Friday, June 13, 2008

AIGA DC in da house!

Last night, I went to the AIGA DC IN HOUSE event at National Museum of Women in the Arts and I have to say that I think it was the best event of the season, besides AIGA FIFTY of course! The venue and sponsors were wonderful and I was especially impressed with the sound quality. Thanks to Lee for planning such an awesome event.

I typically like events with speakers which are educational and offer me inspiration. AIGA DC has been trying to provide different programming for every type of designer and every level of designer. This year, we had a lot of student events and events promoting diversity and green design. IN HOUSE was no exception. We were reaching out to not only in-house designers, but also interactive and web designers. There were a lot of new faces by reaching out to different areas of the design community!

The speakers included Khoi Vinh (Design Director, and also the author of, Faz Besharatian (Design Director, Web Strategy & Operations, AARP), and Rob Covey (Senior Vice President, Content and Design, National Geographic Digital Media). All of them gave wonderful presentations and insight. I can tell you they are hard-working, honest, and super super smart! I realized that all their sites are designed to be "quiet." The design has stepped back to give the content room to breathe. As much as it looks so simple, this is not an easy thing to do considering how much content they are working with.

Another interesting element of their discussion was that much of it focused on how to work with people and build relationships. I've realized myself in the past year that having good clients is more important than having good design. When you have good clients, then that leads to good design and the understanding of each other. As a designer, you need to know what the client needs out of you to create the final piece that can help the client connect with their audience. On the other hand, the client needs to be educated with design decisions in a dialogue with the designer. A large part of good design is building relationships. It was great to hear the opinions and discussion at the event. I really enjoyed being there.

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