Giving Back to the Community

Did you know every quarter a. favorite design donates is to our community not-for-profits? Even though our profits are smaller than big business, we believe every little bit matters. Just like we believe a little card can change someone's day and maybe even a life. Here are a few of the organizations we've donated or sponsored in the past twelve months. We've included links to each organization in case you'd like to invest in Chicago, too.


world relief chicago 

Chicago World Relief - This nonprofit helps refugees from over 40 countries rebuild their lives in the Chicagoland area. Since 1980, the organization has assisted in over 15,000 resettlements, providing case management, employment services, English education, and youth services. (


Felines and Canines - Located in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, Felines and Canines is a cage-less, no-kill shelter providing safe housing for abandoned, abused, injured, and neglected cats and dogs until they are adopted by a loving family.  ( We adopted Scooby-Doo here. He's amazing and so are they!

Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC) - CAWC is a nonprofit dedicated to helping abused women and their children regain control of their lives through education, empowerment, and support services. They provide shelter, as well as counseling and a 24-hour hotline, for those affected by domestic violence. (


Territory - Located in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, Territory helps young people build relationships and voices in their communities through the practice of urban design and public art. As apprentices, young people develop knowledge, leadership, and tools to transform their locales. (

Chicago Artisan Market

chicago artisan market, a. favorite design

Visit us at the inaugural Chicago Artisan Market!

Come support 100+ local artisans (including us!) on July 22 at the Morgan Manufacturing event space. This event will feature Chicago made food, fashion, home goods, and art.

Chicago Artisan Market
July 22nd, 2018
Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan Street, Chicago

General admission, goodie bag, and group tickets are now available.

Hope to see you there!

Chicago Print Crawl

Come see our space! See what we do! Shop our letterpress goods!

The Chicago Print Crawl is Sunday, June 24 from 12-6! Hosted by Spudnik Press, it's a self-guided tour around Chicago, featuring 20 different venues, all of which are showcasing the processes of local printmakers... Including us! At our studio, you'll get to see what it takes to design and produce a letterpress card.

Chicago Print Crawl
June 24th, 2018

Visit our studio at 4222 N. Ravenswood, #202 in Chicago!

Come say hi, and be sure to support other local artists and printers, as well! Download a map here to create your own print crawl.

Meet Raychel!

It's that time again! Today I'm introducing another addition to a. favorite design. 

Raychel's been part of the team for about a month now. She's been a huge help, especially since I'm bogged down with tax prep at the moment. She came in, rolled up her sleeves and has handled every challenge I've given her with ease and a smile. While she's already a letterpress printer I have little tricks, quirky paper guides and odd techniques that she embraced immediately. Every printing press is a little different and takes some time adjusting to but she's handled Willie (my press) like a pro. I'm impressed and appreciative. Not only is she a hard worker and talented letterpress artist, she also has a great sense of humor and loves to share stories. I happen to love stories! If I had to choose one word to describe Raychel it would be adaptable. The girl has a "bring it on" attitude I admire. In the short time Raychel has been here she's taught me say yes and roll with it. When she first inquired about helping out I didn't think I needed more help. CoCo had just started and Darcie was lending a hand too. My gut was telling me to at least have a conversation with her, after all she's worked with a letterpress hero of mine. Once I spoke with Raychel I realized I need to say YES to letterpress printing help, I mean how often does an experienced and talented printer come knocking? I'll tell my 13 years of printing not once. I'd be fool to pass her by. I had to roll with it and trust that I could handle managing another person as well as financially make it work. I'm happy to report it is working and I'm appreciative to have such talent by my side, be sure to check out Raychel's work, it's great and so is she.

Without further ado, meet Raychel...

Raychel and Dee

name? Raychel Steinbach Lauen

how’d you hear about a. favorite design? On a studio tour organized for the APA ChicaGoose conference in 2015.

what attracted you to afd? I love the vintage ephemera influence & the good natured humor!

when did you start helping out? January 23rd, 2018

what do you do at afd? I get to hang out with Willie the beautiful C&P! I print, die cut, & score.

what do you do when your not at afd? I’m printing & setting type elsewhere! I also go hiking, hang out with my son, & am always walking over to Beans & Bagels (aka Spoken Cafe) for a latte.

do you have hobbies? Letterpress printing, sewing, hiking, & community gardening.

have you picked up any new skills since being at afd? Die cutting! Everything should be a fun shape!

what’s your favorite part about afd? Such a great group of humans & a great vibe in the studio! I love hearing design ideas as they percolate & cannot wait to see the final design come through the works!

what’s your least favorite part? I haven't met Scooby yet :(

do you have any pets? No, but I’m building a worm box this spring for composting, do they count?

any pets you’d love to have but don’t? I’d love to have goats!

do you believe in spirit animals? Yes.

if so, what’s yours? I’m a dragonfly.

left or right brained? A little of both - I like to live my life in my right brained days & do printing work in my left brained days.

introvert or extrovert? Social Introvert.

if money were no object & you could do anything, what would you do first? Buy a small acreage, help my son build a treehouse & convert an old brick building into my letterpress studio. I’d have goats, bees, & chickens.

title (either given or taken)? Printer

sign? Sagittarius

3 places you've lived? Hong Kong, Bangkok, & Ballyvaughan, Ireland.

favorite place you lived? Minneapolis. I love the Chain of Lakes & the deep snow, what can I say?

favorite color? Green

radio stations you listen to? NPR & WBEZ. Also a million podcasts.

favorite number? 7

magazine subscriptions? Uppercase magazine

nicknames? Ray

superpower you would like? The one where you get to zap chronic grumpy people and make them grateful & happy.

hopes, dreams & wishes? I hope I can keep doing what I love for as long as possible & that more people are able to follow suit.

personal credo? You're doing great & Living the Dream.

anything else you'd like to say? I’m excited to be a part of such a great team & have an awesome boss-lady.

Did you see her chosen superpower!?! I told you she was great.
Thanks Ray, I'm thankful you're here.