HOW Design Live Is Coming, HOW Design Live Is Coming

Posted inBranding & Identity Design
Thumbnail for HOW Design Live Is Coming, HOW Design Live Is Coming

The famous bronze statue of George Washington and trusty steed, in Boston's Public Garden

Every year our sister pub, HOW magazine, throws a big party event for designers called the HOW Conference. Thousands of eager creative minds gather together to listen, learn, and commune. And then take the streets by storm to protest the unfair conditions… oh, wait, different thing, sorry. Regardless, the HOW Conference is fun and inspiring and attracts some of the biggest names in the industry to speak and just mix and mingle. You should talk your boss into investing in your career by getting you a ticket. But tell boss person to hurry because “early bird” registration closes at the end of March.

Does boss need some cajoling? Well, this year’s luminaries include the fabulous Chip Kidd, the dynamic Jake and Pum Lefebure from Design Army, and our very own kick-ass Imprint contributors, Debbie Millman, David Sherwin, and Patrick McNeil, to name a few.

Need more enticement? This year’s conference is in June. In sultry Boston. Beantown. College Town USA. What could be more fun than rubbing creative elbows late summer style in the Cradle of Liberty?

Anyway, the entire event is technically called HOW Design Live because it comprises four different conferences into “one mega event” (talk about value!). To be clear, they are:

  1. The HOW Design Conference (June 22-25)

  2. The InHOWse Manager’s Conference (June 21-23)

  3. The Creative Freelancer’s Conference (June 21-22)

  4. The Dieline Package Conference (June 22-25)

You can see a whole schedule of events and speakers here, but don’t miss Debbie Millman who will be holding two speaking engagements. The first:

The Dieline Package Design Conference:Design Matters Live: Debbie Millman Interviews the Godfather of Modern Branding, Mr. Wally OlinsFriday, June 22 2:00pm-3:00pm

Over the last year, Debbie interviewed some of the world’s most brilliant and provocative brand leaders for her book Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits, including Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Dan Pink, Virginia Postrel, Wally Olins and Alex Bogusky. In this presentation, Debbie will reveal the common denominators, the disagreements and the ramifications of the position brands—and brand leaders—have in our culture and our lives.

The second:

Debbie Millman – HOW Design ConferenceBrand Thinking and Other Noble PursuitsSunday, June 24 9:00am-10:15am

Debbie considers her interview with Wally Olins to be the best of her career. Now Debbie and Wally meet face to face—for the very first time—to continue their conversation on such topics as:

  1. Why branding is a profound manifestation of the human condition

  2. The common denominators between branding and religion

  3. How branding demonstrates a tribal sense of belonging

  4. Why Wally is skeptical about advertising

  5. Why and how the branding of nations is more critical than ever

  6. Whether market research perpetuates mediocrity

  7. Why the quality of work is more important than anything

Every year the HOW Conference gets better and better and this year will be no different: The Speakers! The Workshops! The Roundtables! Grant McCracken! Armin & Bryony! It is sure to be an inspiring life-changing event and I am counting down the days until it starts. – Debbie Millman


If you’re a web enthusiast, be sure to catch the presentations by Patrick McNeil. He’ll also be speaking twice. The first:

Patrick McNeil – HOW Design ConferenceCurrent Trends in Web Design – Patrick McNeilSaturday, June 23 10:45am-noon

Trends aren’t purely topical—in many ways, especially when it comes to web design, trends can and will impact your actual design process. In this session, web expert Patrick McNeil will take a look at current web design trends and explain how they’re impacting the typical design process. You’ll see why, with the increase of browser-based design elements, it’s increasingly difficult to prepare mock-ups entirely in Photoshop, and get the tools you need to make your life easier.

In Patrick’s talks you’ll discover:

  1. Key web design trends

  2. Tools to ease the pain of designing in Photoshop

  3. The point where design and technology merge

The second:

Patrick McNeil – Creative Freelancer ConferenceTop Ten Tools to Save You Time (Radically Streamline Your Business in the Cloud) – Patrick McNeilFriday, June 22 10:45am-noon

Take home the tools that will help you streamline your business, save time and money, and leave more time for the work you love.


And if you’re looking to translate your design skills into a leadership position, frog’s Dav
id Sherwin has super duper tricks up his sleeve for you.

David Sherwin – HOW Design ConferenceBecoming a Design Leader – David SherwinSaturday, June 23 10:45am-noon

Design leaders make awesome things happen, wherever they go. But few designers start their careers as leaders, and most have to muddle through management in order to realize that leadership in a design organization isn’t the same thing. It takes the right combination of experience, time and a good mentor to develop great leadership skills— and some of those skills aren’t teachable.

But if you want to learn everything you can about the leadership skills that are teachable, join frog design’s David Sherwin as he shares perspectives on how you can become a leader within your organization. Based on interviews with some of today’s top designers, David will share details on how to:

  1. Communicate more actively, and with awareness of your team’s rational and emotional intelligence

  2. Create spaces for individual and team creativity to flourish

  3. Align teams with a vision, no matter who suggested it

My talk “Becoming a Design Leader” came out of a series of conversations I’ve had with creative directors at frog and other design studios to try and understand how leaders can be cultivated within a design organization. Additionally, I’ve spent most of the past year trying to understand how leadership qualities emerge in all sorts of audiences, from designers at studios in the US and abroad, as well as adolescent girls living in Africa and Asia.Surprisingly, many of the same qualities we seek in a leader are similar, whether for a design studio, an agency, an in-house group, or even a group for adolescent girls! It’s my hope that this talk will inspire designers seeking to take a leadership role and help them confirm they’re going down the right path, as well as help give shape to how design leaders may broaden their perspectives and try different techniques to better empower their staff to create stellar work—and have fun in the process.At HOW, I always look forward to catching up with friends and former colleagues, as the conversations that happen around the activities are always delightful. When it comes to panels and talks, there are so many great speakers this year I can barely keep it straight how I’m going to fit them all in: Chip Kidd, Hillman Curtis, Alina Wheeler, Von Glitschka, Joseph Duffy, Debbie Millman, Christopher Chapman, Stefan Mumaw are just a few of the people on my list. – David Sherwin More Design Resources:

  1. Available now: Print Magazine’s Guest Art Director Digital Collection

  2. Enter your work in the Regional Design Annual

  3. Get an inside look at logo design from Chermayeff & Geismar