5 Great Conferences for Graphic Designers

Graphic Designer Conferences

  • The Adobe MAX
  • The Brand New Conference
  • The 99U Conference
  • The Smashing Conference
  • The American Institute of Graphic Arts Annual Conference

Whether you are a graphic designer who is just getting into the business, or one that is brushing up on your field, hitting a conference is still the best way to gain more information about best practices and network. The problem is that your time and money is limited so you can’t go to every conference that pops up. With that in mind, here are the five conferences for graphic designers you should always attend.

1. The Adobe MAX

Usually taking place in Las Vegas in late October, this conference is great for graphic designers because it likes to bill itself as “the” creativity conference. While you are going to be able to get lots of new information from this conference, you’ll also be able to hobnob with some of the luminaries of your field. The 2017 conference is hosting people like the famed designer and artist James Victore and performer Mark Ronson.

The conference will not just have panels and sessions but will also have 90-minute labs where you can ply your trade and learn more about how to do the newest tactics.

2. The Brand New Conference

This is one conference that has a corporate aim but can be quite helpful to those who focus on corporate branding. This conference is based on the hugely popular Brand New blog, that any graphic artist who does do corporate branding is likely following or needs to start following immediately. The conference takes place in Chicago, Illinois in September.

3. The 99U Conference

This New York-based conference is quite a bit like the Adobe MAX conference in that it’s more about meeting people in your industry. Certainly, you’ll be able to listen to and interact with some of the best minds in the business, but there will be plenty of workshops that will allow you to show off what you can already do, as well as learn new tricks of the trade.

The conference dates move around a little bit but are generally in late spring. In 2017 it was in June and 2018 is slated for a May launch.

4. The Smashing Conference

The Smashing Conference is a bit smaller than some of the others on this list. In fact, this is one of those get-togethers that plenty of graphic designers have never ever heard of. Despite it being smaller and a bit more under the radar, Smashing makes the list as one of the truly great conferences for graphic designers because of the hands on tips and tricks experts will be offering to attendees.

This conference takes place in San Francisco and is usually held in the earlier part of the spring. Those who want to get a better view of the more technical side of graphic designing should plan to attend.

5. The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Annual Conference

Wouldn’t be much of a list of great conference for graphic designers if the AIGA wasn’t included. Staged by the oldest professional graphics arts organization in the USA, this will give you plenty of insight into how you can do better in your chosen field, with hands-on labs as well as panels and presentations by the best of the best.

This conference takes place in different places around the US but is usually held in the early part of the fall. The 2017 conference is in Minneapolis.

The one thing you are going to notice about all these conferences is they are about more than just getting to know other people in your career path. Almost all of these get-togethers are geared towards making sure you can get better, should you have the desire. Hit all of them, or just one and you will be taking a good step in the right professional direction.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Graphic Design Degree Programs

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