A revolutionary mindset combined with expertise in essential areas make for one indomitable designer. Go in-depth on topics like logo design, brainstorming, brand development, typography and more in these three-hour, hands-on pre-Conference workshops. The workshops take place on Friday, June 22 before the Conference officially kicks off, and require an additional fee. Keep reading for complete session descriptions, but be sure to sign up soon—registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Friday Morning Workshops (9am - 12pm):

Make A World: Solving Design Challenges Through Games Workshop

Humans have been playing games since the dawn of time, and for good reason: games allow us to explore, discover and chart territories (intellectual and physical) that we couldn’t otherwise access.  Join Sunni Brown for this interactive game and visual thinking workshop to learn how to use simple but powerful game mechanics (using basic office supplies!) to imagine a product/service you want to create, prototype it, and then evaluate and edit it. You’ll see that visual thinking and participatory design are not a trend—they’re foundational skills you need to stay on top of your game (pun intended).

You’ll leave this workshop with the skills to:

  • Quickly design game sequences to reach a desired outcome
  • Use games to support innovation and creative problem-solving
  • Apply improvisational practices to get discoveries about your product, marketplace and brand
  • Leverage visual thinking techniques for co-creation and team solutions

NOTE: No artistic or game-playing talents are required—this is going to be fun and educational

  • Web/Interactive Design

Anatomy of a Logo: Creating Effective Design Under a Looming Deadline Workshop

In this workshop you, the audience, become the firm—and you’ll have three hours to develop a brand/logo/identity for Von Glitschka, the “client.” You’ll go through the various stages of development with the audience as a whole working like a large creative agency. You’ll learn how to avoid pitfalls, improve your process, respond to demanding clients and use limitations to inspire your ideas and solve the creative problems we all face in this industry.

  • Design Disciplines
  • Business
  • Creativity
A short list of supplies required for this session/workshop will be available a few weeks before the Conference.

From Passion to Profit Workshop

A revolutionary marketing and business development workshop

Whether you're a freelancer, a seasoned owner of a creative agency, or on the verge of starting your design firm, mastering the art of marketing yourself is a crucial factor in the success of your business.

Attracting the right clients and generating high profits can turn into a fun and enjoyable process when you learn how to apply your passion and natural creative talents to your marketing and business development process.

Peleg Top, a seasoned design firm owner and creative business and marketing coach will show you how you can tap into your hidden creative juices and use them to create new and revolutionary ways to grow your business. You will also walk away with some new business tools and creative ideas you can immediately use in your business.

Recommended for: designers who are tired of struggling with the business side of their business.

Caution: you may never look at marketing your business in the same way again after attending this workshop.

Effective Brainstorming For Designers Workshop

You’re under the gun. Again. You’ve only got a few days to come up with a revolutionary idea that will take your project to the next level. At times like these, it can be hard to focus on generating breakthrough ideas. But don’t worry—help is to be had. In this workshop, frog design’s David Sherwin will share tools and methods to help you consistently brainstorm quality ideas for your projects.

Over the course of this high-energy workshop, you’ll discover new approaches to creative thinking through brainstorming activities and solving challenges alone and in teams. Along the way, you’ll discover answers to all of these questions:

  • How can I best structure my brainstorming processes?
  • What lightweight brainstorming techniques can I use that will inspire new, more innovative ideas more quickly?
  • How can I be more effective in moving from project discovery to generating targeted design ideas?
  • How can our team collaborate best across disciplines to rapidly iterate any type of design work?
  • Creativity

Friday Afternoon Workshops (2pm - 5pm):

Change the Way You Think About Type Workshop

Typography is one of the most important aspects of visual communication – it affects how you read and what you read, not to mention what you think about what you read. Unfortunately, many designers have difficulty using it effectively.

In this in-depth workshop, Dr. Shelley Gruendler will address everything from basic type rules to unique tricks of the trade. You’ll get a brief overview of type’s history, including recent technological advances, all of which will change the way you think about type. And to help the lesson sink in, you’ll get the chance to work on a group project that incorporates a different perspective on what type can do. You’ll stretch your brain and try new things – and by the end of the workshop, you’ll have created a film that documents the process and the outcome.

  • Design Disciplines

Brand Development Workshop

Branding is the foundation of an organization’s communication efforts. Beyond logos and identity design elements, brand is the articulation of an organization’s ethos through its behaviors, the products and services it offers, and the communication it has with its audiences.

In this workshop with brand expert David Holston, you’ll discover the tools that will help you uncover your organization’s brand vision, understand your audience’s perceptions, define your brand’s promise and articulate the brand through creative development. You’ll actively work through a nine-phase brand development process as you learn how to:

  • consistently develop a strategic brand
  • link your organization’s goals to its behaviors
  • align stakeholders and build internal support for the brand
  • Business

Making Strategy a Valuable Part of Your Process Workshop

In this fully hands-on workshop with Rochelle Seltzer, you’ll not only learn how to create an effective design strategy, but you’ll get the chance to try it out right away! Rochelle will outline the process of design strategy and give you a handy checklist to guide your work. Then you’ll watch a short video supplying pertinent information about a “client,” a firm founder with branding and design needs. After that you’ll:

  • use various interviewing techniques to discover the pressing business objectives of the client
  • conduct a card-sorting exercise to determine the key brand personality and attributes of the business
  • form small groups to review the findings and develop basic design strategies and metrics
Each small group will work separately to devise strategy recommendations, and will then present their findings to the client in front of the larger group. You’ll finish up the workshop by sharing your reflections on the experience and getting tips on bringing the process back to your own office.
  • Business
  • In-House Staff

Escape The Tri-Fold Funk Workshop

Get fresh ideas for your next print campaign as Trish Witkowski, a folding guru, shares unique and effective solutions from her extensive sample library. You’ll learn tips, tricks and ideas for both low- and high-budget projects, folding dos and don’ts and more. Trish will also dive into direct mail, showcasing exciting proprietary folded solutions and specialty folds.
  • Design Discipline