Mighty 8th Designer Attends AIGA Design Conference
Posted by: Tammy Dock-Brown

This past weekend I had the good fortune to attend Head, Heart and Hand, AIGA‘s prestigious national design conference in Minneapolis. I joined 1800 other designers that all have the same passion; to make a difference and change the world. Being surrounded by all that creative talent, you can only begin to imagine how exhilarated I was for those three days.

AIGA design conference

We all came together for a new way of thinking (Head), feeling (Heart), and doing (Hand). I definitely felt like the theme of the conference was well-suited because all three of these things are critical to producing effective designs.

The conference kicked off with a rather unique and original welcome song and dance complete with tap dancing, keyboard guitar and bass drum, all created and performed by the Minneapolis AIGA chapter. (keep in mind these are designers, not professional performers!)

This dramatic performance set the tone for three days of many amazing speakers and performers on the main stage. Leyla Acaroglu of Eco Innovators spoke about the power designers have to influence people, explaining how simple choices can have amplified impacts and unintended consequences both positively and negatively.

Maria Giudice is the CEO and founder of Hot Studio, a firm just acquired by Facebook. She spoke eloquently about the power of design and how Facebook is forward-thinking by bringing full control of design in-house.

AIGA Design Conference Maria Giudice

My favorite speaker was definitely George Lois, the legendary Madison Avenue advertising communicator behind the iconic “I Want My MTV!” campaign.

George told the fascinating story about¬†MTV¬†approaching him with the idea for the network, looking for his guidance on making the network credible and relevant. He had the idea of incorporating mega-stars and having them encourage young people to call their cable companies and demand “I Want My MTV!” Although he didn’t know Mick Jagger at all, he figured he knew people that knew Mick Jagger and burned up his rolodex to get Mick and other stars on board to help create this social phenomenon. Just goes to show that with perseverance, anything is really attainable.

These main sessions were followed by several smaller breakout sessions, each with its own useful take-away. One of my favorites was Stories and the Art of Persuasion which explored the types of stories that capture people’s attention and how to more effectively tell client stories to their audience.

After three days of inspirational and creative learning, I couldn’t wait to get back to the office, share my findings with the team and put all this new information to work!

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