All About the Evansville Design Group (EDG)
My favorite thing about Evansville is that you can definitely feel a strong sense of community if you allow yourself to get plugged into it. The size of this city makes it easy for people to get involved, work together, and make a noticeable impact. Usually, if you think there’s something the city lacks, you can totally make it happen.
One group close to my heart that’s making an impact in our community is the Evansville Design Group (EDG). For anyone who’s unaware, the EDG is a non-profit that was formed about seven years ago by a group of designers looking to connect with each other. Today, the EDG seeks to elevate the awareness and quality of design in Evansville, educate the community and students, help other non-profits, and connect local designers and design enthusiasts. Basically, as members, we do a bunch of cool things that I think people should know about (if you don’t already).
Here are some of the rad things EDG does:
1. Design for Good
Every year, the EDG Design for Good Committee selects a local non-profit to do FREE design work for. Some of the past recipients include, Aurora, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Granted, The Literacy Center, Autism Evansville, and ParksFest. This project is great for us designers to collaborate in a way we normally wouldn’t be able to, and we feel really good about providing top-notch design work to a very deserving non-profit. This committee is a favorite amongst our group.
The events the EDG puts on are sort of the original intention of the group. They are an AWESOME resource for continuing education for local designers, a great education tool for design enthusiasts, and they give us all a way to connect with each other, socialize and learn! We have hosted several amazing speakers from out of town, screened documentaries and films, visited local design studios, highlighted our competition winners, and more. We’ve taken several trips with the group out of town to conferences and design studios in other cities. We also host Morning and Evening Brew events so we get a chance to just socialize.
3. Made in Evansville
This is our group’s fundraising initiative, but it’s so much more than that. We design cool products that highlight iconic/legendary things about Evansville. We sell these products at local events, such as the Franklin Street Bazaar, Sunday Market, Funk in the City, First Fridays, the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival, and more. The cool thing about this is our volunteers who work the booth actually do a ton of educating about Evansville. We have some products that seem obscure, like the Vulcan Man or Funky’s t-shirts, but we get to tell people about how these things have been important to Evansville’s past. In turn, we get to hear people tell us about their completely insane times they had at Funky’s. In addition to raising money for our group, we also raise money for other local non-profits with our products, such as Willard Library, Indiana Landmarks, and the West Side Nut Club Scholarship Fund. You can purchase Made in Evansville products at MadeinEvansville.com.
Education is paramount to what the EDG is all about. We educate people of every age! The design professionals in the group regularly host portfolio reviews at Ivy Tech. We speak at local high schools. There’s even a mentorship program for college students, where we match up a student with a compatible professional. We even partner with cMoe to provide design education to children, such as Logo Day, which is super fun.
Each year, the EDG Competition is an opportunity to celebrate the best in local design. Creatives from across the country make up the panel of judges, and Blue Clover Studio always designs an extremely unique best in show award for one student and one professional winner. It’s a super fun night to get together, have fun (with emcee Ron Rhoades, and recognize great work.
6. Connection to Local Design Jobs
We provide a direct way for designers to gain access to job openings on our website.
EDG partners with TEDxEvansville to create a memorable design experience for the event. We believe in partnering with other cool, progressive projects in town, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of this initiative.
As you can see, we’re busy! Through the years, I’ve found it supremely important to be a part of this group because I love my city, and I’m passionate about the EDG’s mission. We’re all volunteers, and we do this for the love of what we do, our community, and the comradery.
SO, if you’re a design student, you NEED to be involved in this group! It’s such a no-brainer! If you’re a local designer, hi friend! You’re probably already are in the group. If not, check it out! If you’re not a designer, but you think this stuff is cool, keep an eye on what we’re doing on our website. We’d love to see you at an event. You don’t have to be a designer to get involved.