Designers at Create Upstate Take Over Ithaca


Create Upstate will be taking over the bucolic New York State college town of Ithaca for a three-day celebration of design and creativity. This event has a jam-packed schedule with some unique twists on the standard design conference, but we'll get to that. We're rather proud of the die cut sticker that they put out for this year's edition, and it features the beautiful lakeside sunsets and scenery of the Finger Lakes Region. There's a royal purple foreground with a setting sun in the background. The circle shape wraps the entire design in a custom shape that will be portable and noticeable. We're all about awesome designs at StickerGiant, and this conference blends art, discussion and fun, which is why we love this sponsorship.

What's cool about this gathering is that the venues are all downtown right in the Ithaca Commons, with the State Theatre, Cinemapolis and Coltivare representing as venue sponsors. There’s an entire day set aside for attendees to explore the trails and nearby attractions. In addition to inspiring lectures, the organizing team is filling this weekend with plenty of face time, shop talk and fun. Bonus: There will be a street fair on State Street with vendors and maker stations for event goers to check out, along with local adventures to join.

Here's the overall plan for the weekend, just in case you're nearby and still need a sales pitch to visit this awesome get together.

Thursday is Upstate Discussions, four sessions of focused conversations, led by the best design shops in the area. Then it's over to the kick off party hosted by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) chapter in Upstate New York, who is building a community to advance design and designers across Upstate New York and is 100% volunteer-powered.

This is a must-do event that will have trivia, the Student Design Challenge, and the first two rounds of Cropped. What is Cropped? Well, Cropped is an event presented by MyFonts, a company that provides access to 900+ free fonts, and it's just like the annual NCAA basketball tournament, but for art and design

Anyone attending Create Upstate 2017 is eligible for Cropped Tournament, and the field has 16 teams. The first round will challenge all 16 teams to improvise and create artwork on the fly for 20 minutes. Teams will battle head-to-head during the first two rounds that will be held at the Kickoff Party on the evening of Thursday.

Then on Friday is the marquee show hosted by Mitch Goldstein, a design professor at the Rochester Institure of Technology. There are four illustrious speakers: Gemma O’Brien, an Australian artist who is a lettering, illustration and typography wizard; Cap Watkins is a product designer living and working in Brooklyn who is currently the VP of Design at BuzzFeed; Catt Small is a product designer, game maker, and front-end web developer. She makes awesome things at Etsy; Tad Carpenter is a designer, illustrator, author and educator based in Kansas City, Missouri. Carpenter co-runs the design and branding studio, Carpenter Collective with his wife, Jessica.

After all of the speakers, it's off the after party at Coltivare, Ithaca's culinary center, for the final two rounds of Cropped where they'll announce the winning team.

Saturday is adventure day, with a hike at Buttermilk Falls, a brunch on State Street, and finally a tour at Ithaca Brewery,

You can connect with the team on their blog on, at their Twitter feed @CreateUpstate, on their Facebook page Create Upstate and on their Instagram account at create (underscore) upstate.

Big thanks to kenwoodworth, thesarahburns, and dblizzy for putting this all together.