Breakout Sessions

Join us for breakout sessions focusing on key topics lead by industry experts. Each session is geared towards acclimating you for real world skills and job preparation.


Being a badass talent is one thing. Being the badass people want to work with is a whole different story. Learn the soft skills needed for working in the real world, like effective communicating, collaborating with a team that you didn't pick and most importantly - surviving the emotional and mental complexities of adjusting to the different cultures that exist in a creative workplace. These skills are essential to becoming the team member everyone loves working with, will help you better…
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Being a badass talent is one thing. Being the badass people want to work with is a whole different story. Learn the soft skills needed for working in the real world, like effective communicating, collaborating with a team that you didn't pick and most importantly - surviving the emotional and mental complexities of adjusting to the different cultures that exist in a creative workplace. These skills are essential to becoming the team member everyone loves working with, will help you better sell your ideas and make others want to aid in making them as successful as possible, and ultimately contribute to your happiness and confidence at work.


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What does it mean to design for public space? What happens when the lines between graphic design, urban design, architecture, and even art become blurred? What is “design citizenship?” This talk will dive into the role of design as a civic practice. It will also address how graphic and interactive design training can be a lens instead of a limitation when collaborating with a team of people from diverse design backgrounds who are all working to build a livable, vibrant city.

What does it mean to design for public space? What happens when the lines between graphic design, urban design, architecture, and even art become blurred? What is “design citizenship?” This talk will dive into the role of design as a civic practice. It will also address how graphic and interactive design training can be a lens instead of a limitation when collaborating with a team of people from diverse design backgrounds who are all working to build a livable, vibrant city.


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Today more than ever, brands are competing to be noticed, heard and remembered. How do you ensure the work you’re creating connects with the target audience to drive your client’s business? This session will educate you on effective strategies to make sure your work resonates with your audiences. And how designers can harness this understanding to catapult their ideas and hit the mark every time.

Today more than ever, brands are competing to be noticed, heard and remembered. How do you ensure the work you’re creating connects with the target audience to drive your client’s business? This session will educate you on effective strategies to make sure your work resonates with your audiences. And how designers can harness this understanding to catapult their ideas and hit the mark every time.


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Making the leap into the world of freelance can be scary. If you’re an introvert, that totally normal fear can get even more complicated. We’ll talk about how working for yourself can actually be a perfect fit, how to handle client pitches and feedback, and what steps you can take in your design process to avoid awkward conversations.

Making the leap into the world of freelance can be scary. If you’re an introvert, that totally normal fear can get even more complicated. We’ll talk about how working for yourself can actually be a perfect fit, how to handle client pitches and feedback, and what steps you can take in your design process to avoid awkward conversations.


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Worried that you won't stand out working an in-house design job? Three panelists living their dream job in Museum design—Mandy Engleman of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Lindsey Croley from the Nasher Sculpture Center, and Becca Winti, formerly of the Dallas Museum of Art, will share stories of their career paths, and how their work stands out—even as they are confined to one brand identity.
Worried that you won't stand out working an in-house design job? Three panelists living their dream job in Museum design—Mandy Engleman of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Lindsey Croley from the Nasher Sculpture Center, and Becca Winti, formerly of the Dallas Museum of Art, will share stories of their career paths, and how their work stands out—even as they are confined to one brand identity.
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Alex Center will share his story, the lessons he’s learned along the way and give tips on how to use design to transform brands, drive business and change people's lives. For the past 11 years, Alex Center has been the in-house Design Director helping to create the brand, tone and identity that people have come to associate with the iconic beverage brand vitaminwater. In 2007, The Coca-Cola Company purchased vitaminwater for $4.1 billion in the largest beverage acquisition of all time. Since t…
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Alex Center will share his story, the lessons he’s learned along the way and give tips on how to use design to transform brands, drive business and change people's lives. For the past 11 years, Alex Center has been the in-house Design Director helping to create the brand, tone and identity that people have come to associate with the iconic beverage brand vitaminwater. In 2007, The Coca-Cola Company purchased vitaminwater for $4.1 billion in the largest beverage acquisition of all time. Since then, he has helped guide the brand from local favorite to a household name all across the globe. Additionally, Alex has also been the creative force behind a variety of breakthrough brands including smartwater, Powerade and Conbody.
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Often students spend 4-5 years working towards a degree and a portfolio without planning on what to do on the Monday after graduation. A great portfolio is only the beginning when it comes to figuring out how to start your career in Visual Communication. In this session, you will learn some business practices that can help you shape the direction you take. Topics covered include pricing models and contracts as well as the ups and downs of freelancing vs employment at a studio or agency.
Often students spend 4-5 years working towards a degree and a portfolio without planning on what to do on the Monday after graduation. A great portfolio is only the beginning when it comes to figuring out how to start your career in Visual Communication. In this session, you will learn some business practices that can help you shape the direction you take. Topics covered include pricing models and contracts as well as the ups and downs of freelancing vs employment at a studio or agency.
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With the design industry in flux, what skills and approaches are fool proof to getting noticed? Especially when the bar for designers is so high? And what skills do you need to transition from one design space to the next? Good questions. Find some answers here.
With the design industry in flux, what skills and approaches are fool proof to getting noticed? Especially when the bar for designers is so high? And what skills do you need to transition from one design space to the next? Good questions. Find some answers here.
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Integrated marketing is a strategy characterized by consistent, seamless, multi-dimensional consumer brand experience. In this approach, each consumer touchpoint—television, radio, print, digital, social, in store—maintains similar messaging and visual presentation, continually reinforcing the brand’s identity and purpose. These 360-style campaigns boast higher engagement and stronger performance. After providing a brief overview of integrated marketing strategy, this sessio…
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Integrated marketing is a strategy characterized by consistent, seamless, multi-dimensional consumer brand experience. In this approach, each consumer touchpoint—television, radio, print, digital, social, in store—maintains similar messaging and visual presentation, continually reinforcing the brand’s identity and purpose. These 360-style campaigns boast higher engagement and stronger performance. After providing a brief overview of integrated marketing strategy, this session will offer you the opportunity to harness your strategic skills to build a killer campaign.


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Have you ever wondered how they make those epic food photographs look so damn good? In this live, interactive photography and styling demonstration, you’ll be able to not only see how it’s done, you’ll be able to help out and ask as many questions as you like. We will give you the inside scoop on food styling and photography from two of Dallas’ best! Come take a look behind the scenes and pick a little swag while you’re at it.

Have you ever wondered how they make those epic food photographs look so damn good? In this live, interactive photography and styling demonstration, you’ll be able to not only see how it’s done, you’ll be able to help out and ask as many questions as you like. We will give you the inside scoop on food styling and photography from two of Dallas’ best! Come take a look behind the scenes and pick a little swag while you’re at it.


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You might be thinking “What the Dump?” who the heck is this guy? Well Cory Say, born and raised Texan, is a designer at Hallmark Card Inc. who comes equipped with a lettering and illustration utility belt. Cory will share how his path in design led him to lettering and how that skill allows him the ability to stand out in each opportunity that comes his way. Also, in a workshop format, students will be provided materials to create their own hand-lettered piece. Students will learn…
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You might be thinking “What the Dump?” who the heck is this guy? Well Cory Say, born and raised Texan, is a designer at Hallmark Card Inc. who comes equipped with a lettering and illustration utility belt. Cory will share how his path in design led him to lettering and how that skill allows him the ability to stand out in each opportunity that comes his way. Also, in a workshop format, students will be provided materials to create their own hand-lettered piece. Students will learn how to draw and illustrate lettering and will learn techniques for brush lettering. Plus, he will share his tips and tricks on using Illustrator and the pen tool. At the end of the workshop, Cory will select a winning design that will win a special prize!


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Describing the road to UX Design as a crooked one is quite an understatement. While the career is experiencing an enormous boom, many who wish to enter the field may feel that their education, background or experience is too far removed to be considered a sought after candidate. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a UX Designer who has held creative positions in marketing for over 15 years, entering the world of ux was a scary one-but one that was strengthened by a desire to adapt and…
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Describing the road to UX Design as a crooked one is quite an understatement. While the career is experiencing an enormous boom, many who wish to enter the field may feel that their education, background or experience is too far removed to be considered a sought after candidate. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a UX Designer who has held creative positions in marketing for over 15 years, entering the world of ux was a scary one-but one that was strengthened by a desire to adapt and advocate for the customer–the common thread that binds the discipline. You may already hold the keys to securing a great career in ux design.


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So, you have a print concept … now what? In this one hour session, you’ll learn from the print experts, Lena Thompson and Carla Allen from ColorDynamics, Inc. on how to turn your concept into a successful printed piece (and stay on budget). Highlighting all areas of printing, this session will showcase print samples that display increasingly creative methods to inspire and engage people in print. Learn about various printing techniques including: digital, offset, web, 4 color process, ad…
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So, you have a print concept … now what? In this one hour session, you’ll learn from the print experts, Lena Thompson and Carla Allen from ColorDynamics, Inc. on how to turn your concept into a successful printed piece (and stay on budget). Highlighting all areas of printing, this session will showcase print samples that display increasingly creative methods to inspire and engage people in print. Learn about various printing techniques including: digital, offset, web, 4 color process, adding PMS colors, coatings, die-cutting, foil stamping, embossing, binding and large format printing. Passionate about printing, Lena and Carla share a dedication to the printing craft and have a meticulous eye for detail. Together, at ColorDynamics, they have been recognized by Sappi North America as “Printer of the Year”, have had projects featured by Communications Arts Magazine, and received many industry Awards of Excellence.
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If you are attending this conference, it is probably safe to assume that you want to have a successful career in design. But success takes on different forms for different people. Some designers strive to win piles of awards and get 18 million Instagram followers. Some want to earn wealth and a jet ski collection. Others just want work that is steady and occasionally meaningful. As a student on the verge of entering the design industry, have you considered exactly what success means to you? U…
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If you are attending this conference, it is probably safe to assume that you want to have a successful career in design. But success takes on different forms for different people. Some designers strive to win piles of awards and get 18 million Instagram followers. Some want to earn wealth and a jet ski collection. Others just want work that is steady and occasionally meaningful. As a student on the verge of entering the design industry, have you considered exactly what success means to you? Using a diverse set of case studies—including design celebrities, globe-trotting freelancers, and creative directors who double as soccer moms—this presentation will discuss how various real-life designers have shaped their career paths in pursuit of their definition of success.


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As the Director of Creative Opportunity at Miami Ad School@Portfolio Center for more than 25 years, Hank Richardson knows what will land you a creative career. Learn the secrets and outline the 13 building blocks to a successful portfolio and professional presence in THE BOOK According to Hank. From the page to the screen, he will walk you through every aspect of building the most important tool in your arsenal. A stunning portfolio represents your values as well as your abilities, summarizes yo…
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As the Director of Creative Opportunity at Miami Ad School@Portfolio Center for more than 25 years, Hank Richardson knows what will land you a creative career. Learn the secrets and outline the 13 building blocks to a successful portfolio and professional presence in THE BOOK According to Hank. From the page to the screen, he will walk you through every aspect of building the most important tool in your arsenal. A stunning portfolio represents your values as well as your abilities, summarizes your aesthetic and stylistic choices, showcases your process and lands you in an environment where your abilities and opportunities are ideally matched. Want to know how to land a job? Come see Hank.
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Design thinking is about using what you know to solve problems, but the very mindsets and processes that make us successful can become the things that hold us back and limit long term growth. Consistent growth and success is also about knowing when to break what’s been working to make leaps forward. Knowing how and when to switch your thinking becomes critical.

Design thinking is about using what you know to solve problems, but the very mindsets and processes that make us successful can become the things that hold us back and limit long term growth. Consistent growth and success is also about knowing when to break what’s been working to make leaps forward. Knowing how and when to switch your thinking becomes critical.


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Here’s the thing: If you’re a student of communication design, then it’s very likely you prefer to do your communicating in pictures, colors, typefaces—basically anything but words. And yet, you’re going into a career where content is king, and where people buy stories, not products. So, you have to be able to talk about (and even write about) your creative solutions. Yikes. The good news is that Wayne Geyer is here to show you how to distill your thoughts into a…
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Here’s the thing: If you’re a student of communication design, then it’s very likely you prefer to do your communicating in pictures, colors, typefaces—basically anything but words. And yet, you’re going into a career where content is king, and where people buy stories, not products. So, you have to be able to talk about (and even write about) your creative solutions. Yikes. The good news is that Wayne Geyer is here to show you how to distill your thoughts into a quick, compelling statement. And when you can do that, you can present your ideas clearly and confidently to your instructors, your peers, your prospective employers, your creative directors, and (most important) your clients. Join us for a special 1.5-hour working session, and get tips and tools that you can use on your very next assignment.


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The Hello Poster Show is on a mission to give designers and artists a platform to flex their creative muscles, all in the name of a good cause. Join HPS founders, Alanna MacGowan and Stephen Bader to find out how they leverage design thinking for public good. Hear tales of their failures and triumphs; then get your hands dirty putting on a whiz-bang mini-poster show.

The Hello Poster Show is on a mission to give designers and artists a platform to flex their creative muscles, all in the name of a good cause. Join HPS founders, Alanna MacGowan and Stephen Bader to find out how they leverage design thinking for public good. Hear tales of their failures and triumphs; then get your hands dirty putting on a whiz-bang mini-poster show.


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As an emerging designer, it's hard to stand out. You might not have had a chance to build up work experience or an inspiring portfolio. But there's hope! By placing yourself within situations that develop soft skills, you have the potential to become an experienced creative professional—even if the resume is lacking.
As an emerging designer, it's hard to stand out. You might not have had a chance to build up work experience or an inspiring portfolio. But there's hope! By placing yourself within situations that develop soft skills, you have the potential to become an experienced creative professional—even if the resume is lacking.
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