STA Design Weekend
Join fellow colleagues for presentations and friendly gatherings at the 23rd annual Design Inspiration Weekend, a retreat and forum on design. You’ll find instant camaraderie, stimulating design, good food, and bowling. In contrast to conferences, this is an intimate event accommodating up to 35 attendees. It’s a great way to meet new people or reconnect, to get invigorated, and to live it up or enjoy downtime.

The Friday keynote address will be given by Ray Nichols and Jill Cypher of Lead Graffiti. All Saturday and Sunday presentations will be given by attendees, because all attendees get the opportunity to speak, and most do! Join us and contribute your view on this year’s theme — 

Dearly Discarded

Some of the best works created didn’t reach an audience or total fruition. Perhaps these works were castoff ideas that fostered changes in creative direction and lead to alternative solutions. Perhaps these unpublished works remain to be some of the most beloved items in your repository. We invite you to share your vision of a work before any compromises were made. What were the merits, the perceived shortcomings, and the lessons learned? In retrospect, what would have been done differently, if anything? Discuss your beautiful misdirections as well as the incites gained to shed light on the design process.

There will be 10- and 20-minute presentation slots (unless otherwise arranged). To give a presentation and be included in the printed program, send the following to Guy Villa Jr or Sharon Oiga ( 
_your headshot/portrait
_the title and brief description of your presentation
_an image from your presentation

The Weekend will take place at Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca, Illinois, located 26 miles from Chicago Loop and 8 miles from Woodfield Mall. It is accessible via public transportation, and a resort shuttle can pick up attendees at the Metra station in Itasca.

Eaglewood Resort and Spa
1401 Nordic Road, Itasca, IL 60143 
Main Phone: 630.773.1400
Room Reservations: 877.285.6150

Special discount rate: $92 per night for STA attendees

Keynote Speakers
Ray Nichols and Jill Cypher, both holding MFA degrees, have been a collaborative, design-related team for 40 years. In 2006, they started Lead Graffiti (, a letterpress studio with the general focus of combining innovative handcrafted work with creative spontaneity. Their work has been recognized with exhibitions at The British Library in London, the Hamilton Wood Type Museum, and AIGA / Philadelphia, among others. Their work has been included in half a dozen books and is in the collections of more than 50 major libraries worldwide.

Tour de Lead Graffiti, having just completed its fifth year, is an annual collaborative project that follows the day-by-day cycling events of the Tour de France, translating race moments into a series of 23 posters produced in 23 days as a feat of endurance letterpress. Lead Graffiti’s wide ranging bookwork includes collaborating with British author Nick Hornby and rock musician Bruce Springsteen, a Leonard Baskin exhibition catalog for the Delaware Art Museum, and an 8th-grade diploma series modeled after the Nobel Prize. 

Lead Graffiti’s technical and creative workshops in letterpress and bookmaking workshops have provided hands-on experience for more than 1,150 participants. Their “Shorternships” and “Afternoon Diversions” invite an ongoing collaborative experience for those with a hands-on interest in letterpress, as well as providing community outreach to students and professionals about the history, processes and creativity of letterpress. For their upcoming STA Workshop, go to

Design Inspiration Weekend Schedule

Friday, Jan 15
5:00 to 6:15 pm Reception + check-in
6:30 pm Keynote address and dinner
9:00 pm Conversations continue at hotel lounge

Saturday, Jan 16
8:00 am Breakfast refreshments
9:00 to 5:00 pm Presentations
12:30 pm Lunch
6:00 pm Dinner and bowling

Sunday, Jan 17
8:00 am Breakfast refreshments
9:00 to 12:00 pm Presentations

Most meals, listed above, are included in the registration fee and will be provided. 
See below for details: 

Friday–Sunday Full Weekend (includes all mentioned meals): $245.00 
Saturday (includes continental breakfast, lunch and dinner): $195.00
Friday Evening (includes dinner): $80.00

Friday–Sunday Full Weekend (includes all mentioned meals): $265.00 
Saturday (includes continental breakfast, lunch and dinner): $215.00 
Friday Evening (includes dinner): $95.00

Student Member 
Saturday (includes continental breakfast and lunch): $50.00

Student Non-Member 
Saturday (includes continental breakfast and lunch): $65.00