This year AIGA West Michigan was excited to help 20 students from the AIGA chapter at Ferris State University travel to Las Vegas for the 2016 AIGA National Design Conference. We hope they have come back full of design inspiration and ideas to better our creative community here in West Michigan. To read more about their experience, read a few snippets below or read their full blog here.
Kara Copeland, AIGA Ferris Treasurer
Somehow, it all came together. Flights were booked and hotel reservations were made. Thankfully, everything went off without a hitch. We arrived in Vegas wide-eyed and exhilarated to dive into the event experience.
Looking back, I was truly passionate about making this opportunity possible for twenty students, including myself.
I focused my attention on the design elements of the conference, and it really fed the fire of passion I feel about designing and organizing events. I observed the wayfinding, signage, branding, website, app, and even the presentation. There were even lights on the walls that cast the wall in pink and blue. All of these things contributed to the design system of the event and the thought that went into all of these things blew my mind.
It’s hard to pinpoint my favorite experience of AIGAs’ National Design Conference in just one blog post. There were so many inspirational speakers and events that I attended during the week. But I do have to say my favorite part was the portfolio review on the last day of the conference. Portfolio review was an event I had preregistered for. At the review I was able to display my work for all others at the conference to see. I would say there were roughly fifty other students who also participated in the portfolio review and we were all set up on tables in a corner of the conference room.
While in the review, design professionals and fellow students walked around and looked at our work. I really enjoyed this experience because talking with design professionals I learned what they look for in new designers. I was given tips and tricks on how to make my portfolio stronger and also made some connections with design professionals that could be potentially be future employers.
The conference closed with a speech by Chuck D of Public Enemy, who originally studied graphic design before going into the music business. He talked about the importance of art in schools, how it teaches kids how to think and how to better their life situations. He discussed everything from how he got to where he was, to why design matters so much in the day to day lives of people. Of course we had to get a photo with him.