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AdminDec 12, 2018 4:34:58 AM3 min read

Delving Into Design Week

Is the end of the year really here?

Seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago, we were contemplating a Chicago Design Week event submission (it was July!).

What is Chicago Design Week?

An annual celebration for almost a decade, Chicago Design Week brings together programming for creative professionals, designers, marketers and more. To host: you pitch an event – can be anything from an interactive workshop to presentation, or a completely new concept. It’s reviewed by a panel, which includes representatives from AIGA, Design Museum of Chicago and the Society of Typographical Arts.

Here was their official artwork.

The Cushing team works with graphic designers – from large agencies to freelancers. There was a natural fit to be involved. What would appeal to the team deciding on the weeks programming? From the Design Week website:

In 2018, Chicago Design Week is focused on an examination of the evolving definitions, responsibilities, and societal expectations shaping the designer today.

Brainstorming topics, I recalled the AMC interactive print movie posters from a Search Engine Journal article. If augmented reality was making it’s way into marketing plans: would you (or I) have a graphic designer to bring an idea to final concept? Design schools such as Columbia College are starting to build these types of classes into curriculum, which is terrific.

Welcome Chicago Design Week!!!

For an immediate need, I’d be going to Google or tapping into my network.

Technology is a hot topic these days.

And it transcends industries and professions. This past summer, Cushing hosted a lunch and learn discussing artificial intelligence’s impact on marketing efforts. The subject could easily have covered how A.I. is affecting the graphic design profession.

As we shared ideas internally, we started thinking: if graphic design is becoming an increasingly fluid pursuit, technology is a large part of the conversation, right?

Could this be the Chicago Design Week topic we had been chasing?

Canva is a tool we use internally for website graphics and less-concept heavy project books. This cloud-based service had to at least be on the mind of some designers out there. If a customer wants a print poster that creates a response on a smartphone, how does one get started on this design medium?

We thought this could be the subject to resonate with creative professionals.

The Amazing Panelists Chat Before Getting Started.

Are designers tasked with knowing every technology and creative medium? What do the next five to ten years look like at the intersection of technology and design? Tech was on the brain with the Chicago Design Week submission looming. It was if I’d taken the blue pill, entered the Matrix and could not get away from Neo.

In all seriousness, there seemed to a fit.

Discussing Design and Technology in the Cushing Graphics Lab

How does this shape a graphic designer’s creative process? What type of effect does it have on client strategy? How do traditional mediums play a role in this rapidly evolving landscape?

Attendees in The Back of the Graphics Lab Listen Intently.

Marketing and production put their heads together, hammered out a topic, and crossed our fingers. Ultimately we settled upon a panel of experts – from VR development to the built environment, to provide insight

It was an interesting conversation. Some main takeaways included:

  • Don’t react to technology – yes, trends happen quickly, but technology for the sake of just using it, is just a demonstration.
  • What’s the project goal? If a client is hyper-focused on a tech trend, because they saw a headline, is that the right reason to use it?
  • Guide your client to find the right medium. If that means using A/R, wall graphics, or virtual reality etc. help them find the right tools.

Over forty events came together during Chicago Design Week.

We were excited to participate look forward to contributing in 2019!