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$ave for the holidays! The Cleveland Play House

Need a fun & local holiday gift for your clients, friends or family? Save big on the upcoming production of A Christmas Story. This record-breaking show returns to the Cleveland Play House stage in all its pink-bunny-suit, glowing-leg-lamp, triple-dog-daring glory. The perfect holiday treat!

Don’t delay – purchase these discounted tickets by Monday October 14 to save big $$!

FRI NOV 29 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $15 (usually $61)

SAT NOV 30 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $15 (usually $61)

THU DEC 5 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $15 (usually $61)

WED DEC 18 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $15 (usually $85)

Thank you for your membership to CDPUG and supporting live theatre. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season filled with fun experiences and savings… like this one!

Pop-up book tales, trials & triumphs with Keith Allen

Keith Allen, pop-up book artist, presenting at the CDPUG meeting.

As a tribute to his departed Grandfather, Keith Allen created a pop-up book… that is, he, his brother and Grandmother created a pop-up book. Keith served as the paper engineer, his brother as the illustrator and Grandma was the storyteller, marketer and calligrapher/artist. The story centers around what a fun and special place Rehoboth Beach is – after all it is where his grandparents lived, his parents met, where he proposed to his wife and where his children have had many an adventure riding the same carousel as he.

Keith, his brother and Grandmother: the team that created A Day in Rehoboth Beach.

This foray into creating pop-up books is a side project for Keith, who is a 15-year veteran designer with American Greetings. He is the author and artist of two pop-up books: A Day in Rehoboth Beach and What a Mess. A third pop-up book is currently in the edits/review stage.

Before creating pop-up books Keith made the transition from a two-dimensional designer to a pop-up artist at American Greetings. An art director there noticed Keith’s three-dimensional characters. He was approached about working on pop-up cards. Keith, perfected his paper engineering skills with hands-on trial-and-error plus gleaning insights from the library book The Elements of Pop-up by David A. Carter and James Diaz.

Pop-up book creation steps – from Keith’s second book What a Mess.

Marketing was easy for his first book, A Day in Rehoboth Beach. Everyone in Rehoboth Beach knew his Grandmother and she appeared on TV and radio to promote the book. Many businesses supported the project through donations that earned them a place in the book acknowledgments.

Businesses are acknowledged for their support in the bookA Day in Rehoboth Beach.

People wished to get their hands on this great pop-up book about Rehoboth Beach right away. But… the publishing is an even longer process, taking a year! These books are hand assembled overseas; there are no pop-up book publishers in the United States. Keith conducted his own pop-up book publishing research on Google and Alibaba, finally settling on a printer/manufacturer in China.

Keith sends a sample white book to the publisher/printer.

Good communication with the publisher/printer was key. Numerous items were sent to the printer: a sample white book, a depiction of how the page will look when printed (accomplished through clever use of Photoshop laying the color illustration over a photograph of the white book page) and artwork complete with die lines and tabs.

Artwork sent to print with die lines and tabs.

The importing and logistics was another story in itself – Keith indicated this could be an entirely separate presentation. He mentioned a brief panic when his shipment was going to be sent to a different port, due to a paperwork misunderstanding, and hinted at other stressful situations. He acknowledges now that having a customs broker and a logistics company involved would have been best.

Keith rented a van and picked up 3000 books in Philadelphia. Three thousand was the minimum order for a pop-up book due to manufacturing time and cost. Excitement and happiness had to abound that day as this long project was completed. But, boxes were opened to reveal numerous problems.

Keith rents a van, picks up the books and discovers big problems.

A third of the books were damaged or improperly printed. The glue should be dry before closing the book. These books were closed too soon after gluing and so the glue did not adhere. Illustrations had gone awry. There was a headless boy riding a cart around Rehoboth Beach!

Printer error created a headless boy riding a cart around Rehoboth Beach!

Two thousand books were able to be salvaged and these sold out quickly. A highly popular book, many more could have been sold shortly after this first publishing. A new order was placed for seven thousand books but with the wait time of a year, as the initial popularity diminished, sales cooled.

Since that time Keith has joined the Movable Book Society, a knowledgeable and helpful group that includes such pop-up book powerhouses as Robert Sabuda, Matthew Reinhart and David Carter.

By the time of a second pop-up book, What a Mess, Keith had two young children. Between working full time at American Greetings and sharing in the care of two kids, he was able to carve out time at 5:00 AM to work on the book. Hence the name 5:00 AM pop-up book project.

Keith Allen Pop-up Book Artist presentation for CDPUG meeting
This second book project was dubbed The 5:00 AM Book Project – coffee is necessary!

With the knowledge gleaned from his first pop-up book, the assistance of the Movable Book Society as well as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators the second pop-up book project went more smoothly. Keith decided to generate interest in the book by blogging. This daily posting kept him accountable and moved the project along. When stuck with problems his readership would chime in. One helpful paper engineering solution came from a follower in the Philippines! This constant posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumbler was becoming too time consuming. Keith realizes now that finding your audiences’ social media platform, and concentrating on that alone, would have been more efficient.

To build an even bigger audience Keith posted video lessons on how to make a pop-up book and posted photos of paper cut-out illustrated characters in various places. All this content marketing lasted for one and a half years!

After finishing What a Mess Keith, contacted numerous publishers only to hear frustrating comments such as: change the book to something about trucks or change an illustration. There was over a year of his life invested in this book. It was finished and ready to publish! Keith noticed major pop-up book artists such as Robert Sabuda were self-publishing; he decided to self publish too. He utilized Kickstarter – offering rewards and special custom illustrations depending on the level of monetary investment.

Kickstarter was used to raise funds for publishing.

Keith researched best practices for Kickstarter. The first day of a Kickstarter campaign is critical and determines one’s success. Plus, a crowd funding effort should not last longer than one month. Knowing this Keith continued to generate interest through videos and posts. He brought his audience with him to have a successful first day on Kickstarter. The Kickstarter goal was $20,000. Keith surpassed that amount.

Keith’s initial Kickstarter day was a rousing success!
A sample white book page from What a Mess.
Same page fully printed from What a Mess.

Keith captivated all of us. Numerous audience members, including myself, purchased A Day in Rehoboth Beach or What a Mess. Thanks Keith for your humor, talent and insights!

Keith showing a favorite page from What a Mess

You can find Keith at He is available for workshops, school visits and book events.

Photos: Laura Dempsey

Save $ – Cleveland Play House

Exclusively for CDPUG Members: Entertain yourself, your family/friends, and maybe a client or two with an offer from the Cleveland Play House. Save big money on the October 17th or 19th performances of Pipeline. This is a compelling, must-see play about the systemic school-to-prison pipeline and the experience of being a parent to a young black man in America.

Don’t delay – this offer is only good until October 10!

THU OCT 17 – 7:30 PM
Discount Price
$45 (usually $63)

SAT OCT 19 – 2:30 PM
Discount Price
$50 (usually $75)

SAT OCT 19 – 7:30 PM
Discount Price
$55 (usually $81)

Thanks for your CDPUG Membership and supporting live theatre!

Don’t forget the offer for the current production of Into The Breeches and save until September 20!

Gerrymandered Font?!

The font is called Ugly Gerry, and is available as a free download.

This font was created to provide a way for voters to protest partisan gerrymandering. Maybe you want to write your Elected Official a letter using this font?

Let us know how you plan to use this awareness-raising font!

Click to read more.

Thank you to Bill Kiraly for suggesting this fun font post.

Is it gigabytes or gigabits?

Illustration courtesy of Steve Toth

We have a hard enough time with abbreviations in everyday copywriting, but when the subject is technical or scientific, out come the style manuals. Abbreviations based on proper names along with their prefixes complicate matters. Do we follow the rules to the letter, like omitting periods, or use editorial discretion and just keep everything consistent? Like our English teachers taught us, there are always exceptions to the rules.
Let’s start at the beginning:

  • Units named after long-dead scientists are abbreviated with an initial uppercase letter. Hence, A is for amps (from Ampere), V for volts (from Volta), and Hz for hertz (from Hertz). An exception to that rule is Ω for ohms to avoid confusion with the letter O or numeral 0. Along those lines, L is for liters, so not to confuse with numeral 1.
  • Prefixes are uppercase for factors greater than one, like M for mega (one million) and G for giga (one billion), and lowercase for factors less than one, like m for milli (one thousandth) and µ for micro (one millionth). An exception is k for kilo (one thousand) because K is used for the Kelvin temperature scale.
  • Then there are abbreviations that have standardized through common usage, like B for bytes and b for bits. So GB is for gigabytes, a measurement of data storage, and Gb is for gigabits, which is used in the expression Gb/s for gigabits per second, a measurement of data speed.

Now that you are thoroughly informed on technical abbreviations, we can make a game of spotting incorrect usage in print and web ads.
Whoever finds the mistake in the largest point size wins!

Posted by: Laura Dempsey

August Meeting Recap – Zygote Press

About 40 CDPUG members showed their enthusiasm for our roots in printing prior to the digital revolution by participating in our latest meeting at Zygote Press in downtown Cleveland. Many of us have been exposed to or worked with these printing methods in the past and have a nostalgic fondness for their unique look and the hands-on methods.

The silk screened poster to the right was created specially for our event.

Co-Executive Directors Kate Snow and Stephanie Kluk were our hosts and provided an overview of this unique artist workshop. Zygote Press is Northeast Ohio’s only non-profit fine art print shop and the largest co-operative print shop in Ohio. They support fine art printing through exhibitions, community programs, and affordable, professional workspace. Gallery Director Yana Mikho-Misho gave us a preview of upcoming events.

Our hosts explained how printing by nature is a very collaborative media because of the need to share presses, letterpress type and other equipment. Zygote is also proud to be one of the only green shops around. After the overview we moved into the shop to learn about 3 specific techniques and some hands-on demonstrations.

We first examined various types of letterpresses and discussed that it is a fine art form used for posters, prints and even things like wedding invitations. Letterpress’s raised type produces an inked impression on paper. These early printing techniques established the foundations of the fonts, typesetting terms and principles we use today. One member noted the absence of the strong odors that you normally find in print shops – a huge bonus to their green practices. 

Kate mentioned that when doing letterpress, you get a new appreciation of the size of something like 12-point type when you are setting it letter by letter! I also don’t think clients ever asked the question “Can I see what it looks like in another font?” Eager members got a chance to ink up some type and create their own print.

Then it was on to learn about photogravure which is a photo-mechanical process where artwork can be digitized, manipulated in Photoshop and used to create a printing plate. Bob Herbst told us about the new photogravure facilities, showed some of the types of plates and discussed how he was using Photoshop to modify vintage woodcuts or photographs for printing.

Bob talks to the group about the new photogravure facilities.

Finally, we talked about silk screening which is very popular because printing can be done on different materials such as t-shirts, textiles, wood, metal, etc. Many members have done silk screening in school. In this process, negatives are made from hand drawn or digital artwork and burned onto a mesh screen using a light sensitive emulsion. The screens are placed over the material being printed and ink is swiped over the surface pushing ink through the artwork areas. Intern Ryan Cermack helped members silk screen a poster created especially for this CDPUG/Zygote event.

Thank you to Kate Snow, Stephanie Kluk and the other Zygote staff for a thoroughly enjoyable and informative evening!

Special thank you’s also go to Spike’s good friend Pat Walker for suggesting Zygote Press for a program, Henry Lee for lending his printing and artistic experience in planning the meeting topic and agenda, and of course Spike for coordinating another great event!

If you’ve gotten the itch to re-visit an old passion or learn a new artistic skill make sure to check out the Zygote Press website for more information on upcoming classes, residency artist talks and exhibits and receptions. You might see other CDPUG members there since there was a lot of interest in the courses.

This months meeting also included a raffle drawing for 2 copies of Affinity Publisher. Lucky members Cheri Polk and Heidi Grosowsky each won copies to try. Let us know what you think of the software ladies!

Letterpress photos by Laura Dempsey. Other photos by Chris Kaminski.

Foreign Affairs
Elke Daemmrich and Jens Küster
Exhibition September 14 – September 20

Saturday September 14, Noon to 3 pm
Exhibition Reception

Saturday September 14, 12:30 pm
Residency Artist Talk: OAC Dresden Exchange (Germany)
Elke Daemmrich & Jens Küster

Book Review: Steal Like an Artist

This interesting little square book caught my eye at the library. On first glance I was a bit put off by the title, but author Austin Kleon presents an interesting and thoughtful examination of “creativity.”

The title by the way, comes from the concept that nothing is original. We learn by mimicking others, “borrowing” from others and making it your own. Kleon also refers to creativity in a general sense – whether it is writing, drawing, painting, cooking, engineering, marketing, etc.

Kleon says it is a book for ANYONE trying to “inject some creativity into their life and their work” and includes 10 things he’s learned on his journey. It’s a quick read and jam packed with insights on creativity. It definitely caused me to step back for a moment and look at my own creative practices and where I find inspiration. 

Austin Kleon is a New York Times best-selling author and writer who also draws. Steal Like an Artist is the first in his trilogy of illustrated books about creativity in the digital age. The other two books are Show Your Work! and Keep Going.

I would recommend Steal Like an Artist to everyone and I hope it boosts your own creativity.

What influences or inspires you?

Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design

  • Date & time: Thurs, Sep 19; 11 am – 1 pm (11 am: Meet the speaker and network; 11:30 am: Buffet lunch; Noon: Presentation)
  • Location: The Tangier, 532 West Market Street, Akron, OH 44303
  • Jacinda Walker is renowned for her work in design, diversity, research, and strategy. She is a former CDPUG board member too!

Presented by AAF-Akron

Hear about strategic solutions to close the diversity gap in design disciplines.

The lack of diversity in design is not a new problem. Although scholars, employers, organizations, and design professionals have been investigating it for more than 50 years, the problem still exists. Representation of people of color in the design profession hasn’t significantly increased in over ten years, while culturally insensitive advertising and messaging are on the rise. What are the problems causing this disparity? Come listen as Jacinda Walker explains the problems causing the lack of diversity in design, shares the need for more resources and outlines strategic solutions to close the diversity gap in design disciplines.

Jacinda Walker is renowned for her work in design, diversity, research, and strategy. She is the founder of designExplorr, a design education business that exposes youth to design careers. Walker obtained an AAB and BFA in graphic design from the University of Akron, and an MFA in Design Research & Development from The Ohio State University. Her research on the Design Diversity Index project and Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines has been hailed as breakthrough work. Jacinda’s solutions-based thesis explores diversity in design disciplines and investigates effective strategies to expose Black and Latino youth to design careers. Her future goals are to help scale diversity in design education initiatives in corporations, school systems, organizations, and museums for underrepresented youth.

TICKETS – Click Here – (RSVP deadline: Sept. 13)

General Admission: $20 (member pricing for everyone)

Students: $15

Ticket sales are final and non-refundable

Contact: 330-990-9426


Official Website

When the Software Gets Ahead of the Hardware

Microsoft releases “feature updates” to Windows 10 every six months. I could do without these. Just make it faster and fix the bugs.

Update and restart.
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels.

If PC manufacturers don’t keep up with Microsoft by updating device drivers (the software tying Windows to hardware components), we’re left with computers that try and fail to install feature updates.

I’m not in the market for a new computer, but I found an article that links to a Microsoft software tool to ignore specific updates. Security updates for Windows can still be installed monthly. If you have administrator access to Windows, this tool could prove useful.

Save $! Cleveland Play House

Exclusively for CDPUG Members: Entertain yourself, your family/friends, and maybe a client or two with a new offer from the Cleveland Play House. Save 30%+ per ticket on the September 27, 28 or 29th performances of Into The Breeches! A play about a group of women who put on an all-female version of Shakespeare’s ambitious Henry IV and Henry V during WWII while the men are at war.

Don’t delay – this offer is only good until September 20!

FRI SEP 27 • 7:30 PM
Discount Price $55 – 32% off – Full Price $81

SAT SEP 28 • 2:30 PM
Discount Price $50 – 33% off – Full Price $75

SAT SEP 28 • 7:30 PM
Discount Price $55 – 32% off – Full Price $81

SUN SEP 29 • 2:30 PM
Discount Price $55 – 32% off – Full Price $81

Stay tuned for other discounts throughout the season. CDPUG Membership just keeps getting better & better!

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