ID in Chicago

I’ve been searching through the design directory but can seem to find anything super exciting for design firms in Chicago. I am moving to Chicago in the fall.

Im looking for some guidance, tips, and pointers for finding an exciting environment or industry based in Chicago to possibly to look into. Any help appreciated, also need the best place to find deep dish. Went to Uno’s a few summers ago and thought it was just so so.


Chicago’s a great place to do design!

There are a wide range of ID firms here from ‘boutique’ studios to IDEO, and more than enough clients to go around which makes for a collaborative (not competitive) atmosphere among the designers. You’ll see this by the number of well-attended IDSA events.

While there are only three ID schools in Chicago (UIC, IIT, Columbia) There are a lot of grads from surrounding schools that come here; Cincinnati, CCS, UIUC, SIU, etc.

When you’re looking for ‘exciting’ it depends what you mean. The coolest companies in Chicago are the ones you won’t find ID mag or featured in Business Week; they don’t do as much spin as West coast firms. The clients are typically different here too, less of the ‘glam’ superficial Silicon Valley type work. If you look a little closer you’ll find some very cool firms here.

Not so much medical like Minneapolis but Chicago design firms are better known for power tools and housewares. Start you research into design firms with

I estimate only 20 percent of the designers who come to design engine for Alias Maya or Pro/E training or help getting back into design are from chicago. The rest are from west cost and southern states. Half of our inquires are from India for some reason.

I was surprised to find a great deal of firms in Chicago, but I have been here for several months and still have not landed something full time. It’s hard to tell how much of it is the economy, my experience (or lack of as a recent graduate), my presentation, or my work, but be very well prepared!

Did you recently graduate from Western Washington? If you’re still close to the school, and have access to the facilities, make sure you have the best photographs of your work and take time to polish up your projects if you need to. I misplaced some important photographs that were bound for my portfolio and I’m not in a position to replace them and that’s haunting me right now.

I am not a fan of deep dish pizza, so I don’t have any recommendations there!

There are a lot of firms here compared to other places except for maybe CA or NYC. You have to have your technical skills tight though, being able to draw really well, model, etc is taken as a standard. I don’t see a whole lot of opportunities for entry level, most places will have some high profile clients and need you to be able to jump on board and be fully functional from the get go. So if you’re skills aren’t up there yet, hone them in. Also look into the packaging design firms here also, there are some really good and talented ones that you’ll use the same typical ID process.

Beyond Design has always hiered junior designers. I think they are near Insight Product Development now in the ravenswood area.

Yes they are near Insight in a new studio. It looks beautiful from the pics on their site.

I was over there a few weeks ago. It’s a really nice space.