It's the Return of HOW Design Live

By Nicole Torres

Andy Stefanavich

Last year's keynote speaker in Denver was Andy Stefanovich of Prophet.

In a little over a week, HOW Design Live, a four-in-one superconference, will be taking over the Windy City, where a few thousand graphic designers, illustrators, creative directors, and other design professionals will gather for what may be “the ultimate design event of the year.” And for those of you who may be interested in this type of thing, there’s still time to sign up.

Put on by Print’s sister publication, HOW Magazine, the conference runs from June 22 through June 27 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. It’s a convergence of four different design conferences— the HOW Design Conference (June 24-27), InHOWse Managers Conference (June 24-27), Creative Freelancer Conference (June 23-24), and Dieline Package Design Conference (June 22-24)— under one AAA Four Diamond roof.

For many designers this is the single most important networking event of the year. It’s also widely considered to one of the most fun. Even for the event’s main organizers like HOW’s new editor, Megan Patrick:

I’ve always found the HOW Conference to be an energizing experience. With all the events of HOW Design Live this year, I expect the energy to be off the charts. Gathering thousands of creatives together under one roof is bound to create some static. Hopefully, we can channel it toward productive ends, otherwise the hotel might explode!

Boasting a jam-packed itinerary, the six-day lineup includes events, workshops and speakers targeted to a wide-ranging audience of graphic designers, package designers, in-house managers, and creative freelancers seeking to fine-tune their business skills. From sessions like “Decoding the Meaning of Design” and “The Future of Freelancing” to “Exploring the Package Design Process” and “What the Future Wants from a Designer,” each day of the conference aims to educate attendees by exploring different creative processes. The overall schedule also lists happy hours, breakfast roundtables and evening parties for those of you looking to get your networking on.

HOW Crowd

Crowds gather for the HOW conference.

HOW Bookstore

The HOW bookstore is usually a big hit among attendees.

If that’s not reason enough for you to splurge on a ticket, maybe you’ll be interested in who you can meet. The conference hosts “Lunch with a Speaker” events, where you can talk it up with a distinguished guest, from the likes of the notable James Victore to Allan Haley of Monotype Imaging to Jake and Pum Lefebure from Design Army. There are over 35 speakers to choose from.

AIGA Debbie Millman

AIGA president Debbie Millman was a speaker at last year's conference in Denver.

Victore's beard

Designer James Victore is a featured speaker at this year's conference.

Victore NY Times mag

Some of Victore's work for the New York Times magazine.

HOW party

HOW Conference attendees can expect a healthy dose of nighttime activities.

HOW to party

More HOW party goers.

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