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Jason Pickleman, Chicago’s Brand Maker, Shares His Favorite Things

The graphic designer and veteran art collector gives us a peek at his personal treasures.

Photo: Erika DuFour

To live in Chicago is to encounter Jason Pickleman’s work. The 51-year-old graphic designer has crafted logos for the likes of Millennium Park, Avec, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography at his River North firm, JNL Graphic Design. But when he’s not branding the city, Pickleman, who lives in Lake View East with his wife and son, is an avid art collector, patronizing mostly rising locals. “Living with art is like having pets you don’t have to feed,” he says. This month, Pickleman displays gems from his personal collection at his Uptown gallery, Lawrence & Clark. Here, he shares nine prized possessions, some of which will appear in the show.

Obama beanie

Obama beanie

“Bought at a gas station the day of the inauguration.”

 

Vintage tape player

Vintage tape player

“I still use cassettes. You can buy them at a garage sale for cents.”

 

Kara Walker monograph

Kara Walker monograph

“The last book I designed analog, precomputer.”

 

Edmund Chia sculpture

Edmund Chia sculpture

“Bought right out of Edmund’s studio. When you buy from a studio, you’re unearthing talent.”

 

Open Campfire

Open Campfire

“I made this sculpture from illuminated LEDs.”

 

Jean Paul Gaultier shirt

Jean Paul Gaultier shirt

“Worn when I gave a lecture on typography at Chicago Humanities Fest. I also wear it dancing at Smart Bar.”

 

Noël Morical pipe

Noël Morical pipe

“For when I need some herbal remedy.”

 

Rodney Carswell painting

Rodney Carswell painting

“It’s all about color and form, which is the DNA of design.”

 

Silver-plated boots

Silver-plated boots

“I memorialized my teenage punk years by silver-plating my combat boots.”

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