Design Museum

Block Thirty Seven, 3rd floor
108 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Tues-Sat, 12-7p

Adobe Creative Cloud: From Print to Web to Object Designer

Adobe Creative Cloud text with colorful boxes bursting out of a circle.

The Chicago Design Museum is pleased to partner with Adobe, one of our 2014-2015 sponsors, for this workshop. Each ticket comes with a chance to win a 12-month Creative Cloud Membership, which will be raffled at the event.

Adobe’s Senior Worldwide Evangelist Paul Trani runs us through the very latest updates and developments in the 2014 release of Adobe Creative Cloud for print, digital, and 3D printing. Adobe has added some amazing updates, features and mobile apps. Some will make you more productive (fonts, smart guides, libraries). Some help you to easily share and export assets from Photoshop. And new mobile apps not only extend the power of Illustrator and Photoshop, but give designers new ways to create.

As Adobe looks to the future, it has new capabilities in mind – not simply for creating compelling layouts, but even helping designers move from graphics to web and apps, and further to object designers with 3D printing in Photoshop. During this event, Paul Trani will begin with how the advances made in print and digital help to bridge the divide, and wrap up with a review of how Adobe is making 3D printing accessible and straightforward.

Paul Trani is a Senior Worldwide Creative Cloud Evangelist for Adobe, where he is passionate about helping designers build compelling content using their creativity and new technology, whether it’s using 3D printing, touch devices, or building cutting-edge web and mobile experiences. Paul is an award-winning designer, an Adobe Certified Instructor, and a courseware developer with 15 years of experience. A writer and prolific trainer, Paul has earned top author status at and has created a steady stream of content for AdobeTV and Creative Cloud Learn as well as When he’s not on the road he can be found hiking (or hiding) in the Colorado mountains. But chances are you can still catch him on Twitter: @paultrani.

ChiDM Loves Paul Prejza

A photo of Paul Prejza and his late wife, Deborah Sussman.

Please join the Chicago Design Museum in welcoming Paul Prejza for a lecture on the life and work of Deborah Sussman, his wife and partner at the firm Sussman/Prejza.

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014
  • 6:30-8:30 PM
  • Reception to follow the lecture
  • RSVP through Eventbrite; tickets are free and seating is limited


Paul has been an integral part of bringing Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! to the Chicago Design Museum and we are thrilled to welcome him to our home.

About Prejza and Sussman

Prejza and Sussman, both originally from the East Coast, were drawn to California’s expansive landscape as well as its regional design and architectural character. They met in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and established their firm in 1968.

Sussman/Prejza works among the fields of architecture, urban planning, and graphic and landscape design. The creation of distinct identities through physical manifestation and visual communication has made the firm’s work highly sought-after and celebrated.

Together with a dedicated staff Sussman and Prejza successfully took on civic, cultural, corporate, sports, institutional, entertainment and retail projects in and outside of the United States. However, much of their best-known work was done in the state they together called home. Among their most recognized projects are the “look” of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, a city-wide image program for Santa Monica, and graphics programs for the Walt Disney Company theme parks.


Newcity names ChiDM “Best new high-touch design venue”

Visitors sit in the recently-added reading room.

Visitors sit in the recently-added reading room. Photograph courtesy of Virya Photography.

The editors and writers of Newcity comb Chicago each year to put together their legendary annual “Best of Chicago” list, and we’re honored to be included in the 2014 edition. The Chicago Design Museum was named as this year’s “Best new high-touch design venue” for a number of reasons large and small, from our public programming to the details of our shop displays.

In addition to praising ChiDM for “getting things right” in our first year, Newcity explains that their choice is warranted by our balance of presentation and interaction; design is often presented as “untouchable” and far away from its inherent function of interacting with the world, but they feel that we bring it closer into the public eye.

We’re thrilled that our efforts to engage, inform, and inspire our visitors through our exhibits and events have the greater Chicago community talking, and we hope this mention widens the conversation even more!

Read the full story here

Holiday Hours

We’re looking forward to your visit for a dose of color this winter during our exhibition, Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! While the exhibition will be on display through February 28, 2015, there are a few days that we will close for the holidays.

As you plan your visit, please keep in mind that we will be closed on the following dates:

  • December 25-29
  • December 31-January 01

Our normal hours are 12:00-7:00 PM Tuesday through Saturdays (excluding the dates listed above).

Thank you for understanding and we hope you enjoy the holidays.

Designing Hope for Chicago

On the evening of December 8, 2014 from 6:00-9:00 PM, the Chicago Design Museum and Ferrer Foundation are partnering for an event, fundraiser, and silent auction to raise awareness around violence and violence prevention in Chicago.

Tickets are available via EventBrite.

Monday, December 8, 2014
6:00–9:00 PM
Chicago Design Museum

Featuring a one-night only poster exhibition by designers that include: Ishmael Adams, Brandon Breaux, Sara Frisk, Cody Hudson, Jason Pickleman, Kyle Poff, Michael Renaud, Michael Savona, Elise Swopes, Upendo Taylor, and Threadless.

All artwork was created exclusively for the evening with a goal to not only raise funds but send a message of peace and hope to Chicago on behalf of the Chicago design community. Poster art will be available for purchase at the event via silent auction and all proceeds raised will be used to support Ferrer Foundation and Chicago Design Museum programming.

RSVP on Facebook.

John Massey Vision for Sale in ChiDM Store on 11/18

John Massey Vision - photo of the book

Beginning on Tuesday, November 18, we will have the honor and privilege of selling and distributing John Massey’s new publication, John Massey Vision. This 250-page hardbound book documents Massey’s career as a designer and artist in Chicago from the late 1950s to the present. Printed by Classic Color, the book features roughly 125 full-color images and essays by Victor Margolin and Marin Nelson.

Bart Crosby, president of Crosby Associates, says about Massey:

Maestro. Mentor. Mystic. Magician.

For more than half my life John has been one of my great heroes. His work has had an enormous influence on my own (lesser) efforts and those of hundreds of other designers and students. His designs, paintings, drawings and prints serve as an inspirational repository from which many have “borrowed.”

Intellect is inherent in his work. Simplicity and structure infused with emotion.

We have all tried to equal him and have all fallen short. He remains the Master and we the disciples.

Philip Burton, chair and professor of the UIC School of Design and a consultant at Morningstar Inc. shares the following about the Massey and this book:

The work of John Massey has been instrumental in establishing the foundation and standard of quality for American corporations and for generations of professional designers. He has shared his experience and vision with countless students through his teaching, and for us all now through this book.

We are grateful to share this book from an iconic designer and past exhibitor with you. It will be available for purchase in the Chicago Design Museum store beginning Tuesday, November 18.

Preview Night for Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles!

Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! Preview Night November 12, 2014Join the Chicago Design Museum for a special preview of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! and celebrate an iconic designer who helped define the field of environmental graphic design.

Deborah Sussman left behind an incredible legacy and we are honored to show this exhibition and keep her memory alive. In this spirit, we will reflect her tastes in the details of the evening, from the drinks to the music. As Deborah’s favorite flower was the red tulip, we are requesting that attendees wear red to further honor her memory.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
6:30–9:30 PM
Chicago Design Museum

Live DJ set by Jamie Hayes
Beer provided by Lagunitas Brewing Company*

Tickets are available through Eventbrite. $10 suggested admission in advance, $15 at the door.

*Alcohol is available to those 21 and over. IDs will be checked at the door. 

Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! 13 Nov 2014–28 Feb 2015

Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! Opening 13 November.

The Chicago Design Museum is proud to present our next exhibition, Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles!, which will run 13 November 2014 through 28 February 2014. This exhibition recognizes an iconic designer who has helped shape the visual landscape of Los Angeles and define the field of environmental graphic design. The exhibition focuses on the early career of Deborah Sussman (1931-2014), highlighting projects that illuminate formative years in her professional development and in the growth of Los Angeles as a cultural center and a global city.

View of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles installed at the WUHO Gallery, 2013.

View of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles installed at the WUHO Gallery (12 December 2013 – 19 January 2014). Photo by Laure Joliet Photography.

Beginning with a pivotal summer internship in 1953, Sussman spent the early part of her career working at the Los Angeles office of Charles and Ray Eames. There, Sussman was introduced to the city and developed a multidisciplinary design approach that she eventually applied to both her work and office culture when she struck out on her own as Deborah Sussman & Co. in 1968. Throughout this time, Sussman continued to work on multiple scales, from product and package design to urban branding and immersive, architecturally-integrated environments. Sussman helped define what would later be called supergraphics: the use of bold colors, words, and shapes, enlarged beyond the boundaries of architectural edges and planes.

Detail of Giant House of Cards graphics and packaging.

Detail of Giant House of Cards graphics and packaging. Photo courtesy of Laure Joliet Photography.

In 1980, Sussman formed the office Sussman/Prejza with her husband Paul Prejza. The office collaborated with the Jerde Partnership on the visual identity of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, and catapulted Los Angeles onto the world stage in a kaleidoscope of colors that came to define not only the look of the Games but the city itself. Through its expanding scale and exuberant use of color, her graphic design tracks a path between modern and postmodern design and across the changing landscape of Los Angeles as it grew dramatically in size, density, and diversity from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Sonotubes, wayfinding for the 1984 Olympic Games, installed at the WUHO Gallery.

Sonotubes, wayfinding for the 1984 Olympic Games, installed at the WUHO Gallery. Photo courtesy of Laure Joliet Photography.

This examination of the first thirty years of Sussman’s career invites further scholarship on women’s roles in collaborative design projects in Los Angeles and the nation at large during a time period dominated by male practitioners.

Artifacts from the Los Angeles installation of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles.

Artifacts from the Los Angeles installation of Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Laure Joliet Photography.

Originally shown in Los Angeles at the Woodbury School of Architecture’s WUHO Gallery in 2013, Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! will be on view at the Chicago Design Museum from November 12, 2014 through February 28, 2015. The exhibition was curated by Barbara Bestor, Catherine Gudis, Tom Kracauer, and Shannon Starkey and is organized in Chicago by Matthew Terdich, Elizabeth Cummings, and Morgan Walsh.

Photos of Starts/Speculations in Film: Expanding the Design Conversation

On 24 September, we hosted Starts/Speculations in Film: Expanding the Design Conversation, a special night of screening a selection of films from the Chicago Film Archives. Each of the chosen films represent an area for future exploration and another avenue for examining of the role of design within our city and our lives. The evening included work by Gary Brown, the Film Group, Goldsholl Design & Film Associates and Rhodes Patterson.

A group of people chat  while looking at a display vitrine.

Two gentleman look at a vitrine showcasing several artifacts. Two people talk in the background as a man examines artifacts more closely.  A photo of the twine web-like backing of the store wooden blocks. Chicago Remix popcorn provided by Popacorn.

People watch one of the films, showing a skyscraper.Visitors watch a film.

All photos courtesy of Jennifer Yu Photography. Film selection by Exhibition Director Matthew Terdich and Curatorial Committee Member Morgan Walsh with support from the Chicago Film Archives.

A huge thank you to the Chicago Film Archives for providing the films, Popacorn for the popcorn, and Jennifer Yu Photography for these amazing photos.

Starts/Speculations: A Reflection

Thank You wall photo.

The Starts/Speculations “Thank You” wall. Photo courtesy of David Ettinger Photography.

With reverence, Starts/Speculations: Graphic Design in Chicago Past and Future acknowledges, exhibits, and supports institutions and individuals that have proven to be agents of change, while simultaneously asking a series of celebrated designers to speculate on the future of communication.

From the Container Corporation of America’s historic commission of the recyclable symbol to Design for Democracy’s important re-design of a United States general election ballet, we’ve considered a series of ideas that were revolutionary for their time from firms that responded to their context with unabashed curiosity. From Other Forms’ malleable, historical Futurist methodology to the Post Family’s consideration of equality through the lens of furniture, we’ve offered a platform that allows for thoughtful, public conjecture.

While it’s worth noting that the past and future are always observed with an understanding of their specific moments in time, I am pleased with the way in which we’ve documented radical ideas through the lens of the present.

Further, I’m elated to have presented Starts/Speculations as our debut as a permanent institution. Following a capital campaign that was supported by well over 500 individuals from our community, and a series of investments from prominent organizations, we are now able to offer year-round programming. Our newfound audience is comprised of makers and consumers, both of whom are equally important to design as a catalyst of change.

As a nascent, nimble, and nontraditional organization that aspires to unite, inform, and inspire, we are so proud of the thousands of you who visited this exhibition.

Here’s to adventure. Here’s to a better understanding of Chicago’s rich legacy. And, here’s to shaping our future together.

– Tanner Woodford