Last weekend concluded another fantastic event in the graphic design world: the AIGA 2015 Design Conference. The engaging speakers and enthusiastic attendees made for a truly unforgettable event. With this year’s conference being the largest attended in history in the inspiringly resilient city of New Orleans, attending on behalf of Domtar was an opportunity I was happy to accept!

 

Without a doubt, networking is what I love most about AIGA events. The annual conferences attract designers with expertise in a wide variety of disciplines from all over the United States. It’s a great opportunity for a graphic designer to learn from their contemporaries, brainstorm solutions, and get a view of the current landscape of the graphic design industry. Throughout the conference, attendees also received regular updates on the work of the designers participating in this year’s Command X design competition. Seeing the work created by the participants was a great reminder of the array of talent alive and well in the graphic design field. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Amy Nicole Schwartz!

 

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As always, the programmers for the AIGA national conferences do a fantastic job of selecting an amazing array of speakers. One of my favorites from this year was Mimi Valdez. As the Chief Creative Officer for Pharrell Williams’ “creative collective” I am OTHER I expected Mimi to be very talented, but I was truly blown away by her engaging presentation. Just hearing the backstory of the creation of the Happy video (filmed in an astonishing 24 hours!) and the world-wide cultural phenomenon it created is enough to inspire anyone to give 100% to their next project.

 

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And don’t even get me started on the amazing motion graphics portfolio presentation from Karin Fong (Director, Designer and founding member of Imaginary Forces). With a reel that includes the iconic opening titles from Boardwalk Empire and Black Sails, I only have two words: amazing work!

 

Attending an AIGA National Event is an amazing experience, but so is getting an AIGA membership and getting involved in your local chapter. Participating in local events is a great way to get regular doses of inspiration and connect with other graphic designers in your own backyard. And with a variety of membership levels to choose from, there’s an option that works for everyone.