January 4, 2018

Giving artfully: where to donate art supplies in Chicago

Filed under: Community Outreach,Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , , — lidia @ 4:00 pm

Editor’s note: this post was originally posted in January 2011 and is regularly updated to include new resources

If you (or your kids) love working on art and craft projects, you’re bound to end up with lots of supplies that you no longer need. Don’t let all that good stuff go to waste: donate it!

After a recent office move, I loaded up my car with boxes of paper, books and art supplies and distributed them among several local organizations (as well as my son’s school). I had less items to move and I felt good knowing that a student, teacher or artist would make good use of the supplies—it was a win-win!

Where to donate?

There are several organizations in the Chicagoland area that accept donations of new and gently-used art, craft and design supplies and books. I have donated to these organizations and can attest to the good feeling that comes along with sharing with those in need—especially right here in my own community.

Creative Pitch

Creative Pitch (Chicago, IL) collects donations of paper, classroom and art supplies and distributes them to local teachers in need. My paper habit (obsession) leaves me with stacks of unused paper—which is put to good use by the Creative Pitch team. I’m proud to be a Creative Pitch supporter for many years. See their donation list.

Inklude Studio

Inklude Studio (Downers Grove, IL) offers an open, creative, and collaborative studio environment for adult artists with autism and other developmental challenges. They welcome donations of art supplies, fabric & sewing materials and photography or computer equipment that can be used in their programs. See their donation list.

The WasteShed

The WasteShed (Chicago, IL) is a creative reuse center that collects art and craft materials and makes them available in their retail store to artists, students, teachers and anyone else at a low price. Their store is a treat to visit and they also host art events. See their donation list.

Upcycling Colors

Upcycling Colors (Chicago, IL) collects leftover, used and unneeded art, craft and school supplies and reconditions them into attractive “like new” kits for children in need. They collect everyhting from paper and pens to loose puzzle pieces and toys. They have several drop-off locations across the city. See their donation list.

Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (CCRx)

Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (CCRx) is a start-up nonprofit dedicated to creative reuse. They take surplus materials headed to the landfill, and put them in the hands of educators, artists, and community groups. See their donation list.

Open Books

Open Books (Chicago, IL) provides books and literacy programs to children throughout Chicago. Funding of their programs comes in large part from the sale of donated books in their stores. This is a great place to donate your art, design and craft books (and don’t be surprised if you walk out with a few books after dropping off your donations!) See their donation guidelines.

Making your efforts count

As a veteran “donater”, I can share a good way to manage donations (and get more organized, to boot!). Label a cardboard box in your office “art donations.” Once a week, go through your office drawers, cabinets and shelves. As you come across items you no longer need (but are still usable), toss them in the box. At the end of the month, drop off your donations. Make an even larger donation by combining your efforts with co-workers and colleagues, or start a donation drive at your business. Plus, all of the organizations will provide a donation letter for tax purposes.

Know of any other Chicagoland organizations that collect art & craft supplies? Please share in the comments!




April 26, 2017

A to Z of Design: N is for negative space

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , , — lidia @ 9:00 am

A to Z of Design: N is for negative space

Also called “white space,” this refers to the areas of a design that are empty, or don’t contain any design elements. Negative or white space gives a design “breathing room.” Using adequate negative space allows design elements to stand on their own, prevents a design from looking cluttered, and helps to guide the viewer’s eye successfully around the design.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 25, 2017

A to Z of Design: M is for monochrome

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , , — lidia @ 10:30 pm

M is for monochrome

Monochrome refers to a design that only uses one color, or shades of one color. A grayscale (or black-and-white) design is considered monochrome, as well as a design printed using one Pantone color (see example above). Monochrome designs are sometimes chosen to keep printing costs down as only one ink color (and related printing plate) is required.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.


April 24, 2017

A to Z of Design: L is for leading

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 8:20 pm

L is for leading

Leading is a typesetting term that refers to the vertical space between lines of text. Leading is measured from baseline (the line the text rests upon) to baseline and is calculated in points, i.e. 12 point leading. Leading is used to avoid letterforms from touching and to make text more legible, especially in large blocks of type. The term leading comes from the early days of metal typesetting when small strips of lead were inserted between lines of type.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 20, 2017

A to Z of Design: K is for kerning

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 10:12 pm

A to Z of Design: K is for kerning

Kerning refers to the space between characters (letters, numbers, etc.) as well as the process of adjusting that space to make words more legible or pleasing to the eye. Most fonts require at least some kerning to avoid awkward gaps or spaces. These gaps are more apparent in larger text such as headlines.

Kerning is more art than science. A designer usually adjusts a word’s kerning by sight rather than specific measurements. Bad kerning is usually a designer’s biggest pet peeve.

See kerning in action in my Kerning Design Demo:

April 19, 2017

A to Z of Design: J is for juxtaposition

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , — lidia @ 10:00 pm

A to Z of Design: J is for juxtaposition

Juxtaposition is the art of placing design elements close to each other with the intention of creating visual interest or contrast. The design elements may be similar to each other or jarringly different. The goal is to create a situation that will draw in and engage the viewer.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 18, 2017

A to Z of Design: I is for indicia

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , , — lidia @ 10:33 pm

A to Z of Design: I is for indicia

An indicia is an imprint on a mailpiece, that is instead of a stamp, indicating that postage has been paid. All pieces in a permit imprint mailing must be the same weight. The mailer must submit forms and a fee to the Post Office where the pieces will be mailed.

TIP: Many print vendors handle this as part of their mailing and fulfillment services.

For more info, see this USPS Quick Service Guide on permit imprints.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

A to Z of Design: H is for hierarchy

Filed under: Design & Art — lidia @ 10:16 pm

H is for hierarchy

An important principle of graphic design is visual hierarchy. It communicates to the viewer the importance of each element in relation to the rest. Elements with more importance are made bolder in size, weight or color. Items are also arranged on the page according to their importance to the reader or viewer.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 14, 2017

A to Z of Design: G is for gutter

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:46 pm

G is for gutter

The gutter is the space created by the binding of a book or magazine. It is the inside margins of the left and right pages, or blank space between two facing pages.

Depending on the type of binding, the gutter measurement may need to be increased as the viewing area can be reduced by the curvature of the pages.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

A to Z of Design: F is for Fold

Filed under: Design & Art — lidia @ 10:28 pm

F is for fold

Choosing a fold is an important part of the design process. How well do you know your folds? Below are some of the most common folds.

types of folds

For folding inspiration and examples of more unique folds, check out the Super-Cool Folds page by FoldFactory.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

Older Posts »