Working Late with Adobe Typekit

At Makeshift Society, a subject close to our hearts is typography. We’ve dreamed of making a building-sized type specimen on our facade. We’ve fawned over Genath’s jaunty lowercase y when choosing it as the new Makeshift typeface. Oh yeah, it’s like that. We’re nerds for type.

Which means that the opportunity to team up with Adobe Typekit to throw a typography-themed event in Brooklyn was easy to say “yes” to. So easy, in fact, that we said yes four times and turned it into a whole event series celebrating typography and the people who love it. We’re calling it Working Late.


Image courtesy of Frank Chimero

One of my favorite things is to watch the “ah-ha” moment happen when people are deep in conversation and someone learns a new thing. You can almost see it on their face. That’s a big part of why we created Makeshift — it’s designed to be a place where casual conversations and formally organized events both lead to new discoveries.

Each of the Working Late events are a chance to meet others who are into the same lettery goodness, learn some new things, celebrate design, and enjoy great food and drink from around Brooklyn. Space is limited at each of these:

September 16: Talking type

We’ll kick off with a panel discussion with Frank Chimero and Jen Mussari, discussing how they use type in both physical and digital mediums, and how they work type into the larger context of their design processes. The discussion will be moderated by Tim Brown. Come hungry: we’ll have chicken and grilled veggie skewers from @YakitoriNYC.

October 2: Crit night

Missing that unvarnished criticism that flows so freely in design school, or around a table of peers? We’ll give three individuals the chance to publicly present one of their projects and receive immediate feedback from Ellen LuptonJason Santa Maria, and James Victore. Three people will be selected for the review, but we’ve got room for plenty more to come and listen in. Even if you’re not ready to share, come anyway to enjoy some wine, nosh on a charcuterie spread from Saucy by Nature, learn something from your brave peers, and meet other people who love type.

(It’s not too early to submit your project for consideration! Sign up here if you’re ready. We’ll notify the selected participants on September 25.)

October 14: Coworking night

Join us for a fun night of coworking; we’ll be serving drinks, the good folks of Lonestar will be dishing out tacos, and it will be a great chance to talk with others about your works in progress. Team members from Typekit, Behance, and the Creative Cloud teams will be here to answer questions, listen to ideas, and help you get past roadblocks. Bring your work in progress, meet people, ask questions, and share ideas about your creative projects.

November 11: Project breakdown

It’s time to look at the big picture. Kelli Anderson will share her design process from beginning to end, starting with a quick presentation of an ambitious design project and then jumping back to the first client meeting, walking through every step of the design and development. This will give you insight into how a pro designer brings an idea from concept to full realization. Come ready to take notes, and save some room for dessert — we’re cooking up a sweet surprise to close out the series.

Tickets for each event are available for $10 apiece on EventBrite. You can sign up today for any of the single events, or go all in on the four-part series package for $30.

See you there!

Class Preview- Portrait Photography 101 with Sarah Deragon & Jesse Freidin



from Sarah Deragon:

On Sunday, July 27th I have the great honor of teaching a Portrait Photography class with my good friend and super talented photographer, Jesse Freidin.

We thought you should hear directly from us why you should come, so here goes:

Jesse says:
In this class I’ll be providing students with very important, yet easily understandable, technical information. Building a strong understanding of camera basics is the most fool-proof way of improving one’s photography- that means understanding what aperture is and how to use, where the shutter speed and ISO knobs are, and how to seamlessly move through all these settings with ease. Photography is available to everyone, but the way in which you understand it’s complexities will make you a better photographer, with a true style. I love teaching with Sarah at Makeshift because we both get to share our passion for portraiture, and get students excited and confident about creating their own portraits. Also, we laugh a lot and balance each other out quite well- I think it makes for a wonderful learning environment for our students.



Sarah says:

I’m excited to be teaching this class again because I love photography and I am especially fond of taking natural light portraits. Taking portraits of people can be extremely daunting and I am going to be sharing my top tips and tricks to make folks feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. We will address issues like: what do I do with my hands, how to build rapport with your subject, how to position and pose someone without making it look contrived and how to get a genuine smile out of your person. I love teaching this class with Jesse because he’s a technical genius and has a wonderful approach to showing you the complexities of your camera without overwhelming you with technical jargon. I took a class from him years ago and it totally helped to shape me into the photographer I am today. We will spend a lot of time actually shooting too because that’s the best way to learn – through practice!

Something new we’re offering this session is two breakout sessions after we go on a photo adventure in Hayes Valley. Jesse will be talking to folks about all things technical – workflow, software, and camera settings. I will be leading the break out group offering advice and support for photographers.


We encourage all levels of students to attend and please bring any camera you have including (but not limited to): DLSRs, iPhones, Smartphones, Point and Shoot Cameras, and/or Film Cameras.

Checklist of Things to Bring:
Shooting Gear
Laptop (not required)
Editing Software (not required)

We hope to see you in class and please share this class with your networks. We’d love to have a full house for this exciting class!

See you in a few weeks!

Jesse & Sarah

Andrew Linderman, The Storyteller

We’re so excited to find out Andrew Linderman’s storytelling secrets on Tuesday, July 8th when he will be teaching a class at Makeshift Society Brooklyn. Tickets available here. In anticipation of that, we caught up with Andrew to peek inside his story-filled head.


Makeshift: Is there a specific memory you could share of when you realized you had natural storytelling ability?

Andrew: The memory that pops out is the first time I had to tell a story in front of an audience.  It was the third week of Margo Leitman’s storytelling class at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Chelsea.  At that point, my only real performance experience, apart from a Dr. Seuss play in middle school, was a stand up set I had done at a bar that had gone pretty badly.  Badly, as in, I got no laughs until the very end, when I thanked the audience for being both polite and respectful.  That got a few chuckles.

So, standing in front of the class, I was starting to have a melt down when I remembered getting fired from my first job out of college after my boss discovered that I had been applying for other jobs on company time.  I told the story in the hope that everyone would find it hilarious.  One person laughed.

As I was dragging my feet towards the door at the end of class, one of my classmates pulled me aside and said: “That was really good.  It was honest and personal and very relatable.” I didn’t know what to say, so I thanked him and went home.  The message didn’t really register until I had to tell the same story again in front of the class a few weeks later.  I got a bit flustered in the middle of the story, but powered through it.  I still didn’t get a lot of laughs, but I took my time and got a lot of positive feedback at the end.

Makeshift: What are some surefire ways to lose the attention of your audience?

Andrew: There are two big ones.  The first way to lose an audience is when you don’t deliver what you promise.  Put it this way: if you go to a rock concert and the band comes up on stage and announces that they’re going to do a post-Modern version of Hamlet, you’ll be pissed. Even if you like post-Modernism and Hamlet. It’s important to meet people’s expectations before you can exceed them.

The second big way to lose an audience is to talk over them.  An audience is there to listen to you, so take your time with your story.  I’ve seen too many people race through their stories or pitches, only for the audience to end up confused or frustrated. Be patient with yourself and your audience will be patient with you.

Makeshift: How do you think Brooklyn and the people of Brooklyn have helped to shape how you tell a story?

Andrew: Brooklyn is a place that is both self-consciously hip and innovative while remaining un-self-consciously rooted in tradition.  This set of contradictions suits me well.  My mom is from Midwood and I used to visit my grandmother in Brooklyn long before it was “cool”, so I always felt the pull of Brooklyn traditions like folding my pizza and swearing at cabs (not all cabs, just some).  People in Brooklyn tend to be honest, so if they don’t like something they’ll let you know right away.  It’s a good way to develop a healthy respect for your audience, which is something that’s helped me in all facets of life.

As an instructor and entrepreneur, Brooklyn has been very good to me.  I got my start teaching at the Brooklyn Brainery and would not be where I am without their help.  They continue to give me the time and space to experiment, which is really wonderful.  Brooklyn people also value and reward hard work, which is great for someone looking to grow a small business.  The openness of the business climate has helped me sustain my oddball enterprise.  My approach is a bit unconventional, but I’ve found that people here are really receptive to quirky things.  I mean, we invented the Cragel after all.

Overall, Brooklyn is an amazing place to live and work.  Apart from the weather, the high rent, the constant noise, the dirty subways, and the rats.  And the double wide strollers.  But you’ve heard all that before.  To me, it feels like home.

To learn more about Andrew, be sure to snag tickets to his class in July!

Meet n’ Greet: Livia Cetti


Livia is an absolutely incredible paper flower artist located right here in NY. We caught up with her to find out a little more about her world before her Paper Peony Class on June 26th 7-9 PM. We’re so excited to have her teach us Makeshifters some of her secrets.


Makeshift: Where do you feel the most compelled to create?

Livia Cetti: I feel most creative in my garden, or in   the wild surrounded by nature. Or in the city shopping and looking at the street or in windows. And strangely, when I’m under pressure to create. And when it’s raining.

Makeshift: What do you do when you’re not busy magically turning paper into flowers?

Livia Cetti: I like to cook, and garden, and collect/rearrange furniture.

Makeshift: Who are some of your favorite artists, crafters, creative people?

Livia Cetti: Just off the top of my head, Confetti Systems, Francis Bacon, Janine Janet, Cody Hoyt, Madderlake, Henry Darger, Lilith Rocket, and John Derian.   I’m also inspired by vintage textiles, ethnic textiles, vintage ribbon,  natural pigments, Japanese pastries  (really most things Japanese!) millinery flowers, Bauhaus ceramics, shells, miniatures, multiples, Bloom magazine and World of Interiors.

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Find out more about Livia and her technique at her workshop next week! We’ll also have her new book available for purchase, The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers.


From Maker to Making a Brand recap

Last Sunday we were joined by Craighton Berman, who was in town for NYC design week, and graciously agreed to spend the afternoon talking about his design studio and the adventures of moving from maker to manufacturing to building a brand. This was also our first event at Makeshift Society Brooklyn (!) so it was a good chance to test the flow of things.

Craighton recently completed a successful Kickstarter for the Manual Coffee Maker no. 1. Besides being an affable fellow who’s always up to interesting things, we were excited about Craighton’s talk because we wanted to spend some time focusing on how you grow something. In this case, how you grow a business out of a project. The gloss of Kickstarter and a flurry of press can make the production of a new brand, a new product, a new company seem easy or seamless. But as we learned from Craighton, that’s usually far from the truth.

What do you call a random group of chair? We’ll call it a ‘democracy’ of chairs.


Not every speaker comes with their own illustrated, animated version of themselves!

I want to highlight two points from Craighton’s presentation. The first is that making = easy and manufacturing = not. In recent years, as ‘the maker’ has become a cultural phenomenon; there’s a certain glamor associated with it. At the same time, it’s never been cheaper (and often easier) to make a one-off product or prototype.

And yet, as Craighton explained, when you need to take something to scale, there are far fewer options. For the Manual coffeemaker there was literally no one in the US that Berman could find to manufacture the glass with the craft and quality required. Making is easy. Manufacturing is (still) hard.


Craighton shared the very careful planning behind his Kickstarter. Secret tips: lots of excel spreadsheets, tons of effort to line up press in advance. And yet, despite all of his effort on strategy, the development of the coffeemaker is also dotted with moments of pure serendipity. When his first manufacturer decided to triple the production cost, Craighton’s planning was thrown out the window. Shortly afterwards he happened to share this during a talk at a local business school. Someone in the audience happened to have a father who works as a manufacturing agent in China. That led to a new working relationship, a whirlwind trip to Shanghai, and now Manual no. 1 is a product of globalization. Strategy and serendipity are not binary choices.


And then we made coffee and enjoyed the pleasures of a calm Sunday in a quiet corner of Brooklyn.

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