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Nashville Design Bros Hit Up Minneapolis

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ST8MNT represented Nashville hard at the biannual AIGA design conference this year by sending creative director Josh Newman, senior graphic designer Austin Hale and me (Mr. Aaron Rayburn) up to Minneapolis for a bit of fun. To say we had a blast is an underst8mnt. Check out our review of the 2013 AIGA HEAD HEART and HAND conference below.




Did some studio tours. Felt like a tourist – but it was worth it.
Carmichael Lynch, FAME, and Martin | Williams. Martin Williams showed their Basilica work.

The only good round of Command X (IMO) was the rebranding of the Prince logo. (Probably because they had a whole week to complete the project.) There was a Nashville gal by way of Texas named Tori Thomas in the running with some solid work but she was cut in the 2nd of the three rounds. Check her out at her website.

By the way, Comic Sans is still terrible. The over all winner of the show Joey Calzone Jabroni chose to rebrand Prince with comic sans in an attempt to be a funny guy.





George Lois stoked the crowd with memorable quotes like “Your job as a graphic designer is to awaken, disturb, instigate, and most of all, provoke.” -George Lois

Some day I would like to say things like this and have people quote them. And possibly add my signature in blue, that was a nice touch.



PAULINA REYES is amazing. Period.

Danny Yount show his demo reel, and the crowd went berserk!
His motion work and creative direction annihilates other designers.


Leyla Acaroglu (a sustainability guru) told everyone that plastic bags are better than paper ones (because they weigh less). Remember that next time you wanna double-bag at Whole Foods.

JJ Sedelmaier (the animator for SNL and Beavis and Butthead) talked about his career. Interesting enough, he also drew Strawberry Shortcake and The Berenstain Bears.



Chock full of AWESOMENESS. First, Nicole Lazzaro taught us the science behind game design and explained the gamification of life. Check out her 4 keys to fun.  I should mention here that she did her entire presentation on Instagram. I guess you could say she was “straight flex’n.” Next up was Steve Duenes and Matthew Ericson from the New York Times Graphics Department. These dudes bring data to life visually in ways that I can’t explain. Google them now.

And who knew a logo could cause so much drama? Read about the once-controversial and now-abandoned University of California logo. It was a hot media mess and would be too confusing to retell the story for you here.



IBM revealed that the future of the company is to ramp up their design game by growing their in-house creative department so they can hold their own against Facebook, Google and Apple. Their first step was to name the new studio IBM Design and to hire former AIGA pres Doug Powell to help build the vision.

The Original Champions of Design (Bobby C. Martin Jr. and Jennifer Kinon) showed off their work and gave one of the best presentations I ever seen. They even gave out free t-shirts. Check them out and make them your new favorite.


Aaron Draplin closed out the conference and really brought it home with a great presentation and some sweet design. He seriously killed it. You should really watch his closing talk, that is if you can find a internet bootleg of his presentation/performance.


THE END. Oh, and then we partied hard at the Walker Art Center.


Thanks to Amy Olert Hardy for showing us around the city and all the cool haunts of MPLS.

This trend-following website is amazing. If you missed the conference you can visit this link at seen.co and read about it and pretend you were there.

Thank you, AIGA for a great graphic design conference and thank you, ST8MNT, for sending me to Minneapolis. I had a great time and I’m a better, more inspired designer because you give me opportunities to contribute to these events. Muah.