The Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance (formerly Lansing Ad Club) put on a nice event called the Studio Crawl I attended earlier today. It was a chance to tour professional creative studios specializing in graphic design, video production, and photography. It ran from 3:00pm – 6:00pm which was no where near enough time to explore all these great spaces and talk with some wonderfully creative talent.

Signed-up…got started…made a u-turn
Vision Creative was the closes to our offices so we stopped in there first to pay our entry dues and get our maps. I felt $5 was more than reasonable for this event. Of course I realized I only had a single dollar bill in my pocket at that point…luckily I still had a blank check in there (in case I had the spur of the moment feeling of paying a utility bill.)

Vision has a very nice space. Lots of brick work exposed on the walls. Vision has a sort of modernized industrialized feel to it that suits it well. There’s exposed duct work and smooth curved color walls to contrast against the rugged brick and metallic pillars. I Loved the open floor plan. They also had a neat lower-level space with multicolored walls where they showcased some of their portfolio pieces even the Artemis folder they did a while back. We enjoyed chatting with Cameron and some of his co-workers but it was time to get moving on. Too little time and too many places to see. When we left we made a u-turn on Grand River to avoid construction…illegal? Probably, but a good shortcut suggestion from Cameron.

here’s some photos from Vision Creative
vision creativevision creative

You’ll feel right at home at Tria Design
Next we headed into Old Town Lansing and stopped at Tria Design. It’s a large victorian older home that’s been converted into a nice cozzy office space that sits across the street from Elderly Instruments. Warm colored walls with energetic vintage paintings are everywhere and there’s even a full kitchen up stairs amongst the other office rooms for those late night design jam sessions. The studio is run by an all women business team and they’ve made it into a very inviting warm environment and are putting together some nice print work. There’s also a very sweet lab that greats you at the door.

here’s a blurry photo from Tria Design..I best never become a photographer
Tria Design

Ciesa Design…If I could design my perfect office space you would be it.
Ciesa is pretty much the ideal creative environment. An inviting colorful entry way and stylish front desk with hardwood floors. Some of their best poster work from their various sponsored BWL events adoring the wall under some unique shaped lighting. The conference room had a impressive LCD with a mac-mini hooked up for client presentations running a Keynote of their space rennovation. There was free popcorn as you strolled their stunning wood deck overlooking the river. A great place to relax and gather some creative inspiration. Downstairs a secondary meeting room with a full kitchen and additional offices as well as room to grow for their expanding staff. Attractive warm colors stretching into each room and tall high beam ceiling with exposed duct works adds to the creative atmosphere. Creative eclectic furniture including original pieces from the restoration of the building break up the spaces and shelves of great resource material and design magazines are around in various offices. The photos I took don’t do this place justice. This is how you make an office space.

photos from Ciesa Design
Ciesa DesignCiesa Design
ciesa designciesa design

Such Video…such a cool space
Upon entering Such Video your immediately struck by the giant vintage art decco mural on the brick wall facing you. At first I figured they painted themselves but turns out it was actually there when they exposed the wall. They mentioned the upstairs studio has an original Coca-Cola mural on it. Amazing, and what a great unexpected touch to give their space a unique feel for clients and employees. Such Video does some great high-end video production for commercial/business uses.

Their studio setups are maxed out with the latest editing software and equipment spotlighted in some mood lighting and there’s even an area in the back where they do green screen effects (perhaps where I can film my battle with a hell demon beast for my own b-movie?) We were shown a few samples of their latest work and I was very impressed by their vision and creative edge. Hollywood quality in our small town.

Most interesting was their website which was a 3d object fly through that represented a bookshelf of interactive elements. It took nearly a year for them to get the site together and the attention to detail and quality of it’s presentation show through. It goes to show you need to take your time and build your brand. Do your best on your own work to show others what you can do for them. It’s worth the time investment.

photos from Such Video

Such Videosuch video

such videosuch video

Pace and Partners Hip High-end Agency.

Pace was our last stop right before the 6:00pm cut off time even though I wish we could have toured many more places. Pace has an expansive professional creative space that overlooks the Grand River. Their strong theme of red and metallic textures are evident throughout the studio and make for a nice high scale environment as a leading ad agency. Meshed metallic and the popular exposed duct work carry you through the space leading to a large open deck over the river from their larger picture bay windows for that space to get away to for inspiration from nature. There’s also a neat alcove in the office that contains a wide selection of design materials and soft cushy furniture that I would never leave. I talked with Jack Hedler there who is a skilled copywriter and all around great guy. I’m going to be sending him some of b-movie reviews for pointers on my writing style and skill. He knows of a few other people I should talk with as well. Awesome.

pictures from Pace and Partners
pace and partners
pace and partners
pace and partners
pace and partners

The End of the Day
So it was such a great experience and has gotten my creative fires burning again. I made some good business connections as many of them we’re interested in what Artemis could offer as well and in seeing my work. In talking with the other creatives I found some good resources to help me with my own creative endeavors and to network with. It just goes to show there are some great hidden secrets in Lansing with a booming creative culture that is enriching the community. I hope I can become a big part of that.