Mig Reyes

loves pizza.

HOW Design Conference in Chicago!

Save $100 on your HOW Design Conference Registration
Let me tell you, summer is going to be a really exciting time for design in Chicago. This year, the HOW Design Conference comes back to the Windy City, and I’m excited to be a part of it. Joining me are some of the local studios, including Rule29 and Grip Design. Layer Tennis pals (foes?) Jessica Hische and Armin & Bryony of UnderConsideration are joining the fun, too.

As a speaker, I can hook all of my friends up with a special discount code to save you $100. Register before April 1, and you can stack that on top of the early bird discount and save $200. Use the discount code “HMR11” and join us at the Conference.

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7th Annual National Student Show

Hey, students! Are you all signed up for the DSVC 7th Annual National Student Show & Conference? I hope so.

I’m headed to Dallas to do a keynote presentation, and joining me are some of my favorite people! Author and illustrator, Kate Bingaman-Burt, the dudes of Dress Code and Bryony of UnderConsideration will all be there. Beyond the presentations, there will be plenty of panels and workshops to get your brains in motion.

Learn more about the National Student Show, then register because you know you wanna.

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PAPERMAG Interview


I recently had the chance to go back and forth with Amanda Mooney in a fun interview for PAPERMAG. She asked some really great questions, too. Check it out to hear about my views on teaching, Chicago, the web and doing it with friends. Thanks again, Amanda!

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Beaming into Portland State University

Beautiful poster designed by Frank Chimero
I quite like what the graphic design faculty of Portland State University do for their students. Can you blame them? Said instructors include the likes of Kate Bingaman-Burt and Frank Chimero.

So each year—in tandem with their AIGA student group—they host a weekly virtual lecture series where they beam in the who’s who of the internet to come chat with the students about what they’re working on.

I’m up to bat this Thursday, spending my lunch with these Portland young-guns. I’ll most likely talk about how networking is bullshit, luck doesn’t happen, dream jobs don’t exist and why you should never wear a Threadless t-shirt to your Threadless interview. (It’s like wearing the band’s shirt to their own concert.) But really, it’ll be a happy-fun time.

Update! The students of PSU (and visiting students from ASU!) were quick to put up some nice words about the Skype lecture on their blogs. Here’s what Randi had to say, and the nice folks at Curiosity Group said I was the graphic design equivalent of Ryan Seacrest. Thanks, guys!

Aside from the Skype lecture, 2011 is already looking to be quite the year for hanging out and yappin’ with friends. Find me speaking here!

American Ad Federation: North Dakota — 01/18 — Fargo, ND
7th Annual National Student Conference — 04/01 — Dallas, TX
AIGA Jacksonville Student Review — 04/15 — Jacksonville, FL
Columbus Society of Communicating Arts — 06/16 — Columbus, OH
HOW Design Conference 2011 — 06/24 — Chicago, IL

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Wilco Wallpaper

Wilco - A Ghost is Born

One of my favorite design blogs, The Fox is Black (formerly Kitsune Noir), invited me to participate in their new Sights & Sounds/Desktop Wallpaper Project. For their first series, Joe Van Wetering curated several Chicago designers and artists to contribute a wallpaper design that correlates to a specific Wilco album. Many thanks to Joe and Bobby for letting me cash in on the fun.

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Speaking at the AAFND

Speaking at the AAFND!

In January, I’ll be headed to Fargo to speak at the North Dakota American Ad Federation. If you’re in the area, come on by. I’ll be taking people behind the scenes of the Threadless creative department, as well as sharing general stories of process and screw-ups. You know, fun stuff.

A big thank you to the AAFND for the invite. Check out their Flickr for photos of some of their past events, they look like they know how to have a good time!

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Layer Tennis Champion

After a flurry of Smart Objects, channel masks, bézier paths and twenty 900px by 280px Photoshop files, I’ve been crowned the new Layer Tennis Champion, joining Shaun Inman and Jason Koxvold in the winner’s circle.

It’s been a fun season. I tip my hat to all of the designers, animators, illustrators, writers and photographers that participated. (I don’t think most people can comprehend the unbelievable amount of stress those 15 minute volleys can put on you.) And once again, a shameless plug to Jessica Hische, Armin Vit, Mark Weaver and Noper.

Thanks to everyone who voted on the Twitters with #LYT. Your 140 character-limit of love warrants you a drink. On me. But before we head to the bar, be sure to catch me actin’ a fool in my post-Championship match interview.

As Coudal sweeps the courts, I’ll be in training camp for next season. See you then!

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Layer Tennis: The Final

Layer Tennis Finals: Mig Reyes vs. Noper

This is it. After playing (and just barely squeezing past) my pals Jessica Hische, Armin Vit and Mark Weaver, I’m in the Layer Tennis Finals Championship match. It’ll be Bucharest vs. Chicago, as I take on the talented Romanian illustrator, Noper.

And so we meet again, Mr. Zeldman. You may recall Jeffrey Zeldman serving as the commentator for the around the world exhibition match I played in earlier this season. He’s back in the booth for the final match of season three.

I’ll be doing this for the Cubs, who will most likely never win a World Series. I’ll be doing this for the Bears, as they’ve been dying to repeat the Super Bowl Shuffle. I’ll be doing this for the Bulls, where three-peat championships were once commonplace. I’ll be doing this… for America.

Tune in this Friday over at the Layer Tennis HQ.

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Layer Tennis: The Final Four

How exciting, the final four designers are now announced for the Layer Tennis Semifinals. So this Friday before you head to Merge, tune your browsers to the Layer Tennis HQ to catch the two matches. I’ll be squaring up against Mark Weaver, with commentary by Jason Kottke. I’m a huge fan of both Mark and Jason, as well as their work. I’m thinking we’ll be putting on quite the show. Maybe. Hopefully.

Soon after our match, returning veteran Greg Hubacek steps up against this year’s Qualifying Match contender, Noper, with commentary by John Gruber.

Can someone tell me how the hell I made it this far?

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Merge presents Reply All

In my second term as serving as a mentor for AIGA Chicago, my group had a common goal throughout the program: get better connected with the Chicago design community. And as much as we love lectures and other organization-thrown events, we believe that so many great and inspiring events are often put on by the public, and passionate individuals. With that said, we’re excited to put on the next Merge party, called Reply All.

Come on by for flowing beers, hilarious guest speakers, live art, auctions and plenty of good beats.

December 10, 2010 at Evil Olive
Head to the Merge site to RSVP.

(And before you head over to the party, watch Mark Weaver and I go at it head-to-head in a semifinal match of Layer Tennis!)

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Layer Tennis Playoffs: Armin Vit

I wanted to thank everyone who voted me into the Layer Tennis Playoffs. Just when I thought I was all done with the back-and-forth Illustratin’ and Photoshoppin’ after playing Jessica, it looks like I’ll be coming back again this Friday to square up against Armin Vit for this season’s quarterfinals. If you’re not familiar, Armin is one half of UnderConsideration, where they publish Brand New, FPO and the recently updated Quipsologies.

Armin happens to be a great guy, and one I consider a friend. In college, he gave me the opportunity to write for the late, great Speak Up, and later he and his wife Bryony published my portfolio in Flaunt. Over the summer, he even pepped talked me through my first HOW Conference Presentation. Thanks to Mr. Vit, I’m looking forward to more ruthless cruelty on the #LYT courts.

See you all on Friday.

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Layer Tennis with Jessica Hische

This Friday, I’ll be taking the main stage over at the Layer Tennis courts in a head-to-head, Chicago vs. Brooklyn, boy vs. girl, design vs. illustration match against my (incredibly talented) friend, Jessica Hische. At the combined age of 50, we’ll be busting out our image-making chops in front of all that is the interweb, and you should watch. And better yet, Joshua Allen will be on duty as our live commentator!

I’m familiar with the 15 minute intensity of Layer Tennis, too. I took part in the first-ever Qualifying Match against Chicago native, Fuzzy Gerdes. (And now my embarrassing work is made permanent.) And before this season started, I joined in on the Global Exhibition match with commentary by Jeffrey Zeldman.

Anyway, you’ve been warned.

UPDATE! The match was intense, and I (somehow) ended up the victor. Check out the post-game interview at the Layer Tennis HQ.

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Designing for Friends at SVA

New York! I’m coming to hang out this week. On Wednesday, I have the honor and pleasure of doing a lecture at The School of VISUAL ARTS, specifically for the MFA in Interaction Design Fall lecture series. SVA has already done a great job in gathering some of the industry’s finest in sharing their knowledge, all of which you can see for free on Vimeo. If you’re there, you can expect some behind the scenes looks at how we do what we do at Threadless. Many thanks to Liz for making this happen. See you soon, NY!

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A sandbox of fun and fuck-ups

Whenever I browse other designer’s portfolios, I often find myself being more fascinated with their process – that is, if I’m lucky enough to come across it. So, in an effort to do more, make more, write more and all-around ship more, I started a little side project that I call my sandbox. In it, I plan on sharing my visual tests, my work habits and even my screw-ups. It’s been mighty fun so far.

Oh, and I added a new project to the portfolio. Check out the skateboard, and play in the sandbox.

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Guest Editing at Coudal Partners

Guest editing at Coudal Partners
During the month of September, I’ll be guest editing the Fresh Signals over at Coudal Partners. Some really great folks have edited already, so I’m looking to keep the good links rolling.

Here’s the deal: I want what you’ve got. I’ll have plenty of good things to share, but I want to share you’ve come across, too. Dish me some URLs, and keep a lookout for ‘em on Coudal. (This may be the only time I’ll ever ask you to inundate my inbox.)

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Speaking at Zappos

Powered by service!

By and large, one of my favorite online retailers is Zappos. They truly understand great customer service. Their Delivering Happiness Book is really insightful; it shares a lot about their company history and culture. The kind folks Zappos invited me to come out to Las Vegas next month to visit the company and do a talk about passion and making stuff. I’m humbled and just as excited to learn about more about them, and of course share my discoveries along the way.

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Designing a Skateboard for Charity

A skateboard art fundraiser.

Bordo Bello is a charity fundraiser hosted by the AIGA Colorado chapter where designers are invited to design a skateboard to support the Denver youth arts community. Having used to skateboard for several years, I was excited to be invited to design a deck – for a good cause, no less! As added icing on the cake, I later found out I’d be joined by some of my favorite people, including: Will Bryant, Jessica Hische, Jennifer Daniel and Sean Adams.

Special thanks to Joe Marsh from AIGA Colorado who reached out and invited me to participate. He’s done a great job with the event. It’s quite the honor to do some good along with people who make good things.

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Speaking at PSFK

PSFK is a New York City based trends research and innovation company that publishes a daily news site. Beyond that, they also host a series of inspirational events. I have the honor and pleasure of speaking with my Threadless cohorts Brock and Colleen at PSFK’s next event. Although I think the event is sold out, you should try to squeeze your way in, anyway—fun times to be had on a Tuesday morning!

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New Website, New Work

New website!

It happens once a year: that time where I end up unsatisfied with my current website and end up redesigning it. So, I’m (exhausted and) excited to finally have a new site up, along with some of the latest work I’ve done since working at Threadless. Visually, it’s not radically different, but it has been quite the adventure learning in WordPress (my first actual CMS), CSS3 and jQuery for this version. I finally have a place for my thoughts in article form, too. I wrote about comparisons with my design iterations over the years. Thanks to everyone’s for the support!

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Featured in HOW’s Summer Issue

After hours, Kyle Stewart and I like to spend our time designing posters and flyers for music venues around Chicago. We were honored to be spotlighted in the summer 2010 issue of HOW Magazine. They picked our brains on our process and the relationship that our day work has with our sideline work. Thanks again, Bryn and the HOW crew!

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You should follow Mig on Twitter here.

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