Industry Events for Graphic Design Students

By: Michael Grefe, Associate Professor, Interior Design Filed under: Visual Design

December 5, 2017

One good way for graphic design students to gain more exposure to the design industry is by joining professional organizations and attending local, regional and national conferences to learn about career opportunities, networking and the latest design trends.

American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) is a good option for graphic design students as it’s the most well-known professional membership organization for graphic design with more than 70 chapters and more than 25,000 members to connect with and network. AIGA provides both annual conferences, competitions and design seminars as well as local meet and greet activities for students to learn about the profession and find out about job opportunities. The next AIGA Annual Conference will be held next year and you’ll be able to sign up for lectures by critically acclaimed graphic artists from every imaginable graphic arts medium. Learn more about AIGA and the annual conference at

Ai Pittsburgh — Online Division has an online student group chapter for AIGA that provides graphic design students with the ability to chat with their peers socially, exchange ideas, and have discussions amongst design educators and creative professionals through meetings and a Facebook page. Our AIGA student group Facebook page is a place where students can ask questions, review any designs or works in progress they want to share as well as find out about upcoming AIGA events. We have recordings from previous AIGA student meetings with guest speakers including faculty and design professionals in the field. Learn more at

Other industry events graphic design students can attend are the "Smashing Conference" to be held in London in February, 2018 which offers practical, hands-on tips designed to advance the more technical side of graphic design and web design and how it can be utilized through social media. Learn more at

The "99U Conference" which will be held in New York in May, 2018 is for all types of creative professionals and students and promotes motivation, skill building, and networking to build your own brand. Speakers typically include industry’s most-lauded designers so it’s definitely a worthwhile event to attend. Learn more at

The "Typographics Conference" is a two day design festival for people who use type. The workshop emphasizes the craft of typography and the best ways to utilize it in print, web and throughout social media. Learn more at

The “Brand New Conference” to be held in New York, New York in September 2018 is for graphic artists who focus on corporate identity branding. The conference presents seminars with leaders in the industry who discuss their work, the latest design trends for brands and their branding techniques. Learn more at

The next "Revolve Conference" will be in Charleston, South Carolina. Revolve is a unique opportunity for Designers and Graphic artists who are brand makers to connect with a community of inspiration seekers. Over twenty well know brand makers from around the country will take the stage, sharing their ideas and expertise. Learn more at

"HOW Design Live" scheduled next for April, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts is considered the premiere graphic design conference where creative designers converge and connect to learn more latest trends, get career advice and network with other design professionals. Graphic artists can choose from several different seminars on marketing to technical skill and portfolio development workshops. Learn more at

"The Graphic Artists Guild" is a good option for students who are unable to attend regional or national conferences as they have webinars online to listen and view. The mission of the guild is to improve working conditions for all graphic artists such as animators, cartoonists, designers, illustrators, and digital artists and improve standards for the entire industry. The Graphic Artists Guild primary purpose is to help members build successful careers by equipping them with the skills and support needed to compete effectively in an ever-changing field. The Guild embraces graphic artists at all skill levels both professionals and students and require a small membership fee to join and attend webinars. Learn more at

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By: Michael Grefe, Associate Professor, Interior Design Filed under: Visual Design

December 5, 2017