupcakes by Cloud Nine Cupcake (a new client of ours) and cut-out cookies for the fifth year in a row by one of our designers, Alexandra.

The Games

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 10.09.08 AM

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.

The Raffle


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.

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

We recently had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with our talented friends at TRIAD Communications on a poster project for Tuesday Musical Association. Both agencies came up with concepts, and a design from TRIAD was ultimately chosen.

The final, four-color poster was then screen printed in our print lab with help from both firms, as well as members of Tuesday Musical. You can watch the making of video (complements of TRIAD) here and read more about the process here.

A big thanks to the wonderful people of TRIAD and Tuesday Musical for allowing us to be involved in this wonderful collaboration — we hope it’s not our last!