The Latest Design Events in Los Angeles and San Francisco

There are many exciting design events coming up in October in Los Angeles and San Francisco! It’s great to get out and network with like-minded creative professionals to learn, and make connections.

Read on for details about upcoming design events in Los Angeles and San Francisco, most of which are hosted by the Los Angeles and San Francisco chapters of the AIGA (professional association for design).

Los Angeles Design Events:

Adobe Sidekick 2011: An All-Star Technology Jam Session

Date: October 1, 2011, 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
Cost: Admission to the event is free and open to the public.
Indie Desk
816 South Broadway
Los Angeles 90014

Description: “The Los Angeles Adobe User Group (LAdobe), along with the Los Angeles Photoshop User Group, the Los Angeles Illustrator User Group, and LAFlash present Adobe Sidekick 2011. Sidekick is presented as a special event for the Los Angeles area Adobe Community and features presenters who are in town for the Adobe MAX conference at the nearby Los Angeles Convention Center. For those of you still on the fence about attending MAX, this night will offer a small taste of the conference. For those of you who cannot afford to attend MAX due to financial or work-related conditions, this night offers a chance to hear from some of the top minds in technology while they are in the area. There will be beverages from Zenify, Function Drinks and other surprises as well. Prizes will include a copy of one of the bundles of Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, books from O’Reilly, Peachpit and other book publishers and much more.”

Click here for more information.

StimuLatté: Coffee and Conversation

Date: October 6, 2011, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Cost: Free. One drink minimum. (AIGA Student members only).

3922 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Description: “Westwood College AIGA Student Group VISION presents StimuLatté: Coffee & Conversation. StimuLatté is a monthly social gathering for Los Angeles-area design students providing an opportunity to network and create new connections. Come out to Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea, a hip and fun coffee house in Silverlake that has something for everyone. Join us and start making creative connections through coffee & conversation. FREE coffee for the first 10 AIGA student members.”

IndieCade: The International Festival of Independent Games

Indie Cade

Dates: October 8-9, 2011, 10:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
Public wristband: Free Festival wristband: $12 (in advance), $10 Student & $15 (at the door). Family pack of wristbands: 4 for $40 (in advance) & 4 for $50 (at the door).
IndieCade Village
9300 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Description: “If you or anyone in your family like games, this is your opportunity to see downtown Culver City turned into a free arcade. Play street games, try out the new videogames or explore the indoor outdoor village. Indiecade will have lots of family-focused activities, give-aways, specials at local restaurants and stores.”

Click here for more information.

Studio Tour: Blind

Blind Studio Tour hosted by AIGA/Los Angeles

Date: October 20, 2011, 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 for AIGA members, $20 for Non-members
1702 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Description: “The 2011 Studio Tour series continues at Blind. Learn about the inner workings of established studios, see where their magic happens, and acquire the answers to all of your burning questions.

Since 1995, Blind has produced projects from conception to reality with award-winning design that engenders surprise and far exceeds client expectations. Cutting-edge campaigns for brands such as Xbox, Showtime, Bright House Networks, DirecTV, OppenheimerFunds, McDonald’s, Scion, and recording artists including Gnarls Barkley, The Raveonettes and Justin Timberlake have made Blind the go-to company for award winning creative.

Blind is open, collaborative and uses their collective experience, design and technical knowledge to create meaningful and compelling content for all mediums. Blind’s goal is to continue to be the company that clients rely on to deliver creative excellence and service so outstanding in its responsiveness that they become enthusiastic fans. Please visit Blind.”

Click here for more information.


(Re)xtravaganza! AIGA/LA Events

Date: October 27, 2011, 7:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited. Purchase your ticket today!
In the likely occurrence that this event sells out, no tickets will be available at the door.

AIGA Professional & Associate Member Presale – $50.00
(Only 50 tickets available. September 9th only starting at 11:00am)

Early Bird Tickets (September 12th – October 5th)
AIGA Professional & Associate Member – $60.00
Non-Member – $75.00
AIGA Student Member – $30.00
Student Non-Member – $45.00

Regular Priced Tickets (October 6th – October 26th, if available)
AIGA Professional & Associate Member – $95.00
Non-Member – $115.00
AIGA Student Member – $70.00
Student Non-Member – $85.00

RSVP via Eventbrite.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Description: “Join the freshest thinkers in sustainable and socially responsible design today and celebrate the AIGA (Re)designAwards winners while supporting AIGA LA.

(Re)xtravaganza! is a blowout celebration acknowledging the international AIGA (Re)designAward winners for the best design thinking in sustainable and socially responsible design. This international extravaganza not only celebrates sustainable design solutions with the power to spark our influence in the care of our planet. This will be an event not to be missed!

Re)affirm our competition winners
(Re)think the power of design
(Re)stimulate your senses
(Re)experience magic
(Re)cultivate friends old and new
(Re)build our design community
(Re)commit your support to AIGA LA”

Visit the AIGA (Re)Design Awards 2011 website.


San Francisco Design Events:

Studio Tours: Stamen

Stamen Studio Tour with AIGA/SF, design events San Francisco.

Date: October 11, 2011, 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
AIGA Members: $15.00, Non-Members: N/A, Student Members: $15.00, Student Non-Members: N/A


2017 Mission Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, California 94110

Description: “Join AIGA/San Francisco to get a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of five influential Bay Area design studios during our Fall/Winter Studio Tours. See projects in progress, learn about different firms’ cultures and methodologies, and rub elbows with design luminaries and up-and-comings in the environment that inspires their best work.”

Click here for more information.

Breakthroughs: Measuring Success

Breakthroughs: Measuring Success online seminar for AIGA members.

Date: October 19, 2011, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
FREE (AIGA Members only)

Description: “Great designers need more than good ideas to succeed. Knowing this, AIGA and Adobe, the official AIGA sponsor for design solutions, have designed a free members-only webinar series to explore the ways that today’s studios are creating innovative, multiplatform experiences and the tools they’re using to achieve them. Through visual presentations and instructive case studies, visionary designers will pair with Adobe experts to offer guidance to help lead you to your next breakthrough. Moderated by educator and interaction designer Callie Neylan, each session will address industry best practices and fresh ideas for using new technology and platforms to solve client challenges.”

Click here for more information.

Inneract Project Fall Classes

Design events in San Francisco: Inneract Project Fall Classes

Dates: All Saturdays in October, 2011
9:00am – 12:00pm (September 24 ONLY)
9:30am – 2:00pm (All other dates)
Cost: Visit for pricing information.

Description: “The Inneract Project Classes are a chance for young people, parents, college students and practitioners to “inneract” with each other. Classes are used to educate and inform youth about design as a career option. Workshops are free to ensure every kid has an opportunity to take part in IP classes. IP’s ideal students are middle school kids with creative interests either in art or other creative activities. Click here for more information.

Interactive Chats: Designing for Mobile

Interactive Chats: Designing for Mobile from AIGA/San Francisco

Date: October 20, 2011, 6:00 p.m.-  8:00 p.m.

AIGA Members: $10.00
Non-Members: $20.00
Student Members: $7.00
Student Non-Members: $10.00

Hot Studio
585 Howard Street
San Francisco, California 94105

Description: “Have you ever thought about creating a mobile app? What are some of the considerations to take into account in order to create a truly engaging user experience? Should you develop a native app or a web app? What are the benefits of each approach? AIGA San Francisco continues its series of evening events that will focus on interactive design topics. Intended for designers with beginning to intermediate experience with designing and building for the web, tablet and mobile environments, each event will give you the chance to learn from local experts as well as share your own knowledge with other attendees. The sessions will be a combination of lecture, discussion, and workshop activities, so bring your sketch pads and thinking caps. *NOTE: Participants will be sketching with pencil & paper in this workshop (no computers needed). Speakers: John Gallant & Scott Tran.”

Click here for more information.

After:Hours: Frey Norris Gallery

After:Hours Design Networking Event hosted by AIGA/SF
Date: October 26, 2011, 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
AIGA Members: $5.00
Non-Members: $10.00
Student Members: $5.00 over 21

Frey Norris Gallery
161 Jessie Street
San Francisco, California 94105

Description: “Join AIGA/San Francisco at After:Hours, a bi-monthly networking event where members and non-members can mingle, mix and partake in themed nights, and informal lectures. October’s After:Hours will be held at the Frey Norris Gallery. Since 2003, Frey Norris has created a compelling program of exhibitions with a strong focus on the global arts market. Thoughtful collectors from around the world turn to Frey Norris as a partner in the selective building of their art collections. These collections combine the clients’ tastes and curatorial aims with Frey Norris’ savvy and connoisseurship, the gallery’s ability to identify high quality and rare contemporary and modern works of art.”

Click here for more information.

National Design Events:

Pivot: AIGA Design Conference

Pivot Design Conference AIGA

Dates: October 13– October 16, 2011
AIGA Members: $800
Non-Members: $1,100
Student Members: $350

Phoenix Convention Center
100 N. 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Description: “Design is at a critical inflection point as a practice, thought process and force for change. At Pivot, this year’s AIGA Design Conference, the AIGA will explore the shifts prompting this change—in design thinking, practice, education, technology, society and business—and discuss how we can prepare for the complexities of the future.

What to expect
Reserve your place now for “Pivot,” where you’ll find everything you need to get inspired, make connections and more:

  • On the main stage, experience a diverse array of inspiring speakers and the engaging wit and wisdom of moderator Kurt Andersen
  • Choose from a wide range of breakout sessions on topics ranging from sustainability to in-house, globalism to interaction design—plenty to satisfy your every design craving and give you the tools you need to take your practice to the next level
  • Cheer on the next generation of designers in “Command X: Season 3,” the ultimate live reality show to find America’s next top designer
  • Get your creative juices flowing at hands-on creative workshops led by artists and designers from around the country
  • Gain tactical strategies that you can take back to your business through practice management workshops
  • Get up close and personal with your design hero at daily designer roundtables
  • Explore examples of the best design through exhibitions and local studio tours
  • Get inspired at the Student Symposium and learn from the pitfalls and triumphs of designers who’ve been there, done that
  • Make important connections to enhance your business in the Design Fair
  • Continue the discussions beyond the stage with networking receptions, evening events and more to engage with ideas and with each other

Click here for more information.

The Dieline Forum: San Francisco

The Dieline Forum: San Francisco

Dates: November 3-4, All Day
AIGA Members: $450 until 9/30
Non-Members: $425 until 9/30

Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel

55 Cyril Magnin Street
San Francisco, California 94102

Description: “The Dieline Forum: San Francisco is a day and a half conference designed to foster interaction, discussion, and the exchange of ideas. Specifically designed to cater to a smaller audience, The Dieline Forum will address the concerns of working professionals in the package design industry in a specific regional area. The Dieline Forum is comprised of shorter and direct sessions – with the intended goal being – efficient information. We have also opened the lines of communication via our discussion panels, so no questions or topics are off limits.”

For more information visit

How Interactive Design Conference

HOW Interactive Design ConferenceDates: November 2–4, 2011
Cost: AIGA Members: $75 Discount – use code: AIGASF. Click here for ticket prices.

Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel
55 Cyril Magnin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Description: It’s A Fact…Digital Design Is An Essential Component In Every Designer’s Tool Box

But if you’re less than comfortable producing digital design…if you’re anxious about figuring out all this “interactive design” business on your own…if you’re not sure how to get the training you need to update your skills…then HOW Interactive Design Conference is a tailor-made opportunity for you. This info-packed 3-day event will help you capitalize on the new technology and trends that are changing design. And as a friend of AIGA SF, you can save $75 on a full-conference registration!

At the HOW Interactive Design Conference, you’ll:

  • Build on the traditional skills you already have in order to expand into all types of interactive design – web, mobile and digital
  • Learn from today’s thought leaders who are forging ahead in this new field
  • Discover the tremendous creative potential new technologies offer
  • Anticipate the trends shaping interactive design
  • Meet other designers to compare notes and share ideas.”

Click here for more information.

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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