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!





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.




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.