Speaker | David Brier

Although this is not an AIGA affiliated event, I thought I’d pass on this great opportunity.

Who: David Brier

When: 6-7:30pm | Tuesday, October 19th

Where: MSC Ballroom C

David Brier is an award‐winning designer, brand identity expert, author and Fast Company blogger. Check out his work! You might recognize his identity for Legacy Chocolates, 24/7 Telecom, and Big dot of Happiness which are all here in Menomonie!

Posted October 14th, 2010 by lindseybock | Event, Freelance, Inspiration, Self Promotion, Speaker, Stout, Where Are They Now


Design Camp Recap

This past weekend was Design Camp, and it was quite the memorable experience. Not only did we get to see amazingly talented speakers, but we also has the opportunity to attend incredible workshops. I haven’t even mentioned the bonfires, karaoke, rocking horses, or free swag yet. Personally, I walked away with a new outlook and direction with my design work. I left the weekend with 5 pages in my sketchbook filled with advice from these industry superstars and figured I’d share their tips I’m trying to apply with my work with you…as long as you promise to attend Design Camp next year that is :]

Roshi Givechi is an Associate Partner at IDEO (http://www.ideo.com/), her speech was centered around teaching us how to make the complex things meaningful. She taught us 5 ways to shape complexity.

  1. Dig Deeper (Find a way to relate to your viewers beyond the obvious solution)
    - Her practical example for this was a project IDEO did with interactive books (http://vimeo.com/15142335)
  2. Reframe the Question (Find a balance between making things beautiful, but still having it be meaningful. Exploring possibilities leads to unexpected solutions)
    - Her practical example for this was a book called I Miss My Pencil (http://www.ideo.com/news/i-miss-my-pencil/)
  3. Be Better Editors (Functional design is effective design. Edit, edit, and re-edit)
    - Her practical example for this was a sex ed website designed by IDEO called the Bedsider (http://bedsider.org/). Make sure to check out the hilarious videos under the QUESTIONS category.
  4. Start Small (Simple concepts lead to the more complex ones. Don’t take on more than you can handle)
    - Her practical example for this was a news website IDEO developed that only has one story a day (http://thebolditalic.com)
  5. Design for Action (Make your concepts complex, but transparent. Make people think they know what they’re getting right away)
    -Her practical example for this was the website HackFwd (http://hackfwd.com)

Doyald is a typographer who has been designing nearly his entire life, he didn’t have structured tips like the other speakers. He did though offer us a look at the rewarding life we have a chance at reaching if we work to our full potential like he has. Another fun fact about him, which sent a lot of into shock is that he does not use rulers or compasses or any sort of guide when designing his script based fonts. Imagine that in Letterform Design. (http://doyaldyoung.com/)

Frank only has been out of school for less than a decade, and is already illustrating for clients such as the New York Times, CMYK magazine, Nike, and tons more. Just hearing him speak was a motivational experience that made a lot of us want to try harder.  He wanted to enforce 7 Important Things with us that he’s learned on his fast path to the top.

  1. Tell a Story (Captivate your audience, use empathy)
    - His practical example for this was an animation he created for the magazine GOOD about the American penal system (http://work.frankchimero.com/#34211/Transparency-Prisons)
  2. Honor Craft
  3. Be Illogical, and Embrace Paradox (Find elusive truths in appropriate nonsense)
  4. Entice Excitement (Be squishy…aka willing to change and be effected by situations)
    - His practical example for this was an weekly online event called Layer Tennis (http://www.layertennis.com/)
  5. Be Delightful (Inform, persuade and delight your audience. Between surprise and clarity there is delight)
    - His practical example for this was a website designed by Microsoft to show off their new fonts (http://lostworldsfairs.com/)
  6. Craft Your Content (Design and content is a symbiotic relationship)
  7. Care Intensely (Attention is the newest scarce resource, you need to grab as much as you can)

Karim is a Montreal-based designer, recently back from a year long internship in Indonesia with Stefan Sagmeister. He works in a wide variety of mediums, and more recently is doing a lot of stop motion/video work. His website is one of the most interesting I’ve ever come across, solely because of the variety of things he can do with such a high sensitivity to craft and skill (http://karimzariffa.com/ or http://www.karimzariffa.com/old/ has even more work). When he spoke, he gave us tips on how to be more creative.

  • Use mind maps
  • Experiment daily (and if you can’t afford that time daily, do it at least a couple hours a week)
  • Have an inspiration book filled with scraps of beautiful things collected from everyday life
  • No negativity when you brainstorm
  • Have a daily brainstorm on a random topic
  • Write with your opposite hand/in mirror

The second day at design camp, we had a special luncheon with Roshi Givechi from IDEO where we went over some brainstorming processes. It was quite beneficial, so I figured I’d throw in the IDEO way of brainstorming on this post as well.

  • Defer judgement (throw all ideas on the table, nothing gets scrapped)
  • Encourage wild ideas (it lightens the mood, and can lead to more realistic, and innovative ideas)
  • Build on the ideas of others
  • Stay focused on the topic
  • One conversation at a time (things get off topic quickly otherwise, and people might miss important things)
  • Be visual (don’t just say or write your idea, draw it!)
  • Go for quantity (you can always narrow it down later)

This ends my recap of the incredible, overly worth it Design Camp in the beautiful Nisswa, Minnesota. Next year is sure to be even better, and you should probably be there too :]

Posted October 7th, 2010 by Ashley Hohnstein | AIGA, AIGA Benefits, Conference, Design Camp, Event, Speaker


Design Camp | What to expect

Who’s going to Design Camp!?

Expect to have an Amazing time! Last year Ellen Lupton was sitting on the floor with us playing Pantone Bingo and Aaron Draplin sat with us at a student lunch! Expect to mix and mingle with people you don’t know – and especially get to know students from other schools, afterall, they’re you’re competition.

But I’ve heard there’s been a few questions floating around so I hope this helps!

How do I dress?
Design Camp is completely casual, be yourself! Jeans are fine!
Here’s a group of us from last year:
Design Camp 2009

What do I need to bring?

  • business cards you won’t always be with Stout Students, so don’t always sit by people you know – great networking tactic & it’s an easy way to get to know your competition
  • notebook & pen comes in handy when listening to speakers/workshop presenters
  • warm clothes
  • money for meals and/or food for your hotel room (Zorbas is great!)
  • Your ID (yes they card you for drinks!)
  • carpool money
  • Leave your computer & homework in your hotel room, and No you do not need to bring your portfolio
    **Some of the optional activities throughout the weekend involve being on the beach for a campfire, going hiking, & early AM kayaking, pack accordingly!

    Check out the speakers before you arrive! Also I recommend going to the pre-camp workshop, Just show up! You’ll learn new tips/changes in CS5

    Can’t wait to see everyone there!

    Posted September 29th, 2010 by lindseybock | AIGA, AIGA Benefits, Conference, Design Camp, Event


    FIRST MEETING SEPT 14 @ 5:45

    So the first meeting is almost here!!! We will be going over some upcoming events, membership information, and lots of other important info!!

    TUESDAY SEPT 14th @ 5:45 in APPLIED ARTS 210

    Posted September 8th, 2010 by amyedesigns | AIGA, Event, Meeting


    AIGA Minnesota Luncheons 2010: Geek Girls Guide

    Alright, so this is a strange coincidence.

    I have been talking to an interactive designer that used to work at an agency with my dad. I was talking to him about what fields are opening up for internships and what direction I should be going if I am hoping to scoop one up over the next summer. He told me that the traditional designer doesn’t have so much of a market anymore, people are looking for the designers that know interactive, but not just any interactive design, user friendly interface design. There are too many people working on project and filling the web with sights that can’t be navigated logically, or that are difficult or impossible to go through for disabled users. He told me as long as I knew how to make all of that work together, have my design be for the user and not just simply static, then there would be people begging me to work.

    I am a graphic designer and not exactly looking to get fulling into just doing the multimedia side of things but in these times you need to know a little bit of everything to survive in the design world, and you need to know how to do them right!! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn how designing a website with the user in mind will make all the difference when turning out a final project.

    I really suggest everyone check the start-off to the new Luncheon 2010 series coming up August 26th with the Geek Girls Guide group! Its valuable information and a chance to network with other developing designers so don’t let this slip by!

    Register and get more information on the event by clicking the image below. Hope to see some people there!!

    Posted August 10th, 2010 by Jesse | AIGA, Event


    First Fridays :: RedBlackBrown

    I just saw this and thought I’d pass it on

    From RedBlackBrown:

    have you heard of first fridays in lowertown? it’s a simple concept, but one that totally works: artists open their studios on the first friday of every month (except for april and october, when everyone is getting ready for the art crawl). ::

    and so we’re going to have our studio door open and have us a little party while we participate in our very first first friday. so swing by, check out some fine posters by us and some of our lovely friends (like brad surcey, barrett and melanie haroldson, the middle coast collective and bill ferenc). we’ll have some soda and other beverages (and a bottle opener this time – thanks, kate!), but feel free to bring your own and add to the fun.

    the details:
    first friday with redblackbrown
    the jax building #307
    253 east 4th street, st. paul
    friday, may 7, 6:30

    Posted May 3rd, 2010 by Kayd Mustonen | Event


    Portfolio 1 on 1 Recap

    Some students that attended Portfolio 1 on 1 a few weeks back had this to say about Portfolio 1 on 1

    On Friday student were split up into group and were taken around the city to tour three different design firms.

    Which one was your favorite?

    • Zeus Jones was definitely my favorite. I loved their style, attitude, what their company stood for, and the way they worked.
    • All of the places were really really great to go to…. but…Spunk – had a cookout for us, as well as a pile of free screen printed posters so they win solely due to the best swag.

    How were you inspired?

    • When I see great design, I get excited and look forward to pushing myself to create something just as great. The way Zeus Jones is beginning to implement interactive design in their projects was amazing.
    • I was inspired by the passion that is inherent in starting a studio.  All three of these studios were pretty small and began because someone had an idea and the right combination of craziness and drive to achieve it.

    What was the best part of the studio tours?

    • Learning about what I liked and didn’t like, wanted and didn’t want in a studio I would work for in the future. Talking with design professionals was great, and networking with other students while learning about their programs on the bus was awesome too.
    • Hearing the designers stories… Seeing the one squeegee that guys of Aesthetic Apparatus used to screen print for years until they purchased a machine the squeegees for them. The handle of the squeegee had very noticeable imprints from where they placed their thumbs during countless pulls. They also showed us their very first business plan, it was a combination of irrelevant doodles and words.
    • I am embarrassed to admit I have difficulty finding who good design firms are on my own, but through AIGA you get an easy, comprehensible list of excellent firms that are willing to help out young designers.  I was also exposed directly, or just overheard, many designers talking about who was currently looking and who was a waste of time as far as open interns or positions went.

    What did you wear to studio tours?

    • Casual/dressy: A nice black shirt, grey jeans, and flats.
    • I always dress up, first impressions speak volumes and I don’t think that being in design is a reason to be lazy with your attire.  For the studio tours I wore black designer jeans (no holes), colorful pink/blue plaid dress shirt, bright yellow undershirt, and a jacket from France.
    • Brown pants and a nice shirt… you can be more casual… many people wore jeans.  I would wear flats if you’re a girl, you may be walking to the studios.

    Did you attend any workshops during Saturday? If so which ones and what did you learn?

    • The Homemade Photo Studio- this workshop was about taking professional photographs on a low budget. The speaker, Derek Till, suggested: use a large window for natural and soft lighting for your whole piece. Use a spot light or mirrors for highlights. Get a cheep tripod or use things such as bags of beans or cans to help stabilize your camera
    • The workshops were an interesting way to kill time, add another contact to your network, and ask questions to a design professional.  I only attended one, but have the email address of a creative director at Olson who also founded Brainco.

    What advice were you given regarding your portfolio?

    • Include process work and logos options that were not chosen.
    • Have more interactive material (I hadn’t put any of my web design in my portfolio)
    • Apply things to real life scenarios- if you have a logo put it somewhere- coffee cup, billboard, advertisements, or the web
    • One reviewer was really impressed with my thought process and advised never to loose it… have a reason behind your designs… anyone can use a photoshop filter
    • Photograph things- brochures etc., they won’t be ruined this way. It’s good to have tangible examples though too.
    • The best advice regarding portfolios overall was to edit them down (they recommend 8-12 pieces), simplify the design, make sure the images convey the work, and pay critical attention to typography.  Your format should match your medium and your audience (for example, my .pdf files should be designed to fit the screen if they are viewed on a computer – NOT as an 8.5 x 11 document which looks awkward and wastes a lot of blank screen space, like I did.)

    What do you wish you had done prior to Portfolio One-on-One?

    • Finished updating my website.
    • I wish I would have had time to flesh out my portfolio better, photographed some of my work, and actually have made a book.
    • I wish I had more time to work on my portfolio.  I wish I had seen what other people have done in the past.  I wish I attended Portfolio 1on1 last year.

    What did you wear to the portfolio review day?

    • A nice dress and heels.
    • I wore nice pants, pumps, and a button up shirt.  Some people really were not dressed up at all… I would advise against that. You do not need a suit or anything but you still need to look professional.
    • For reviews, I wore patterned black/gray dress pants, a checkered shirt with a black sweater over it and a tie.  Designers don’t need to be dressy, and they shouldn’t appear corporate (tie, black dress pants, suit, etc.).  They should dress in a manner that conveys their style, as well as their occupation, to their clients and employers.  I was also one of the most dressed people at the conference however, so perhaps I’m just crazy.

    Any other advice?

    • Only include your best projects, practice talking about your work ahead of time, get your work photographed nicely!!
    • Be sure to have business cards and resumes available to give to interested reviewers. Also, a tip I was given: easily create a portfolio website on Cargo Collective.
    • It is important to remember that what you value and look for as a designer is not what every other designer values.  You need to look for design firms that fit what you value.  One of the speakers mentioned that looking for jobs is a bit like speed dating.  The firms need to know that you fit in with their objectives and that you will get along with their current employees.  It seems really obvious but it is really important to search out design firms that fit you as a designer and as a person.
    • If your portfolio sucks, and mine was mediocre at best (.pdf package), go anyway.  You’re not going to get a lot of positive feedback, and you’re not going to impress people, but professionalism and a willingness to improve will be noted.  My ability to communicate ideas verbally, design diction and professional dress we’re critical to my positive experience.
    • DO ask them to tear apart your portfolio, some reviewers aren’t as confident about criticizing as they should be.  This isn’t supposed to build your ego, it’s supposed to teach you what you need to improve.  They will appreciate your honesty, and follow through with more insight.
    • DO thank them, DO thank them again via email, DO get their business card or a means of contacting them.
    • DO build your network – this is critical.  Seeing what other people can do is also helpful, I have a lot of ideas on how to redo my portfolio.
    Posted April 27th, 2010 by Kayd Mustonen | AIGA, AIGA Benefits, Event, Portfolio, Self Promotion, Spotlight, Stout, Workshop


    We met Stefan Bucher =]

    At the 2010 AIGA Insights Lecture Series Derek Huber, Katy Verbrugge and I got to meet Stefan Bucher! Check out the Daily Monster guru!

    You can see the lecture you missed here.

    Posted April 14th, 2010 by lindseybock | AIGA, AIGA Benefits, Event, Speaker