On Tuesday September 21, 20+ graphic designers, photographers, illustrators and letterpress men, met at Sully’s Pub in downtown Rochester for the first UPSTNY AIGA “CMYK – Come Meet Your Kind”. Before I go into detail about how great the event was, let me fill you in on what exactly a CMYK is. CMYK is not only the 4 primary inks that are used to print any and all colors, but stands for “Come Meet Your Kind”; a brand new social event for local creatives and friends of the industry to meet.

As part of a community of creatives that tend to be overworked perfectionists, it is sometimes hard to get out, socialize and blow off some steam about the business AND have others understand. AIGA works to provide that outlet for our members and future members and further give them an opportunity to build important relationships.

CMYK is the brainchild of Alan Altman, who teamed up with fellow devoted AIGA member, Ginger Black. With a clever name by Ginger, and logo and promotional materials by Alan, they worked together to implement an event that would bring out designers of all kinds and could be easily duplicated in all regions of the UPSTNY AIGA chapter. After only event #1, we believe we got something good going on here!

For the first event, the CMYK team worked out a partnership with Sully’s Pub at the end of South Ave. What used to be a stinky, meat market-type bar is now a quaint woodfire pizza restaurant and pub with a private outside patio in the back. They gave us AIGA drink specials and half price pizzas… which tasted amazing! (as did the HUGE woodfire hot wings).

The overall ambience of the event was relaxing and approachable. On the last day of summer, we had the best weather and were able to have the entire event on the back patio under umbrellaed tables lit by twinkling Christmas lights away from the hustle and bustle of the city happening outside the privacy of the wood fence.

The event was and will forever be a free event and will always have some sort of social theme to help us designers come out of our shells. The theme for the first event took the Facebook idea to an actual level. Every attendee was encouraged to “Friend” as many people as they could with a system of CMYK nametags and stickers. The connections and conversations that were initiated by this idea will only grow as the event continues on month after month. Designer to designer, designer to employer, designer to vendor… etc.

As the eager volunteer who worked the sign-in table, I got the pleasure of meeting each and every one of these attendees and was thrilled at the diversity and enthusiasm that electrified the event. I don’t think there was a single person there who didn’t meet every other person there.

As additional incentive to meet others, games were played for Dock 2 Letterpress T-shirts & sketchbooks as well as AIGA designer swag. As with any AIGA event, there was the opportunity to sign up for membership, buy merchandise and have face time with board members to ask the important questions you may have before you make the professional-level membership plunge.

The lucky winners of the “Treat Me Like Any Other Creative Genius” T-shirts were Jessica, Dan and Laura. They were the social butterflies that won the themed social game for the evening. And one lucky raffle ticket buyer won a set of 3 letterpress pocket sketch books. Congratulations to all winners!!

The night started at 6pm and was intended to go until 8pm. At 9pm when I left my post, there were still a handful of designers much too engaged to leave.

After seeing the success of the first event, I can hardly wait to attend the next. And if you are a part of the UPSTNY chapter outside of Rochester, look for a CMYK event near you soon! Rochester’s next event will be on October 19th. Check the chapter website for all details at and make sure you introduce yourself to me at CMYK! I look forward to meeting you.

Amanda Altman – AIGA professional member since 2003