New & Noteworthy

Eight Ferris Graphic Design Students at Travel to AIGA National Design Conference in Pasadena

May 1, 2019


For the third consecutive year, students in the Graphic Design program at Ferris State University traveled to one of the biggest annual events in design: the AIGA National Design Conference.

Throughout the three-day conference, the students learned from and networked with top professionals in the design industry. With over 60 speakers from across the world, there were countless new ideas and conversations sparked between the students and professionals.

“It was a great opportunity to get out of the classroom and gain insight from the design industry. The conference touched on aspects of design I never thought about and further opened my eyes to the possibilities of where my design career can take me. It made me that much more excited to graduate and start my career in the industry,” said Sandy Hill, a senior and second time attendee.

AIGA, the professional association for design, is an organization that the Ferris Design Program has had a lasting membership with and a long history of students attending the National Design Conference.

“Once again, AIGA delivers contemporary and meaningful content to our graphic design students,” said Assistant Professor Tim Powers, the AIGA student group advisor who has attended the conference with students the past three years. “The conference lends enhanced value to our program in a dynamic, national professional context.”

The conference is hosted in a major United States city and design center every year. This year’s conference was held in Pasadena, California and its theme was centered around culture. This included talks on how culture affects design, how to improve workplace culture, and the power design has over culture. Each morning, attendees chose to attend Symposia topics featuring expert speakers in each field. Topics included Business and Entrepreneurship, Design for Good, Digital Craft, Customer Experience, Branding, and many others. This gave students the opportunity to dive into specific areas of interest.

“The conference was an eye-opening experience. Hearing Sheharazad Fleming talk about the opportunities of in-house design and Emily Ruth Cohen talk about how to handle clients made me excited about working in the industry,” said senior Molly Ford.

Along with the big-name professionals, the conference features workshops, tours, and a design fair to speak with vendors and collect samples.

According the Graphic Design program, the students returned from the conference energized about design and eager to apply what they learned to their work.

“The AIGA Conference is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to the design industry and to network with professionals,” said Maddy Martin, a junior and first-time attendee to the conference. “I left the conference feeling re-invigorated and inspired. Listening to other designers share their experiences made me even more excited to begin my own career.”

Next year’s AIGA Conference will take place in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The sophomore and junior students are already eager for the 2020 conference. The Graphic Design program would like to express thanks to Dean Nicol and Student Government at Ferris, as their contributions helped make this trip possible for the students.

The College of Business at Ferris State University provides career-oriented education, responding for over 100 years to the changing needs of the business world. The curriculum prepares graduates to deal with real issues as members and leaders of tomorrow’s workforce.

The Ferris Graphic Design program at Ferris State University uniquely prepares its students through a rigorous curriculum focused on creative problem solving and business thinking within a design context. Students in the program enter the workforce with know-how that only authentic client interactions and critical-thinking mindsets can provide. To learn more about the Graphic Design Program, check out their website or schedule a visit.