This October, “Head, Heart, Hand” attendees can look forward to a wide range of affinity sessions on timely topics like interaction design, sustainability, in-house design, typography and healthcare design. Delve deep into areas of design you're most interested in with experts who'll inspire you and drive conversations to make you think in a whole new way.
You do not need to pre-register for any of the general sessions or affinity sessions. Want to attend? Register now!
There are four blocks of affinity sessions throughout “Head, Heart, Hand.” During each block, you get to choose to attend one of 10–12 concurrent sessions on topics ranging from branding and design education, to practice management and design history. All sessions have been added to the schedule.
Choose to attend one of a dozen affinity sessions on subjects ranging from typography and design theory to branding and globalism.
Today’s designers realize that they have all the skills necessary to create successful businesses and build careers without clients. So how do they do it? In this panel with leading design entrepreneurs, Jessica Karle Heltzel and Tim Hoover from Kern and Burn will facilitate candid conversations among those who have founded startups, channeled personal passions into self-made careers and taken risks to do what they love. We’ll discuss whether the client-service model is a thing of the past, and participants will discover how these pioneers continue to push the definition of design.
The chance to redefine what design means in a 111-year-old Fortune 100 innovation company isn’t an opportunity that comes along every day. In the past 18 months, the identity, process and stature of design at 3M has undergone a radical transformation that continues to accelerate towards a game-changing competency. Kevin Gilboe, head of global design, will take attendees through the tenets of the new design culture at 3M. He’ll discuss the importance of a holistic approach that fuses points on the spectrum of design thinking: graphic, brand, product and interactive. He’ll also explore what it means to build a holistically minded team where leaders coming from all design perspectives connect and inspire each other.
On the verge of becoming obsolete 30 years ago, letterpress has experienced a resurgence over the past decade. Aesthetic considerations, technical challenges and pitfalls associated with this specialty craft must be contemplated when printing. Join Ben Levitz from the award-winning Studio on Fire and the Moran brothers from the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum as they tackle the ups and downs of polymer plates and moveable type. They’ll discuss how to optimize your design for letterpress and get the most out of your next project.
Generation Me. Idealists. Technology natives. Self-entitled slackers. Social media addicts. These are some of the stereotypes of Generation Y: the Millennials. Beneath the stereotypes, there is a clear shift in how this generation approaches the world, and this shift will have a significant impact on how we design products and services in the future. As designers, we need to figure out how to deliver for this audience. How do we compete for their attention, time and wallets in today’s world of hyper-connectedness and unfettered opportunity? Whether you’re a Baby Boomer, a member of Generation X or a Millennial yourself, you’ll gain insight into what Gen Y values and why it matters for the future.
Two new studies by the Design Management Institute (DMI) offer a look at the landscape of design and design thinking in organizations: how it is defined and how it is evaluated. This session will address two important questions. What is design worth? And how do we create more design leaders? Many of us understand the value that design and design thinking brings to brands, corporations and experiences. DMI has undertaken research with design leaders across multiple disciplines and industries to identify the best ways to prove the value of design and design thinking. Bypassing subjective measures, DMI uncovers hard, quantitative outcomes such as increased sales, profits, market share growth and market valuation driven by design and design thinking. This fast-paced, information-rich talk will give you the tools to elevate design’s value to clients and beyond.
Sagi Haviv will talk about his career so far, from Cooper Union to an internship at (formerly) Chermayeff & Geismar Inc., to becoming a named partner ten years later. He’ll take attendees through what it’s like to work in collaboration with Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar—the design pioneers and the people.
Using examples of his own work, such as the identities for the Library of Congress (2008), Armani Exchange (2009) and Harvard University Press (2012)—as well as the firm’s earlier projects, like the iconic identities for Chase Bank (1960) and Mobil Oil (1964)—Haviv will discuss how his design work is rooted in and branches out from his partners’ practice.
This panel will address the role design education plays in igniting social change. Topics include the “Design for Good for Education” initiative, student-run practices and the MCAD Works program, an umbrella for community service projects.
Whether you’re pitching to a client or selling to a consumer, the ability to tell a story can be a powerful tool for persuasion. Stories capture people’s attention. They help create buy-in. And they make you and your vision instantly memorable to others. In this one-hour presentation, Eve Claxton—a writer, editor and radio producer—demonstrates simple storytelling techniques for bringing a compelling arc to your personal anecdotes, brand descriptions, pitches and presentations. This session is essential for anyone who regularly communicates in his or her work life.
Question: What does the youngest art director of Harper’s Bazaar do for an encore? Answer: She stays relevant. In a career spanning nearly five decades, Ruth Ansel has pushed the boundaries of magazine design and—in the process—the history of modern graphic design. From Harper’s Bazaar to The New York Times Magazine to Vanity Fair (to name a few), she talks both intimately and authoritatively about everything and everyone from Richard Avedon to Diana Vreeland to Andy Warhol to Annie Leibovitz.
Adobe and AIGA work together to help designers envision the future by understanding how design studios take shape, knowing what skills may be needed and foreseeing what kinds of creative possibilities will be enabled. Building on ideas drawn from two joint initiatives, “Defining the Studio of 2015” and “Defining the Designer of 2015,” this session takes a client-side view of changes ahead and looks at the problems and opportunities designers and clients may face in the future. The presentation will examine how the creative process is changing, new types of client demands and what forward-looking models will be employed as clients and designers work together to have maximum impact.
Choose to attend one of a dozen affinity sessions on subjects ranging from typography and design theory to branding and globalism.
What the f*** does “data visualization” mean? This session, led by Jennifer Daniel of Bloomberg Businessweek, offers an honest discussion about what it’s like to have one foot in research, one foot in design, a hand in illustration and another hand in editing—then putting any remaining appendages to use on top of that. Attendees, please note: There is a 51.4 percent chance of inappropriateness, a 99.2 percent chance of charts and a 29.2 percent chance of both.
The future of typography is in very good hands. Young designers are creating thought-provoking, powerful and, at times, stunning typography that is sure to spawn future design trends. This session will look at the best work being done by exceptional young designers and examine why it is so good. Hard-hitting hard copy and interactive design solutions will be explored, dissected and celebrated. Participants will see forward-thinking typographic solutions from around the world as well as their own backyard. Whether you have thousands of fonts and use them with ease or you approach typographic problems with trepidation, this session will inform, challenge and inspire.
It’s not unusual to hear a designer say, “I don’t use contracts.” Typically, this means the designer doesn’t know much about contracts or worries that clients will be offended if a contract is mentioned. Well, even if you proceed without a written agreement, it’s quite likely that you DO have a contract in place—and what you don’t know can hurt you. This session explains how oral and written legal agreements are created between a designer and a client, and how a court might later interpret that contract if you have a dispute. We’ll also review the updated AIGA Standard Agreement for Design Services to see how it has been expanded to include the rapidly growing discipline of motion design.
In today’s world, companies are expected to do more with less. This is the reality for brands across industries and, more frequently, it is leading some of today’s most successful companies to use strategic design thinking for top impact in both internal and external brand communications. In this session, Joe Cecere will discuss how the partnerships he has forged with some of today’s top brands—from Target to Microsoft—helped these companies design their brand “from the inside out.” Using real-world case studies, participants will learn how the use of strategic design thinking can be an innovative game changer for brands looking to improve experiences at every level of their organization.
With the renewed interest and energy around design thinking and design strategy, designers of all types have unprecedented opportunities to get involved with client or company strategies. However, business strategy isn’t usually part of a standard design education. Nathan Shedroff will cover the processes and context of business strategy. He’ll discuss what designers need to know about business and what non-design peers in business need to learn from designers. Participants will learn where they can apply the most value throughout an organization and how to structure their offer.
What does it take to build a successful web product? How do dozens of designers collaborate with engineers and other makers to build a complex and ever-changing product ecosystem for desktop computers, mobile web and native apps—simultaneously? Randy Hunt will give an insider’s look at the principles that inform design decisions and the design process at Etsy, discussing the sometimes-surprising outcomes they generate. At the company, sharing early, being comfortable throwing away work and blurring the edges between disciplines afford designers the opportunity to directly impact the community of users, the product and the business. These principles, derived from web product design, are applicable to any design process in which you want to learn from your audience and embrace change.
Have you ever had a mentor? Perhaps you’ve drawn on the experience or knowledge of a teacher, colleague or boss? In this session, facilitated by Su Mathews of Lippincott, the topic of mentoring is explored through the eyes of two pairs of mentors and their protégés. Through an engaging panel discussion, Michael Bierut and Jennifer Kinon—and Patrick Redmond and Pamela Mead—will reflect on the hallmarks of these mutually beneficial relationships and discuss their unique experiences. Intended for those currently learning about design, working in the field or seeking work, this session will address the simple-yet-complex aspects of mentorship, the notion of “sage advice” and mentor resources.
Upon the release of Marian Bantjes’ first monograph, Pretty Pictures, Chee Pearlman and Bantjes will sit down for a public chat about the book, life in general and unexpected topics of great hilarity and surprise. You can expect faux pas, non-sequiturs, heartfelt confessions, tragedy, triumph and the minutiae of the mundane. Come, see and partake in this once-in-a-lifetime, never-to-be-repeated experience!
The challenges that now confront emerging designers as they transition from the collegiate landscape into the multilayered landscape of contemporary practice are far more complex than they were ten—or even five—years ago. Future designers must now enter the dynamic, ever-evolving world of our profession equipped not only with traditional “craft” knowledge but also with the conceptual wherewithal necessary to combine knowledge from different disciplines, or to create new knowledge as a means to guide intricate design formulations, processes and assessments. Truly effective designers must now understand and come to grips with the many ways human needs map to the social, technological, emotional, economic and political realities that contextualize them—in all their inherent complexity. The presenters discuss design research, thinking and strategy in the context of design education.
It’s no secret that our world is undergoing dramatic shifts technologically, politically, economically and environmentally. In 2010, a survey conducted by IBM revealed that the most valued management skill was creativity. In this session, Bruce Nussbaum explores why we must all be our most creative in order to be our most competitive and how we can use this creativity to build a new kind of entrepreneurial capitalism. He will discuss the five creative competencies, from knowledge minting to pivoting, aimed at helping both individuals and organizations create routinely and well. He’ll also investigate the way in which people, businesses and countries are enhancing their creative intelligence and how they operate in a twenty-first century global culture. You’ll leave this session feeling confident and filled with ideas on how to bolster your creative capacities.
Choose to attend one of a dozen affinity sessions on subjects ranging from typography and design theory to branding and globalism.
The importance of data visualization lies in the clarity it can bring to complex subjects. Of course, there are many steps in data visualization, including research, data collection, analysis, editing and design. How do you structure complex information so that readers don’t actually feel its complexity? Using a variety of visualization examples, Matthew Ericson and Steve Duenes of The New York Times will demonstrate how design improves communication and helps make the complex clear.
So eccentric, so vibrant, so skillful: current French theatrical posters thrive in a parallel universe on the cultural scene. In this session, design critic Véronique Vienne will explore the reasons why the theatrical community in France fosters graphic invention and creativity. Seemingly immune to marketing pressures, oddly compelling advertising campaigns are evidence that there is still a demand in the public for unconventional thinking. Vienne will display posters by prominent European graphic designers, including Vincent Perrottet, Anette Lenz, Werner Jeker, Philippe Apeloig, M/M Paris, ter Bekke/Behage or Malte Martin. Season after season, these designers develop the graphic identity of prestigious theaters such as the Odéon or the Châtelet. What is their methodology?
Few design engagements capture the public’s interest like an identity redesign, and few redesigns have been more publicly controversial than the recent effort by the University of California. In this facilitated session with UC Creative Director Vanessa Corrêa and Designer Kirill Mazin, Christopher Simmons examines the good, the bad and the ugly of the logo controversy, including the process, the rollout strategy, and the discourse it created amongst the public, the media and the profession. What lessons can we learn from this controversy? What has it taught us about the relationship between design and society at large? What cautions does it offer for the next big redesign? This is an interactive session. Bring your questions, opinions and an open mind.
Just as food satisfies many needs beyond simply nutrition, food branding can speak to us on many levels. In this session, Douglas Riccardi will explore current trends in restaurant and food branding. He’ll share the strategy involved in creating or transforming food brands from raw to well done, and he’ll discuss how a brand’s core values can impact its overall design and marketing strategy and create deep connections with its customers. With clients ranging from Hale and Hearty Soups to Mario Batali, the MEMO owner will draw on his studio’s projects and other notable brands, tackling the unique challenges and opportunities faced by designers working in this arena.
The living nature of digital services means that designers can’t design a service experience. They can only design the resources for people to bring the experience to life for themselves. Designers create affordances that help people know where to start, what to do and when to do it. Services come to life through people: how they “read” the resources, their personal history and their context. We see two trends placing new demands on designing for service. The first is what we call living services—the meteoric rise of mobile, embedded sensors and more natural interfaces. The second, just starting to appear as a broader global trend, is described in the book The Intention Economy—the shift from sellers finding buyers to buyers finding sellers. In this session, Shelley Evenson and Tom Schneider describe how they think these trends will influence designing for living services.
The role of design educators is as dynamic and ever-changing as the discipline of design. Design educators are continually faced with a need to expand their capacity in the classroom in order to prepare students to successfully practice and compete in the global marketplace. This panel—consisting of design educators representing AIGA, Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, Cumulus and Middle East Design Educators Association—will discuss the relevance of design education, the need for cultural empathy and the challenges and changing roles of design educators in a global context.
Whether you’re building a startup, forming a studio or working with others, ignoring the craft of leadership will limit your potential and impact. The question remains: What is design leadership, and how does it look and feel at its best? In this session, Ryan Jacoby builds upon the graduate interaction design course he teaches at the School of Visual Arts, taking a hands-on approach to the question of design leadership. Jacoby will share stories of his own flameouts and talk about what’s necessary to become a strong, confident leader. At the end, you’ll come away with ideas and tactics to become such a leader yourself.
Presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Nearly one-third of children and teens in the United States are overweight or obese. If we don’t reverse the childhood obesity epidemic, the current generation of young people could be the first in U.S. history to live sicker and die younger than their parents’ generation. While we’re seeing some progress in reducing childhood obesity rates throughout the country, the progress isn’t even, particularly for children living in lower-income communities and communities of color. Creating environments that support the ability of children and families to eat healthy foods and be active is key, and designers can help. Designers, in partnership with researchers, public health practitioners, educators, community leaders and policy-makers, can create compelling design solutions and concepts that make healthy choices appealing and accessible, and shine light on practices and policies that could be improved.
With a panel of leading experts in the fields of design, education and community health, we’ll examine projects aimed at preventing childhood obesity and approaches that best utilize design and design thinking to help the most vulnerable children. You’ll come away with a better understanding of current needs, how improvements can be made and ideas about how to collaborate with key stakeholders to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.
Think of the last song you listened to. Can you picture the album cover? For years, album covers were intrinsically linked to the music they helped market. Now that songs are mainly consumed digitally, cover art has become less related in the listener’s mind. Meanwhile, there are a growing number of fans that fetishize vinyl and the increasingly deluxe packaging that comes with it. Matthew Jacobson, former head of design for Jack White's Third Man Records and owner of the Le Grand Magistery label, has designed hundreds of covers for musicians including The White Stripes, Andrew Bird, Beck and Momus. Sharing personal experiences from his tenure in the music industry, Jacobson will discuss some of the ways in which designers (and digital storefronts) are working to make album art as relevant as ever.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work at a boutique design agency? How about a huge marketing agency or a global ad agency? What about working in-house for the best brand in the world? Allan Peters has tried them all and has survived to tell the tale. This is a story that spans 33 years and includes not only the victories but also the downright ugly stuff that happened along the way. Join him as he walks you through projects for brands like Nike, ESPN and Target. He’ll show you his process and share behind-the-scenes stories and photos. Peters loves design. He loves to make it, hunt for it, document it, write about it and, most importantly, he loves to talk about it.
When we think of paper, the words “malleable” or “elastic” don’t usually come to mind. In truth, however, paper is highly flexible as a medium for designers and illustrators. The unique, tactile nature of the material and its application often result in unexpected and delightful outcomes. The panel includes three talented individuals who will share insights into how they transform the 2-D into 3-D and the 3-D back into 2-D, bridging these seemingly different worlds through their craft. We’ll explore this means of working, discuss the design, printing, illustration and assembly required for 2-D and 3-D work, and view select projects that use paper in unique and exciting ways. You'll leave with a better understanding of the craft behind this medium.
In the world of modern furniture, an industry often viewed as elitist and unapproachable, Blu Dot is a brand that stands out. For the past decade, Blu Dot and its longtime agency, mono, have created work that has helped forge a different—and much more human—bond with their fans. They have developed some of the most inventive and innovative work in the industry, including apps, films, swap meets and other things that only can be described as “an experiment.” Join Blu Dot’s founder and CEO, John Christakos, and mono’s founder and creative co-chair, Michael Hart, as they pull back the curtain on their working relationship.
Over the last 100 years, AIGA has grown to become a vital international design organization. As the profession and society evolved, so did AIGA. If you like cultural history and enjoy seeing a vast amount of groundbreaking design, this is your lecture. “The Best from the Best” will feature work created for the organization by the industry’s greatest talents, including Andy Warhol, Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Ivan Chermayeff, Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Vanderbyl, Michael Bierut and Paula Scher.
We’re at the cusp of a digital redistribution of content made possible by an “always-on” public. As a result, designers must engage audiences across devices through integrated storytelling and make straightforward decisions that react to specific moments. Using narrative, designers must create more interactive content that is easy to understand and platform agnostic. This session will examine the techniques of visual storytelling as the medium continues to distance itself from traditional publishing systems.
The transition to a sustainable society is one of the most important and exciting design challenges of our era. Today, designers in both professional practice and education are undertaking projects in sustainable design and social innovation. However, these efforts lack a unifying framework. In the face of social and environmental challenges, a vibrant, international grassroots “transition movement” is working to build local community resilience. How do designers identify their role and become a voice in this movement?
This panel session will propose “transition design” as a new field that uses the tools, processes and studio culture of design to facilitate this. Transition design focuses on reconceiving everyday life and societal systems around food, health, transportation, policy and energy resources to be more sustainable. Transition designers understand the interconnectedness of social and natural systems and conceive solutions that leverage the power of symbiosis. Participants will be introduced to the four aspects of transition design and presented with examples of transition initiatives.
We’re in the business of creating successful identities and helping our clients to build strong brands. However—quite honestly—not all trademarks are created equal. This session will examine the essential elements that make an identity strong or weak from a legal standpoint. We’ll also discuss strategies for avoiding infringement and defending trademarks in a crowded and competitive marketplace, as well as the limited situations in which the laws of fair use and parody allow trademarks to be copied.
From redesigning civic engagement to creating mobile phone–based social accountability tools, Reboot is advancing the applications of design for policy and social change efforts worldwide. Helping the world’s leading organizations become more responsive to the communities they serve, Reboot designs and implements systems that enable institutions and individuals to engage one another in tackling social challenges. In this session, we will discuss the ways in which we apply four disciplines of design—design research, communications design, service design and interaction design—in creating human-centered solutions to governance and development worldwide. We will share stories from our work in Pakistan, Nigeria and across the United States, and offer best practices for applying similar design tools to the thorniest of social challenges.
In this session, artist and filmmaker Jeff Scher will discuss visual emotions in the context of the wordless essay films he has made for NYTimes.com. He will screen an assortment of his films while discussing his work process, the blossoming of visual literacy in the new media and the current renaissance of the short film. His theories regarding montage as an alternative to narrative will be presented, and he will address the evolution of the experimental film from the “underground” to its toehold at “the Old Grey Lady.”
Ever more sophisticated, propagandist media relentlessly aims to influence and determine our ideas around value, consumption and sustainability—all through the lens of design and innovation. This entertaining, heartbreaking, heartwarming and ultimately pragmatic talk will take a look at contemporary messaging around the design of brands, goods and services, and how we can reclaim with authenticity the threatened promise that design equates to making things better.
In-house design teams face unique challenges—within a nonprofit, these are magnified. Advocacy groups need to communicate their mission to a variety of constituencies—children and adults, funders and patrons—through a variety of contexts. As budgets across sectors shrink, nonprofits are also tightening their belts. In-house designers must strive to help their colleagues understand the value of design and the role it plays in furthering their organization’s mission. But, how do all of these challenges work to our advantage? How can you communicate the innovative and strategic thinking behind beautiful work to those within the organization and beyond? With a panel of designers from a broad spectrum of nonprofits, we’ll tackle these tough questions and more. You’ll hear success stories, see how different departments address these challenges and come away with ideas on how to strengthen the value of design within your company.
As AIGA approaches the milestone of its centennial, this panel of design professionals comes together to represent every stage of a design career. Drawing on their own journeys—their combined ages approaches 200 years of experience—we will touch on where the profession has been (the first 100 years), how it is changing and where we think it will go (the next 100 years). Personal stories will help us reflect on the past, discuss the present and consider the future of communication design. You’ll come away inspired by the progress and potential not only of these individuals, but of the profession at large.
How do you inject design (and designers) into the largest technology company on the planet? After 100 years in business, IBM has embarked on a transformational journey to redefine itself for the next century. The newly created division, IBM Design, is leading the way by transforming how IBM thinks and how they design products. The mission of IBM Design is to engage and inspire forward-thinking individuals everywhere to impact humanity in ways that matter and endure—and represents a new era of design-led innovation at IBM. Join Doug Powell, former AIGA national president and key member of the team building this vision, along with other members of the IBM Design team for a discussion on design and culture transformation on a global scale.