5 Takeaways from AIGA Leadership Retreat – Raleigh 2016

Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to travel to Raleigh, NC with six of my fellow AIGA DC board members to take part in the professional design association’s annual leadership retreat. Having attended last year as well, I had a better idea of what to expect and was eager to see some familiar faces in the design community.

DC AIGA Board Photo

This year’s theme was “OPEN,” reiterating the fact that in our organization all are welcome. Read on to get my five key takeaways from the 2016 conference:

Print is Alive and Well in Raleigh-Durham

In Durham, a quick 20-minute drive outside of Raleigh, we toured four wonderful printmaking studios:

  1. Artisan & Printer
  2. Shed Letterpress
  3. Supergraphic
  4. Hey Mokney! Design

It was inspiring to see and touch so many printed samples. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in each was unique and impressive. Hearing from each owner about how his or her studio began was truly remarkable. From finding old presses that are no longer made, using new techniques for letter setting—even 3D printing letter forms for use in letterpress—all show that print will always have a strong place in the design community.

Shed Letterpress

Google Design Census

Jonathan Lee, from Google announced that they are creating a Design Census in an effort to better understand the design community. Boards of questions were setup outside the event hall where AIGA members voted on the questions that mattered most to them. Look for the results around mid October!

Design Census

AIGA Re-launches “Get Out the Vote” Initiative

Each election cycle AIGA supports awareness of the “Get Out The Vote” initiative, which was created to increase involvement in our political system. This year a toolkit was created and a call for poster submissions was held. Visit AIGA for full details and use the hashtag #AIGAvote and #GetOutTheVoteto join the conversation. Check out some of the poster submissions below.

Get out the Vote table

Design For Good Initiative

Design for good strives to bring about positive social change through design. Several moving stories about the power of design were shared and it was noted that sometimes, as designers and artists, we lose site of the impact we make. The initiative challenges designers to think big-picture about what their designs can achieve. This year we plan to send a quick survey to our local members to discover what causes they are most passionate about and what they would like to see added in our upcoming programming year.

Design with Heart

Serving the Design Community is Humbling and Rewarding

Seeing the full extent of work and programming being put into the design community,nationally and on a volunteer level, was truly amazing. I had the opportunity to connect with designers from all over the country. Their work is inspiring—they truly care and are always willing to offer a helping hand. I would like to thank CHIEF for being an ongoing AIGA DC sponsor and for being ardent advocates of our local design community.

Did you attend AIGA’s leadership conference? Connect with us in the comments below, and be sure to follow the AIGA DC chapter on Instagram.

I look forward to meeting everyone at future events starting in September!

Group Photo with AIGA signs

Get alerted to new job postings, events, and insights by registering for our monthly newsletter.