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November 21, 8:30am • Morningstar • part of a series on Chance

This month’s host for our event is The Leo Burnett Department of Design. We could not be more excited to have them on board for our event and we can’t wait to see you all there tomorrow!

Composed of smaller design groups that focus on specific clients and opportunities, the Department of Design operates much like a small design studio within Leo Burnett Chicago. They collaborate with internal creative teams and clients to create purposeful design within advertising, as well as to develop brand identity, including logos, packaging, retail displays and environmental graphics. But let’s let them tell us who they are.

We are designers. You may know us as those svelte, meticulously groomed, overly stylized people in black who make logos. But hey, some of us wear grey. While we do design logos and packaging and numerous other elements of brand look and feel, we prefer to say we bring craft, concept and storytelling together, beautifully. Unfortunately, talking about what we do somehow always comes off as pretentious. We’re well aware of it. It’s a problem even Helvetica can’t fix. But trust us when we say we’re really nice people who just want the world to be a more visually appealing place where macro meets micro on a halftone plane of interdimensional duotones intersected by branded objectives distilled into simple solutions for complex…ugh…nevermind. We are designers.

The Leo Burnett Dept. of Design

We hope to see you all there tomorrow morning! Don’t forget to join the waitlist for the event. There is a chance you can still get it in, and we wouldn’t want you to miss that opportunity. 

We hope everyone is looking forward to our event tomorrow. It’s going to be a great one! Each month our events are supported by very generous sponsors, but this month we have two! So we want to say a big thank you to both Braintree and Basecamp for all their continuous support. 

For those of you who don’t know already, Braintree allows you to easily accept payments in your app or website, and they power payments for awesome companies like Uber, AirBnB, and Basecamp. Braintree was born right here in Chicago and now has offices all over the world, including New York, London, and San Francisco. And…they are hiring Product Designers! They are looking for self-directed Product Designers comfortable working in a process-light environment. Their design team cares just as much about how their product works as how it looks, and they ship often and iterate until it’s perfect. If you think you’d be a good fit you should apply! Take a look at more details here and check out their space in the picture below.
Next up, Basecamp! Oh what would be do without Basecamp? This handy project management tool has become a part of our daily lives—and how CreativeMornings Headquarters is able to manage over 70 chapters! Here in Chicago, we use it to organize all of our events. It’s incredibly easy to use, reliable and keeps everything in one place. Basecamp has recently partnered with our team to serve as a continuous sponsor for our event and we couldn’t be more grateful. So here a couple things they have been up to lately!
Their latest story from The Distance (a blog featuring stories about hard-working, long-lasting businesses and the people behind them) is about Band for Today, a school music program for schools that don’t have their own in house. They have also recently rolled out a couple of new Basecamp features that everyone should check out. The first is moving a single to-do list across projects, and the second, is attaching files directly to to-dos. Finally, take a look at their snazzy office space! 

Well we hope to see you all at this month’s event, and if for some reason you were not able to get a spot (those tickets go so fast) please feel free to join the waitlist. See you in the morning!

Our very own, Ben Derico, made the intro video to kick off the CreativeMornings Summit in Brooklyn last weekend! The video was concepted and directed by Ben, and made with the help of Eduardo Vea (aka NosE) and friends. Who’s that adorable voice you ask? It’s Matthew Hoffman’s 6-year-old son, Dylan.

Special Thanks to Mike Skelly, Eric Branholm, Molly Raskin, Juan Camilo Moore, Kevin Oh, Kristin Field, Matthew Hoffman and CreativeMornings HQ.

Follow Ben to see what he’s up to next!

This video was put together this past weekend at the first ever CreativeMornings summit in NYC, where all hosts from every chapter gathered to unite, brainstorm and inspire each other. If I could describe CreativeMornings in one word, it would be ‘magical’.

Up this month is Neal Sales-Griffin, best known around town as co-founder and CEO of the Starter League. Over the past few years Neal’s been making waves at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, and education. October’s installment of CreativeMornings is happening on October 17th, in the midst of Chicago Ideas Week, and we can’t think of a better speaker to join us! Here’s some insider insight into Neal.

What drives your desire to create?
I am passionate about solving problems for people that I care about. It’s my fuel.

How does Chicago influence you or your work?
I’m a south sider born and raised. I love this city. I think the culture here is still malleable. It influences my work because I believe I can contribute to shaping it. I want more people to start bootstrapped businesses in Chicago.

What are you most proud of?
I am proud of the many alumni of The Starter League who have taken the plunge to start their own businesses, regardless of failure or success.

What may people not know about you?
I’m actually not 100% black. My mother is half Filipino and half Honduran.

What does this month’s theme—crossover—mean to you?
“Chemistry is the study of matter. But I prefer to see it as the study of…change.” - Walter White (Breaking Bad)

Hit him up @nealsales to talk code, video games or Breaking Bad.

This month our host and our sponsor are one in the same, and we are delighted to have The Marketing Store supporting our event this month! We also have a second sponsor this month, Braintree! These events would not be possible without our hosts and sponsors, so we would like to take a second to thank them for providing a space AND breakfast and introduce these two great companies to all of you.

The Marketing Store is one of the largest privately-held brand activation agencies in the world. One might ask, what does brand activation mean? Well, from Happy Meal toys to MyCokeRewards, to global promotions like McDonald’s World Cup (McDonald’s GOL!), The Marketing Store specializes in consumer promotions (#1 in sweepstakes and games according to PROMO magazine in 2012), mobile and online activations, rewards programs and major brand sponsorship activations. Their clients include Coca-Cola, Nissan, McDonald’s, Discover, and L’Oreal.  We are so excited to be having our event at the headquarters right here in downtown Chicago. The Marketing Store also has offices across the globe in 12 countries and is part of The HAVI Group.

Braintree is a full-stack payments platform that makes it easy to accept payments in your app or website. Their service replaces the traditional model of sourcing a payment gateway and merchant account from different providers. From one touch payments to mobile SDKs and foreign currency acceptance, they provide everything you need to start accepting payments today. Tons of different companies small and large use Braintree to process and accept payments. Fun fact: Braintree was founded right here in Chicago!

If you would like to learn more about The Marketing Store hop on over to or follow them on Twitter @marketingstore. If you would like to learn more about Braintree take a look here If you were not able to register please feel free to put your name on the Waitlist and keep your fingers crossed… you won’t want to miss this one! We hope to see you on Friday!

We’re super excited to have Erin Huizenga share her insights on the contentious topic of Failure at this month’s Creative Mornings. Through her many endeavors, Erin’s made an impact by educating, empowering, and inspiring the Chicago creative community to pursue their passions and use them to make a difference. Here’s a bit more about Erin in her own words:

What do people know you for?
Being a mover and a shaker (both literally and figuratively!) Making big ideas happen. Bringing people together and inspiring new thought about design, community and purpose.

How is Chicago special for you?
I’ve been in Chicago for 15 years and I’m loving how small our creative community feels to me now, it seems that we’re all connected to each other in little, miraculous ways.

What may people not know about you?
I love, love, love comedians (Brian Reegan and Larry David in particular) and recently signed up for a Second City improv class so I can learn to take life a little less seriously.

What drives your creativity?
Designing for necessary needs and passions, helping people unearth who they are and what they can become.

What are you going to talk to us about this month?
Viewing failure as learning and how we might get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable.

Keep tabs on Erin @erinhuizenga and mark your calendars for Friday, August 22nd!

We want to send a big thank you to this month’s sponsor, Basecamp! CreativeMornings would be a bit lost without them. Our HQ and all of our chapters use their tools to stay organized and connected to plan our events all over the world. Basecamp is a handy project management tool that lets you share files, conversations, tasks, and a calendar with a group of people. It’s incredibly easy to use, reliable and keeps everything in one place. See for yourself!

This month Basecamp will be providing coffee and breakfast at the talk, and starting in October they will be partnering with us regularly by sponsoring our events each month. We are so excited and grateful to have such a great group supporting our event! We hope to see you on Friday morning!

We are all looking so forward to Friday’s event at Grind and we hope you are too … It’s going to be a great one! For those who don’t know, our host, Grind, is a 22nd century platform that helps talent collaborate in a new way: outside the system. The members-only shared workspace and coworking community was founded by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs and free radicals who would rather work in a community than in a company. Each location provides a high-tech, low-stress experience that eliminates the old frustrations of the office, and replaces them with a frictionless environment filled with like-minded individuals pursuing their passions.

We would like to say a big thank you to Grind for hosting our event and providing the space for us to share this experience this month. If you are interested in learning more or possibly joining their space then hop over to their site to request a tour. Access starts as low as $35 per day and they have plenty of Intelligentsia coffee! If you were not able to register please feel welcome to put your name on the Waitlist. We hope to see you there on Friday!