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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

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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!

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.