Makeshift Brooklyn: Kickstarter Rewards

It’s an exciting time for us at Makeshift Society. Not only this week we are celebrating our first birthday, we are making one big wish we know will come true. It’s only possible with the work of our talented artists, and of course our Kickstarter backers. If you haven’t already heard yet, Makeshift Society is expanding to the East coast. That’s right – we have plans to open our doors in Williamsburg, Brooklyn starting in 2014. And for our birthday, all we’re asking for is your support on Kickstarter.

With your support, we are certain we can reach our goal. And guess what? We aren’t the only ones enjoying the gift of creativity, support, and excitement on our birthday – you will be scoring some awesome gifts from a group of very talented individuals.

When backing Makeshift Brooklyn on Kickstarter, there are a wide variety of rewards to choose from. This was made possible through the generosity of the designers and artists below. A little bit more about the gifts and givers, below.

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With a $5 donation to MSS Brooklyn, you will receive a series of digital wallpapers for your desktop, phone, and/or tablet. These are photo collages of gorgeous vintage office supplies from around the world. With a variety of colors ranging from yellow, red, orange, blue, black, green and pink you are promised to have the full spectrum of colors on each of your devices!

Present & Correct is a showcase guaranteed to bring back old memories with their vintage products inspired by homework, the post office, and school. P&C is constantly evolving and mixing old ideas with the new to create a perfectly balanced online store full of stationary, paper, and office products.

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We love this reward for our backers offering $10 on Kickstarter! At Makeshift Society, we’re advocates of finding creativity through craft and concepts. And this playfully typographic postcard sends a message — “make with your head, think with your hands” — we love to share.

THE GIVERS: LUPI ASENSIO AND MARTIN LORENZ, TWOPOINTS.NET is a design bureau based in Barcelona. They specialize in coordination, creation, development, and implementation of visual identities. Founded in 2007, from day one their work has exemplified the value of not only great design but great functionality as well.

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By backing Makeshift Brooklyn with a $25 contribution you will receive one of Stewart’s navy and gold handkerchiefs designed with the phrase “making shift happen since two thousand and twelve” surrounded by illustrations of the Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge (and donuts). What better way to show the union of East & West Coast?

Stewart is from Glasgow, Scotland and currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is an Art Director at and also the brains behind Only More Never Less. We like to refer to Stewart as “the nicest man on the Internet”.

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Laptop, phone, scissors, glasses, and bottomless cups of coffee are just a few of the tools and necessities designers and artists might need to make it through a typical workday and this poster shows that and much more with the signature drawing style of Kate Bingaman-Burt. Contribute $50 to the MSS Brooklyn Kickstarter campaign, and this 16×20″ silk-screened poster is yours!

According to Jen Bekman, gallerist and 20×200 CEO & Founder, “Kate’s work, and her approach to its distribution, embodies a wide range of contemporary ethos and practices. She is incredibly versatile as a visual artist, employing drawing, typography, painting, photography, crafts and graphic design in service to a central theme. Using social media as a means for commerce and commentary, she participates cheerfully and critically in consumerism’s new frontier.” We couldn’t have described her better! Take a gander at more of her work over here.

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Hey New Yorkers! Imagine making your way to the new Makeshift Society in Brooklyn carrying all your supplies in this graphic on your organic canvas tote. When backing us with $75, you will be rewarded with this tote bag decorated with a hand-drawn graphic made just for us by Makeshift advisor and boss lady Lisa Congdon.

Artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon is best known for her colorful paintings and collages. Since 2007, she has been illustrating for clients including The Museum of Modern Art, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Chronicle Books, The Land of Nod, Harper Collins Publishing, The Obama Campaign and Simon & Schuster, among others. Lisa is also known for her intricate line drawings and pattern design and has licensed her work for fabric, kitchen linens, wallpaper and bedding. In addition to illustrating full time, Lisa maintains a thriving Etsy shop and writes a popular daily blog of her work, life and inspiration called “Today is Going to be Awesome.” She is the author of Whatever You Are, Be a Good One and Art, Inc., both set to be released by Chronicle Books in 2014. She lives in Oakland, California with her partner, chihuahua and two cats.

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Photo of Sarah & Ryan via Eight Hour Day

This 12×30″ felt silk-screened pennant also joins both Brooklyn and San Francisco with illustrations of each city’s most recognizable landmarks. Whether you are a SF or Brooklyn Makeshift Society member, this pennant will be a perfect reward for you after donating $100 to our Kickstarter campaign.

A little bit about Lab Partners SF from Ryan and Sarah: “In 2007 upon our arrival to beautiful San Francisco, we decided to collaborate on a letterpress print to send out to our friends and families announcing our move out west. We had so much fun with it that soon after we decided to found Lab Partners, a studio where we could experiment together and explore what we love. Our office is now located in sunny Oakland where we’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing clients on a variety of projects. We believe the best work is a combination of imaginative storytelling, a strong sense of craft, and a good dose of color magic.”

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(Photo of Jane via West Elm)

You might recognize some of these titles if you are a photographer, small business owner, hand-letterer, printer, or if you just simply have great literary taste. This 16×20″ archival print is based on an original painting of books in the Makeshift library and is our gift to you when you support us at the $150 level.

Jane Mount is an artist and illustrator, born in Atlanta and formed in Manhattan. In past incarnations she has studied anthropology, co-founded three companies, and won awards for her graphic and interior design skills. Her paintings of bookshelves have caught the eye of media outlets including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, DailyCandy, and InStyle. She lives in northern California with her Swiss husband and two cats.

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Photo of Julia by Meredith Jenks via Design*Sponge

How does that sound for wall décor? Mere words could not describe our appreciation for backers pledging $250, so we thought we’d honor your generosity by having your face on our walls in Brooklyn! Julia will illustrate the portrait for backers at this level, turning the results into a custom wallpaper pattern for our conference room. We will also send you a digital file of your portrait, to print or perhaps use for your headshot or Twitter profile.

Julia Rothman works from her studio in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002. Some of her clients (in no particular order) include Chronicle Books, Target, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Urban Outfitters, The Metropolitan Transit Authority, The Land of Nod, Kashi, Design*Sponge, Food and Wine, New York Magazine, Storey Publishing, and Victoria’s Secret. Besides working, Julia enjoys going on walks with her terrier Rudy, playing Boggle on the iPhone and rating Bloody Marys on a scale of 1-10.

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We’re so thrilled to honor our backers who pledge $500 with a laser engraved Lumio light (with your name/logo!) to illuminate the new Makeshift library. Lumio, the invention of Makeshift member Max Gunawan, is a modern lamp that unfolds from a book. It has a minimalist yet poetic design aesthetic that blends laser cut wood cover with durable water resistant Tyvek “pages” containing high performing LED. Its unique design allows you to transform its shape based on your needs.

Max is an Architect/Industrial Designer based in San Francisco, CA. As a designer, Max is inspired by modern forms, clean lines and simple designs with unexpected functions. He is the founder of Caliber, a local design studio with a mission to design smart objects and spaces to help people live large with less. Lumio is the first product by Caliber that explores the idea of a multi-functional light fixture that can be transformed into many shapes to meet the user’s changing needs.

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We also wanted to offer rewards that reflect our values and mission, so you can participate in office hours with one of our founders or advisors, or sponsor our Maker-in-Residence program to help a community member fulfill a creative project at the Clubhouse.

Ready to score some of these beautifully designed rewards? Back us on Kickstarter!

Support Our Kickstarter Campaign: Make Shift Happen in Brooklyn

A scene from our video.

Without You We’re Nothing

The clubhouse in Hayes Valley turns one today. I am so proud of everyone involved, and getting to see our members truly blossom, personally and professionally, is a daily gift.

There’s an old Sandra Bernhard movie called Without You I’m Nothing and that has been rattling around in my brain for many months as we prepare to expand Makeshift Society to the East Coast. I like to insert We’re into that phrase, though. Using the first-person pronoun feels completely wrong because Makeshift has always been a team effort (giant hugs to Victoria and Suzanne) and is even more so, now that we are a year old and so many people have joined our ranks, visited the clubhouse for a class or event, or simply watched what we do on this blog, our newsletter or through social media.

So let’s embrace the we, and extend it even further. We ask you to support our efforts to bring Makeshift Brooklyn to life. We invite you to take a look at our Kickstarter page, to listen to our story, to read about our plans, to admire the rewards our friends are generously providing, to spread the word about what we’re trying to accomplish for creative freelancers and independent workers, and yes, to back our campaign with your dollars, if you can.

We want more Makeshifters in the world. Why? Because they are delightful people who know how to work hard and play hard, and are willing, active participants in the Society. Their generosity is evident every single day. More locations mean more members who will be your friends, peers and mentors. More members equal more opportunities to make, learn, teach and think – together. Starting with Brooklyn, we’re ready to expand the network and unite creative communities, at least online.

The Past and the Future

The genesis of Makeshift San Francisco was really a love of books. I wanted to create a library of beautiful and inspiring books for designers and artists to share. After countless conversations with friends and strangers, it evolved into so much more that I expected, *and* I got my wish – we have a great selection of books and magazines for people to check out.

With our new location in Brooklyn, we’re going to take it one giant step further. Our campaign will fund a library, not just of books, but of creative tools that people need to bring their projects to fruition. Need to borrow a camera and light kit to shoot your new collection of jewelry? Want to use After Effects to edit a video? Try out a Wacom tablet to see if you like it? Borrow a microphone for recording a podcast? The more you help, the better the library becomes.

And, the more you help, the stronger the community becomes. The funds will also go toward our Maker-in-Residence program, so we can support people who have a project they’re passionate about with a three-month membership, the wisdom of their fellow Makeshifters and the tools they need to make that project happen.

Please spread the word, and thank you for being part of our community.

— Rena, and all of us at Makeshift

Go to our Kickstarter page >>

class preview- InDesign for Creatives

from Elisabeth Woody…

There’s still time to sign up for our InDesign class!

InDesign for Creatives will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 6:30-9:00pm.

By the end of our evening together, you will know how to design your own business card, announcement flyer, brochure, portfolio, lookbook, book of illustrations or photography, magazine… heck, anything with words and images!  InDesign is also great for adding text to images to be used in blog posts, Facebook covers and Twitter backgrounds.

You will be able to have a more active role in creating your own design materials – make adjustments to your business cards and press materials without needing to hire a designer, update your social media images with current announcements, put together a photo book or magazine to share with friends and family or clients.  The possibilities are endless!

During our class, you’ll learn the fundamentals of InDesign.  We’ll start at the beginning – creating a new document and learning just what those little tools can do for you.  Then, we’ll start playing – bringing in photos and graphics and text, and learning how to format and style images and type to suit your design.  We’ll learn about some of the amazing tricks you can do with InDesign to play with typography.  We’ll look at how the right fonts can enhance your images and graphics, better represent your work, tell the story of your business.  You’ll leave class armed with a list of my favorite shortcuts to make InDesign work more efficiently for you, as well as a list of resources to enhance your designs and continue your learning.

No prior InDesign experience is necessary; just bring your Mac computer, loaded with InDesign (trial version is fine).  This class is designed to start with the basics and leave you with a working knowledge of InDesign.

Have a question?  Get in touch with Elisabeth here:

Ready for class?  Sign up here:

Quarter 4 Residency now open!

We are thrilled to establish a residency program to encourage thinkers and makers to succeed at a new creative project.

One person (or more, if we like) will receive free full-time access to the Clubhouse for three months. The Maker-in-Residence can take advantage of both the physical space plus the communal resources at hand. In exchange, they work on a project of their choosing, documenting their progress through our blog. At the end of the residency, they conduct a lecture to the membership about their project.

Please apply here by September 20.

Sponsorship opportunity for the residency program is available. Please contact us for details.

Member Mentions

We are lucky to have such diverse and inspiring individuals comprising our member base. Everyone alway seem to be knee deep in creative and fantastic ventures. We are so proud that we want to feature the best news from our members and the things they are cooking up. If you are a member and have an exciting announcement to share, let us know!

Here are the most recent note-worthy mentions of our members we have spied:


Dinah Sanders is a skilled writer with one book already under her belt, Discardia (we have a few copies on our shelves!) Most recently, she released her newest book The Art of the Shim, focusing on low-alcoholic drinks, “more drinks and less drunk. Brilliant. Check out an interview she did with Booksmith here.

Emily Proud, water-color extraordinaire, was featured on Refinery-29. They showcased her studio in The Mission showing offer her impeccable sense of style, color, and paintbrush skills.

Kent Hudson has worked as a game developer for over a decade, but is about to release his first fully independent game, The Novelist for his company Orthogonal Games. You can check out his most recent interview here or visit the video game’s site for more details.


Photos via Dinah SandersMaria Del Rio & Kent Hudson