Archived on February 8, 2013. Visit for more information.



AIGA Design Conference   October 13-16, Phoenix, Arizona

Programming for emerging designers

At “Pivot” students and emerging designers can learn from industry legends, mingle with seasoned professionals, share their fresh perspectives and connect with students from across the country.

to take advantage of special events designed just for you!

Emerging Designer Symposium

Presented by

Thursday, October 13
12:45–3:30 p.m.

Alissa Walker, writer and Gelatobaby blogger, will moderate this conference-within-a-conference tailored to students and young designers about to enter the competitive profession of graphic design. Attendees will be inspired, informed and entertained by accomplished designers in all stages of their careers discussing how to make the transition from school to studio and the ups and downs of making it in the real world. The Symposium is free to registered attendees; pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Cut My Teeth. Wash My Hands.

Frank Chimero, designer,

Oh god, what is this talk? This is the story of learning as much as you can, then moving on. It’s what it feels like to be dropped into the world once school is through. It’s a retrospective on the first five years running a design practice. It’s being your own boss, and being a really awful boss. It’s loving what you do, then hating it, then trying to teach yourself to love it like you did the first time. This talk includes: four embarrassing student projects, one lawsuit, one mugging at gunpoint, one low ceiling, one guy falling off the roof, and one road trip across the country to rethink everything and start over. Oh, and vectors. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we’ll probably not talk about typefaces. So, I guess this is a talk about life in your twenties, and the moments where your work and your life meet.

Is it OK to dunk on your boss?

Jennifer Daniel, graphics director, Bloomberg Businessweek

My presentation will answer your most pressing questions like, "Is it OK to dunk on your boss? Why can't I have nice things? What is the ratio of cheese to your iPhone app? Viral: Is there a lotion for this? Who would win in a fist fight: Frank Chimero or Mig Reyes? MONEY MONEY MONEY!!" Okay, that last one isn't a question so I cannot answer it. I am committed to speaking with diverse words that will form sentences that will create thoughts about keeping a personality while working for the man.

Staying Scrappy

Mig Reyes, graphic designer, threadless and

This is a story about making it up as you go along. We'll talk about how inspiration is a temporary thing, and how you should make now and make lots. We'll talk about how passion projects lead to more projects, which lead to more projects, which lead to even more. Basically, we'll talk about how no one really knows what they're doing—and why that's the best reason to try everything.

A Branding Odyssey

Yolanda "Yo" Santosa, creative director, Ferroconcrete

Initially Yo Santosa set out to do branding, but quickly found she hated it and went on to do motion. Still haunted by an unfulfilled passion, she returned with the Pinkberry account and found herself in back love with branding. Recently she is once again excited by the world of motion, spending a year heading up the TBS network rebrand. And even more recently, she launched her own retail brand, früute, which has given her yet another lesson on branding, this time from the inside out. Throughout it all Yo has discovered the many parallels between branding and storytelling. Her philosophy and unique experience allow her to disregard platform constraints across print, web, motion and other mediums. And as traditional branding continues to evolve, Yo continues to bank on the truly infinite possibilities of design.

Student Portfolio Review

Friday, October 14
6:30–8:30 p.m.

This is an invaluable opportunity to display your portfolio and receive feedback from and introduce yourself to the famous designers whose work you’ve always admired. Bring either a print portfolio or a laptop with your projects and the software needed to run them. We’ll set you up with a table and chair and direct hundreds of designers your way. This opportunity is free for “Pivot” student attendees; pre-registration is required and will open this summer.

Command X

Unfolding on the “Pivot” main stage throughout the conference, Command X: Season 3 is a graphic-design reality show featuring seven up-and-coming designers—current AIGA members who are college graduates and were 26 or younger at the time of the entry deadline—to step into the spotlight, complete design challenges and have the chance to break into the industry in front of 1,500 peers, heroes and potential employers! Cash, fabulous prizes and glory are all at stake. See the Command X page for details. 

Sheraton deadline extended

The hotel deadline has been extended at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel—rooms at the conference rate are still available so make your reservations now!