New & Noteworthy

Ferris Graphic Design Students Travel to AIGA National Design Conference in Minneapolis

December 12, 2017


Ferris State Students at the National AIGA Design Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

Students from the Graphic Design program at Ferris State University attended the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) National Design Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota from October 12–14, 2017.

Each day of the conference began and ended with with design education, thinking, and networking. In between, attendees schedules were packed with professional development workshops, round tables with premiere industry professionals, an intense design competition, meaningful speakers, social hours, a design fair, and more.

“The conference made me so excited to continue on in this field and to see where my career takes me,” said Molly Ford, a junior in the Graphic Design program. “It showed me all the possibilities my future has to offer.”

Students left feeling inspired and excited for the future. Because of this, AIGA Ferris hopes to attend the AIGA National Design Conference annually and continue increasing the number of students who attend. This year, 24 Ferris students attended the conference, which was an increase from the 20 students who attended last year’s conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“It was an incredible experience gaining insight about the design industry,” said Caitlyn Hain, a junior in the Graphic Design program and first-time conference attendee. “The conference opened my eyes to the true impact design has on the world.”

Ferris State students were all smiles when they met Aaron Draplin, design’s bad boy of logos.

Since AIGA is the professional association for design, the conference is the annual destination for anyone and everyone in the design industry. The theme for 2017 was “Connect,” a word which aptly describes what happened. Students had the chance to connect with professionals and design legends, such as: Paula Scher, John Maeda, Dawn Hancock, Kevin Budelmann, and Aaron Draplin.

“This unforgettable experience drops the design students in the deep end of their professional pool where they swim with the big fish,” said Tim Powers, the AIGA Ferris advisor, and one of the design professors who attended the conference. “It’s a priceless opportunity to witness their industry on display at a premium level. It also reinforces so many methods and issues we introduce in class in a dynamic and memorable way.”

The professors of the Graphic Design program are always pushing the students to take advantage of every opportunity and to really immerse themselves in the world of design. They, along with the students, would like to thank Dean Nicol of the College of Business for contributing to and helping fund the trip.

Cheesin’ with John Maeda, the Global Head of Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic, a worldwide technology company that believes in making the web a better place.

Ferris’s Graphic Design program is one of the only design programs in the nation to be situated in the College of Business; its graduates continually have high placement rates. Students of the program are taught to think not only creatively but also critically; they have reasoning behind their designs and solve problems. The graduates are prepared, and professional; to learn more about the Graphic Design program at Ferris State visit their website.