HOW Design Conference


HOW Magazine is sponsoring their annual design conference in Boston May 18-21. The conference offers dozens of workshops and presentations. They are primarily aimed at graphic designers, but there appear to be a lot of topics that could easily apply to illustrators, web designers, and others in the various fields of commercial art.

I’ve never attended a HOW design conference but am considering attending this year. Besides the opportunity to network with lots of potential clients, there are a some presentations and events I think I’d get a lot out of. Here’s a few that really interest me. (Whenever you see the word “designer”, insert your profession, i.e. “illustrator”, since most of the content will still apply to any creative field.):

Financial Planning for Solo Designers (i.e. freelancers). Shel Perkins will help you get a handle on your overall financial situation, as well as manage every day growing pains—from capital needs and financial projections to banking relationships and cash flow.

Get Your Network to Work for You. Tim Pederson will share the proven formula for successful networking, with tips on building a relationship in five questions, using “the million-dollar question,” and networking at a mixer.

The Design Enterpreneur. Charles S. Anderson will take you on his journey from designer to design entrepreneur—creating, manufacturing and licensing digital and tangible design products for distribution throughout the world. (Think dinnerware, gift wrap, note cards, books and apparel.)

Applying Color (The ABCs, HSVs , RGBs and CMYKs of Color). Join color expert and author Jim Krause for a session that’s 20% color theory and 75% practical palette-building techniques that you can directly apply to your own design and illustration projects. You’ll leave with an understanding of color that is both simplified and expanded; a greater awareness of the qualities and effects of color; and practical strategies and formulas for choosing and combining colors

Creating the Perfect Pitch: Tools to Help Express Your Vision. You may have an awesome vision for your client, but if you can’t express it in a way that resonates with them, you’re sunk. Learn the tools available to you for creating a visually stunning presentation. In addition, we’ll show some of the tips for choosing colors and design elements that help you stay true to your pitch during the design process. Knowing best practices can make technology a design asset, freeing you to express your vision flawlessly.

Inside Red Nose Studio: The Creative Process of Illustrator Chris Sickels. Chris Sickels will walk you through his creative process, from early concepts to model making to drawing the final images—even some animation. You’ll learn how to take full advantage of whatever you have at hand, how to experiment and push the limits of creativity, and the real value of original commissioned illustrations.

Email by Design: The Art of Creating Effective Email Communications. Discover simple tips for improving your email response rates and results, and review creative samples that work—and some that don’t—so you can be sure you’re creating email newsletters and campaigns that look great and work even harder. You’ll learn simple tips for improving the quality and results of your email communications; easy ways to create more timely, targeted and personal customer and member emails; how to design for different email programs and make sure your masterpieces look great no matter where they’re being seen

You can view the full list of presentations and register at the HOW Design Conference website.

Have you ever attended a HOW Design Conference? What did you think? Was it worth it? Leave a comment below and give us the inside scoop.