So, what is Homegrown?
It’s a Lunch & Learn series from AIGA Raleigh.
Things change fast in our industry, and it’s important for us to grow our non-traditional design skills. This monthly lunch series brings local, “homegrown” experts together with designers for an intimate, in-depth discussion of different skills or topics that will help designers add a few skills to their toolbox. Homegrown is your opportunity to have lunch with the smartest people in town.
Have an idea for a topic for a Homegrown session? Are you a local expert in your field interested in speaking at a Homegrown session? Submit your idea here.
At this month’s Homegrown, Lauri Maerov explains the power of naming. Lauri is Creative Director & Chief Storyteller of her own indie consulting firm, WriteThink. She helps companies and individuals discover their unique voice, brand identity, and the most compelling story to ignite a powerful, emotional connection with their audiences.
In days of old, web content was built with table-based HTML. It was really unsightly. While advancements in website development has eliminated the table-based website. Hooray! Unfortunately, email design has not moved away from tables. And the number of browsers, email clients, and devices that newsletters are viewed on has grown. But that doesn’t mean that you are doomed to deliver unsightly email campaigns. In this month’s Homegrown, Newsletter Wizard Tim Rosenberg, of Quillor, showed us how to create better email newsletters.
Letterpress and screen printing have been going through a renaissance, a movement that is clearly evident in Durham, North Carolina. In a world where digital work is easily accessed and distributed, it’s nice to see custom printing making a comeback with local artists and designers. Our November Homegrown highlighted four of those local artists.
This month’s Homegrown featured our own past President Ex Officio and current Advisory Board member Jonathan Opp. Jonathan is Chief Poetics Officer & Partner at New Kind. He previously worked with brand teams at Gateway, IBM, and Red Hat. Jonathan outlined four chapters that make up the process of crafting a brand voice. Starting with the two key elements of voice: Your perspective and your personality.
At our June Homegrown, Agency Firebox founder, Karl Sakas, shared his tips on how to get it all done when you work in design.
At our May Homegrown, Tony Cope, Co-Founder and Executive Producer at Myriad Media shared what he has learned about client relationships during his 22 years as a video producer.
We are looking forward to our June Homegrown event with Karl Sakas, president of global consulting firm Agency Firebox. Karl’s talk, 25 Hours in the Day: How to Get It All Done When You Work in Design, will show you “how to get it all done” and will show attendees: How to set (and uphold) priorities, […]
This week we held our first Homegrown After Dark session at Centerline, with their very own Mack Garrison. Mack is a Motion Graphics Designer at Centerline, and apparently a lover of corny jokes of which he shared a few. Puns aside, Mack is a great presenter and his passion for his work is evident in the way he talks about it.
This month’s Homegrown featured AIGA Member, Chris Davis. Chris is the Graphics Manager at Eagle Press. Part of Chris’ job is to examine files, determine if everything needed is provided and will flow through the system with no issues. More often than not, he finds most printing problems can be avoided by proper file setup. Chris shared some common problems and how to avoid them during our lunch and learn series.
Creative professionals have a unique skillset and story of who they are. Heather helps her clients tell that story to their target markets to show the value of their craft. Heather explains that if you need people to take action, then you need to communicate well what you are offering, let them know what is in it for them. If your sales communications tell exactly what the customer needs to hear, you spend less time explaining, educating, and negotiating and more time creating.
Durham based Spoonflower is a creative digital printing company that makes it possible for anyone to print their own custom designed fabric, gift wrap, decals, and wallpaper. Stephen Fraser, one of the co-founders, shared the story of how the company got it’s start and weathered tough times to become the largest digital textile printer in the world.
Spoonflower makes it possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper, decals and gift wrap. It was founded in May 2008 by two Internet geeks who had crafty wives but who knew nothing about textiles. The company came about because Stephen’s wife, Kim, persuaded him that being able to print her own […]
Creatives are lucky. Their talents can inform, motivate and build everything community to businesses. From the early days of his career, Todd Coats has tried to balance his talents for the forces of good while also making a living. These days, he leads Capstrat’s creative and digital teams to do their best work for large corporations and […]
Robb Leef, an extremely talented illustrator and genuinely nice guy, has spent the last eight years working as an illustrator, designer, and print maker. At this month’s Homegrown, he shared some of his workflows, shortcuts and techniques to make your illustrator work go faster and be more precise while still keeping that hand done feel when translated from your pencil sketch concepts.
Join us May 13 for our Homegrown on The World’s Fanciest Pen with Robb Leef Leef is a multi-talented creative professional whose work spans logo design, custom typography, traditional/digital illustration, packaging, posters, zines, screen-prints, and whatever else he can manage to get himself into. Robb is also on the board of AIGA Philadelphia where he helps create […]
This month’s homegrown featured our friend Andy Kurtts, former AIGA Raleigh board member, and current president of the AIGA Triad NC chapter (which he lead the founding of). Andy is as, he described, a designer, artist, father, husband (married to his high school sweetheart), animal-lover, observer, and wannabe (not in the poser way, but as someone who dabbles in things that interest him). But for his day job, he is the Design Manager for the Fresh Market, where he and his team are tasked with creating the packaging for The Fresh Market’s private label brand among other things. The team is always looking for ways to incorporate handmade elements into their designs and it has become part of the brand. What they come up with are packages that practically jump of the shelves into your shopping cart.
Napoleon Wright II – principal at Pan-II Creative – is a creative character who does a little bit of everything – graphic design, animation, video production, illustration and art direction. Two and a half years ago, he also left his full time job to work for himself, and today he says there is no (realistic) dollar amount that could tempt him to reenter the nine-to-five. During this month’s Homegrown Series, Napoleon shared with us how he decided to go out on his own – and what it’s meant to his work and his life.
Creating handmade elements are good for the designer’s soul. It’s good for business too, as more people crave the textures, imperfections and warmth of hand-made objects, reconnecting them with the long line of artists before them and breaking out of the computer box and getting their hands dirty. Andy Kurtts, Design Manager of The Fresh […]
All too often, people say they want to quit and work for themselves but never do. February’s Homegrown speaker wants to get you thinking about the YOU in your career. Napoleon Wright II, of Pan II Creative will join us to encourage people to make that leap and believe in themselves. He’s not saying “everybody quit your […]
This month’s Homegrown session featured Brian Batchelor, Founder and Creative Director at Brasco Design+Marketing. Brian is a lifelong designer and has worked in branding and online marketing industries for over twelve years.
So why you should you care about whether or not Google loves your beautiful website design? Brian explained that 70% of the links search users click on are organic. Seventy-five percent of users never scroll past the first page of search results. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate versus 1.7% for outbound (print, direct mail). So, pretty much if you want your beautiful site found by people who are looking for content like what is on your (or your client’s) website you should be thinking about SEO.
As designers, our initial thought process is to make the most visually stunning and creative website we possibly can. And that is OK, as long as it is followed by: how can I fit this beautiful design into a site that is search engine friendly? In today’s world as a web designer if this question isn’t in […]
This month’s Homegrown featured Karl Sakas of Agency Firebox. Karl provides agency consultancy and coaching to help them love their agency again. The topic of his presentation was “How to have fewer client services problems,” something we all would like to have. On the agenda for the afternoon: How to find good clients, How to get clients to pay you for all your work, and How to say no without burning bridges.
Whether you work at a marketing agency or do freelance work on the side, we all want to help good clients. But as horror-story sites like “Clients from Hell” illustrate, it’s a tough world out there for creative professionals. Karl Sakas will share how to find the right clients, how to get clients to pay […]
This month, we finally got our good friend Shannon Mølhave (aka @leftydesigner) to share her knowledge with our Homegrown attendees. Shannon has been a longtime member and supporter of AIGA Raleigh and is a talented and experienced web designer. She is a senior web designer at LGFCU. Shannon began by telling us that the success […]
10 Ways to Improve your Website’s User Experience There has been a huge push to improve website user experience (UX) in the past few years, and with good reason. Bad UX can cause clients headaches with frustrated customers tying up their phone lines or simply giving up on their site and going to a competitor. […]
This month’s Homegrown featured Trademark and Copyright Attorny, Ed Timberlake, of Timberlake Law. Ed began by pointing out the common ground among designers and lawyers. Both work on projects long term and have to work within the client’s budget. There is also a common enemy—cliches, unoriginal ideas requested by clients. Intellectual Property Ed told us […]
The records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office are accessible free online, and contain a treasure trove of design ideas extending back at least as far as 1884. The session will begin with a discussion of trademarks in relation other legal principles, followed by an introduction to the web resources of the U.S. Patent […]
For those unfamiliar with the Android platform, the process for reinterpreting an iOS or web application for native use is beset by a number of pitfalls and constraints. After all, like designing for native experiences on any other platform, there are many eccentricities and idioms on Android that must be considered in order to craft a consistent and satisfying application. In this talk, Adit Shukla of Two Toasters walked through the steps for reimagining common iOS usage paradigms, some uniquely Android usage metaphors, best styling practices, designing for multiple form factors and processes for supporting developers to execute designs.
This month’s Homegrown featured Michael Gowan, of Gowan Communications. Michael is a content strategist, writer, and editor with more than 15 years of experience creating web content. His expertise was evident throughout his presentation.
He began with a little humor in demonstrating things that are better together, like beer and pretzels, or Bert & Ernie. The point: content & design are better together.
Michael calls content and design best buds. They are inseparable in the user experience, they accentuate each other, and they are both essential for a successful site.
What’s more important for a successful website: content or design? It’s a trick question, of course. In the end, content and design are inseparable in the user experience. And just as each design element should have a reason, the content that fills a site must also be created with a purpose. Content strategy plans for […]
Designer Josh Gajownik, kicked off our March Homegrown with, why are we here? Brooklyn. Portland. San Francisco. Raleigh? We’ve all made investments by being here, working here, living here. Though Raleigh isn’t renowned as a creative hub of the world, he chose Raleigh because he wants to work where he lives. Working where you live […]
For those unfamiliar with the Android platform, the process for reinterpreting an iOS or web application for native use is beset by a number of pitfalls and constraints. After all, like designing for native experiences on any other platform, there are many eccentricities and idioms on Android that must be considered in order to craft […]
Join us for our March Homegrown and hear Josh Gajownik talk about how to get the most out of the Raleigh creative community, to create connections and build relationships — how to actually contribute to this creative environment, not just live in it.
Josh does a lot of design for interior spaces (restaurants, etc), which could make for a really interesting visual presentation. He is going to talk about his working relationship with Ashley Christensen in helping design interior spaces and branding for her Raleigh restaurants and how that working relationship came about. He’ll have several lessons embedded in these stories about believing in your skills, creating opportunities for yourself, and not being held back by what you don’t know.
This month’s Homegrown features Amber Howard, a Lecturer in the Graphic Design and Industrial Design department at NCSU and Director of Research and Education at New Kind, who spoke to us about using storytelling to find the moments that matter.
The idea of storytelling in User Experience (UX) and design is not new. But for me the way Amber approached it was. She showed us that you must design the experience of telling stories to invite people to share. This is how you find out what resonates with people. Once you know that, you can craft stories that draw people in and that they can relate to.
Designed experiences make the difference between belonging and rejecting; between connecting and missing; between believing and doubting. The threshold can be slight — everyone knows when you’re fake-smiling. As UX designers, we make it our mission to invite people to belong, connect, and believe. Storytelling gets us there. From understanding stakeholders and contexts to crafting […]
Homegrown 2013 kicked off in a new venue this month with Raven Manocchio, founder of the Raleigh, NC, design firm BLDG25. Raven led a lively discussion about the joys, drudgery, and pitfalls of building design-based businesses. He showed us why every designer is an entrepreneur and explained why now is the perfect time to begin […]
Entrepreneurship, Business and Design – Its All Glory Join Raven Manocchio, founder of the award-winning design firms BLDG25 and Stop Studios as he leads a lively discussion about the joys, drudgery, and pitfalls of building design-based businesses including: Why he thinks every designer is an entrepreneur Seriously, another T-shirt business? Why failure is a must Do you really […]
This month’s Homegrown speaker was Gavin O’Hara, the Global Social Media Publisher at Lenovo. He gave us an inside look on how he uses social media to tell stories about the Lenovo brand, and to start conversations. He explained that social media is a conversation starter—an icebreaker—and that’s the lure of the Jackalope. “new media, […]
Myth: Corporate social media is easy to do, and it’s free free free! Reality: With a million tools managing a billion platforms, it’s incredibly complex, costly to do it right and tricky to extract real value. The key, of course, lies in pushing aside all the lingo and the technology in pursuit of making sincere […]
This month’s Home Grown session featured Pam Chestek of Red Hat. Pam is an intellectual property lawyer for Red Hat, Inc. who is responsible for the company’s trademarks and domain names and advises the company’s marketing function on content issues like model releases, inbound and outbound content licensing, and fair use. Pam was a great […]
Please join us for our October Homegrown — “Image rights: Who bears the risk?” with Pam Chestek of Red Hat.
The issue of image rights is huge for designers today. Designers need images to convey ideas, and it’s extraordinarily difficult not to be tempted by the wealth of photography just a Google image search away… Complicating this problem is the fact that clients can see those same images and wonder why they can’t be used.
What is responsive design, you ask? Citing the complexity of the Design industry as what fuels his passion, Les James spoke to an engaged crowd at the September Homegrown event of the Raleigh chapter of AIGA.
he issue of image rights is huge for designers today. Designers need images to convey ideas, and it’s extraordinarily difficult not to be tempted by the wealth of photography just a Google image search away… Complicating this problem is the fact that clients can see those same images and wonder why they can’t be used.
But who is responsible when an image copyright holder finds the image and comes looking for compensation?
If you’ve given responsive web design a serious try then you know it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. The process is foreign, design tools are antiquated, the grid systems are complex and serving assets is a total hack. In this talk we are going to learn how to tame the madness by looking at some fresh design and development techniques that aren’t just theory but production ready. In the end you should be able to spot the land mines early and be better prepared for tackling the beast that is responsive web design.
September Homegrown Save the Date Homegrown will be back from summer hiatus with a talk about Responsive Design on September 11, 2012. We will cover the fundamental ingredients of the approach—combining flexible layouts and media queries. Review advanced layout techniques, so you can get comfortable working with a fluid grid as opposed to a pixel-heavy […]
You may have heard the term “usability” or even UX design. But what does usability really mean? Apple summed up usability requirements for its products with the term “It just works.” That’s how they can get away with delivering iPads without instruction manuals. It just works. Perhaps usability is at its best when it’s invisible. […]
As designers, we have many skills, being able to write well is an important one. One that will give you an edge in the marketplace. Chris Butler of Newfangled, shared his tips on writing at this month’s Homegrown Lunch & Learn event.
What if we told you that today’s designers are destined to become web writers? True – you may not feel comfortable with words, but neither do most web audiences! These days, communicating verbally is part of the job description for all of us. Let Alice Williams show you how to communicate what your next web visitor wants to know as painlessly as possible – for both of you.
Feeding the Fire: Creative Research for Designers | AIGA HOMEGROWN Series Like most of their peers in other fields, designers need to do research. This means knowing where to start as we face ever-increasing amounts of information. As a 2008 Cobus study reported, this is the paradox of the information explosion: access to more information […]
A good salesperson asks questions, listens to the answers, and offers valuable solutions to a prospects problems. A good salesperson tries to establish a sense of trust and builds relationships. That’s a pretty big difference—an important one—and it’s the key to “wearing your selling hat with confidence.” You need to change the way you think about the selling process and how you approach it.
These are some of the lessons learned in this month’s Homegrown Lunch & Learn series “Wear Your Selling Hat with Confidence” with Dave Fellman, a sales and marketing consultant who works within the graphic arts industry.
It is always interesting and educational to get a peek inside a designer’s process. In this month’s Homegrown Lunch & Learn, Mindy Wagner of Viget, gave us a look inside her web design toolbox.
It’s been said that there are talented graphic designers and successful graphic designers, but not every designer can be said to be talented and successful. What makes the difference? Often, it’s simply the ability to sell your talent, to develop customers who will pay you for your creativity and skill. In other words, you have to be able to put on your “selling hat” and get results.
You can’t have a great video without a great story. That’s one of the key takeaways from the November AIGA Homegrown event: Video for Designers. Our speaker, Mike Esser (Team Leader of Red Hat Digital Media & Video), told a stand-room-only crowd how good storytelling is essential to creating a great video. Mike began by […]
The web is exploding with design potential, and a young craft is growing up. The days of the “webmaster” are long over. Web designers are true specialists, and clearly communicating our vision throughout the process makes for happy clients and successful sites. At AIGA’s December HOMEGROWN Lunch & Learn event we will discuss the designer’s evolving role in crafting the web.
Video isn’t just for YouTube anymore. It’s everywhere. It’s truly become a vital component of brand storytelling, and this HOMEGROWN Lunch & Learn event from AIGA Raleigh is designed to help you add video to your growing list of skills. We’ve invited Mike Esser, team lead for digital media at Red Hat, to lunch, and want you to join us for an inside look at how he approaches his craft.