Pin Pals


Even though we work in a creative design environment, we still like to get our art on. Every year our UX group hosts an art event that inspires more of our fine art side. It’s a welcomed technical reprieve and fun way to bring our various teams together. I sat down with our Creative Director, Mark Pelletier, and asked a few questions about the next art event, PIN PALS.


So why buttons?

Button design doesn’t require you to be a graphic designer or invest a lot of time in the creation of the art — the only thing required is your unique creativity. Many of us have fabric backing on our cubes so a small gallery of pins can travel with you vs. a piece of artwork that may hang on a wall in another part of the office.


Buttons or Pins?

The correct name of the category is button; the word “pin” refers to the closure on the backside of the button. Some buttons have mirrors, magnets and clips on the backside – so when we say pins, it refers to the type of button that can be pinned to a backpack, apparel or a lanyard. Also, lets be honest, Pin Pals has a nice ring to it – Button Pals does not.


Can anyone participate? Even if you don’t have Photoshop?

Anyone in IMX is welcome to participate, in fact the more people that participate, the more buttons you’ll have in your collection. We hope to have a swap meet where participants can collect each other’s buttons. Everyone will receive a lanyard to pin his or her buttons too for the event. As long as you have the ability to make a JPG file out of your artwork it in the end, you can create artwork using any medium. Collaging images, painting on canvas, drawing on paper, object arrangements and computer illustration or composition.



How can I get these printed?

You must produce a minimum of 10 small round buttons with the dimensions of 1 inch or 1.25 inches at your expense through an online service. Here are two that we recommend. and

(Busy Beaver is a Chicago Company that I believe offers free shipping) Allow 2 weeks to receive your buttons after you place your order – so think ahead! Both sites allow you to upload your art and see it on a mock up of a button before you place your order. Please do not produce buttons larger than 1.25 inches.


Make your pins here!

We just received a PRO SERIES PIN PRESS so if you’re in our downtown offices, swing by, it’s sitting next to Michelle B’s desk. It turns out high quality buttons, we also have enough materials to crank out 250-300 pins.


Is there a grand prize?

This is not a contest. It’s an event that lets you mingle and trade pins with co-workers you might not ordinarily associate with on a normal workday.


Will there be ice cream at the pin swap?

This seems like a trick question that was asked by the interviewer specifically for the purpose of personal ice cream eating gain. However, we might be able to supply ice cream or snacks if our executive sponsor is up for it.   : )


Check back for pics of the event and all the amazing art pin collections.


starts MAY 14th
deadline JULY 13th

brought to you by imx

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