About the author

Indent To Here is written by Karen Castens, a graphic designer working and living in Chicago.





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Daily addictions


Listening to

Nada Surf

Ha Ha Tonka

The Urge


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Books, and photos, and drumsticks! Oh my!

A small collection of my treasures. Some made the cut, others didn't.

A small collection of my treasures. Some made the cut, others did not.

Over the Labor Day holiday I decided to make a spur-of-the-moment trip home to start the epic task of cleaning out years and years of “stuff” from the basement at my parent’s house. I’m talking YEARS of stuff. Grade school? Check. High school? Check. College? Check. I found numerous photos that made me laugh, book reports, prize-winning entries from Okawville Wheat Festivals of years past (that’s right, a festival. For wheat.), birthday and graduation cards from long gone relatives, a giant stack of charcoal nude drawings from college, books, books and more books, you name it… I’ve still got it.

A few of my favorites are shown in the photo above… a button from the St. Louis Cardinals’ 1982 World Series win. A bucket full of my well-used and very-loved drumsticks. A drawing that my then-boyfriend and now-friend left me of his phone number that paid homage to my love of the Absolut advertising campaign. And last but not least, my beloved basket of Jack Balls (What, doesn’t everyone have 23 of those?)

It’s always somewhat sad for me to have to get rid of things… but that’s what they are. Things. I still have the memories and that’s the most important part. What I don’t have however is room to store it all. Well, I have the memories, and a few random Instagram photos. That always helps.

Shiny & new on Michigan Avenue

The giant wall-o-bags-and-accessories when you walk in the door of the new Michigan Avenue Coach store.

The giant wall-o-bags-and-accessories when you walk in the door of the new Coach Michigan Avenue store

Finally got a chance to stop in the newly remodeled Coach store on Michigan Avenue today on my lunch break! I’m honestly not a Coach fan-girl, I don’t salivate for one of their bags, and I honestly prefer a different, cheaper, more vintage-y brand (a-hem, Fossil). That being said, I was super excited to see how they fancied-up the new store, as my bus stop is right outside and I’ve been seeing the remodel happen slowly over the last few months.

I have to say… top notch, Coach! The newly expanded men’s section is great (is it wrong that I like the men’s accessories better than the women’s?). Not only is this season’s color palette beautiful, but the layout of the store and they way the new pieces work in the space is gorgeous. Of the few times I’ve been in the store, everyone has been super friendly, I just wish the bags were a little more along the lines of my “look”, both in design and price. The one bag that does stand out to me as a contender is the Leather New Willis in the Pink Scarlet color. Absolutely gorgeous, but I just have a hard time dropping that much money on something that I’ll feel the need to switch out in a year. Either way… the store design is beautiful, and they’ve done a great job merchandising it!

When in Wisconsin…

Barn on Burlington Road somewhere near Kenosha, Wisconsin

Barn on Burlington Road somewhere near Kenosha, Wisconsin

It is no secret that I am a girl that loves a country road, so when I took a road trip to Milwaukee this past weekend to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum, I decided it was necessary to go check out the scenery while I had the chance. I came across this gorgeous barn, complete with a rusty horseshoe above the window, and had to share. There really is nothing better than driving around with the windows down, country music on the radio and feeling as free as you can be.

Recent work round-up

A small sampling

Last year was a great year in my little freelance design world, many thanks to all of the amazing clients I have had the pleasure of working with!

Highlights of 2011 include creating a logo & weekly postings for the ever-fabulous Melissa Skoog at On My Plate (not to mention a new logo & collateral for Skoog Productions!)… two restaurant logos for Steve Ewing, owner of Steve’s Hot Dogs on the Hill and Steve’s Hometown Hot Dogs & Sausages in St. Louis (if you’re ever in STL, and craving a hot dog, now you know where to go!)… working with Kevin LaManna, President of the amazing SocialRaise, on a logo for OpusYou… as well as a logo for EvenFlow Music & Spirits, a new bar/music venue opening in Chicago’s western suburbs in April 2012.

Newsletters, mailers, iPhone graphics and more were created for The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Rush NeuroBehavioral Center and the Woman’s Club of Evanston. I even found myself dabbling in some HTML for my boys over at Valet… check out their new Personal Shopper section. (And yes, my eyes were popping out of my head by the time I was done! I’m definitely a print-girl.) It was a busy and fun year, to say the least!

Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to work with you on such great projects! Visit my portfolio page to see more!

A new start

Mark Twain, you genius.

I am the self-professed Queen of Procrastination when it comes to my personal life, so it’s no surprise that it’s taken me, oh, 2 years to re-design and re-launch Indent To Here! I will do my best to update with new work and new thoughts as often as possible.