The AIGA Raleigh Studio Tour was EPIC!

studio tour will be epic

Andretti predicted it and he was right, this year’s Raleigh edition of the Studio Tour was EPIC! With 18 studios participating and over 400 people registered, the event was a huge success, and a lot of fun.  There was a lot of pre-event excitement and some teaser tweets posted on twitter leading up to the event. (Search #studiotour12 on twitter to see all the chatter.)

It was impossible to visit all 18 studios during the three hour event, Ellen Lynch, Maura McDonald, and I were only able to make it to 4 studios. We started out at Capstrat and discovered what Jason Horner was talking about. Something went amuck in the Capstrat Lab and all the food and drinks were shrunk. Mini cheese burgers, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, mini french fries, mini backed potatoes, mini cakes and mini donuts. MMM!

They also had a magic pill that turned sour into sweet. I opted out of that treat, but only because it effected how you taste for 45 minutes and we were headed off to Signal, where I wanted to try the Pantone Vodka.

Signal was hopping with a DJ and they aforementioned Pantone Vodka. I tried the orange, in honor of this year’s Pantone color of the year, Tangerine Tango. And speaking of the Tango, we participated in a dance off. Didn’t do the Tango, but I did when an iTunes gift card.

Next it was on to Mellonaid, where we were greeted by Willdey Wantcha as we entered their Chocolate Factory. Oh and what delicious treats awaited us inside. A chocolate fountain with marshmallows, pretzels, and fruit to dip. Oompa Loompa cupcakes in chocolate and vanilla, sugar cookies, and candy galore. After indulging our sweet tooths, we were transformed into Oompa Loompas. Mihali Stavlas painted cutouts, and manned the photobooth. (Photos to be posted on their facebook page.

Next we went on to Creative Associates where there was more chocolate to partake of, as well as a Tea Bar. I forget what type of Tea I had, but it was loose leaf tea brewed to order. A perfect “nightcap” to end the tour. IN addition to the tea, I really enjoyed drooling over the vintage cameras and typewrtiers adorning the walls. A special thanks to Creative Associates for staying open late, as we arrived at 9:00 and they were kind enough to welcome us in.

I had a great time on this years tour, and it looks like I wasn’t the only one. Steven Byrd put together a twitter timeline of the event on Storify. And April Rummage wrote a great, detailed recap of the event on her blog. Be sure to read it, to see what you may have missed. If you missed this years tour, don’t worry, the Durham edition will be held in the fall. The one that started it all, will be back, and it’s sure to be bigger and better than ever.

I’m going to have to agree with Andretti Brown and Seth Patrick, it was an epic night. Thanks to all the studios that opened their doors and to Jason Horner and his team how organized the event.



By Amy Lyons
Published April 3, 2012