Event Recap: “Designers Talk” Twitter Chat

On Wednesday February 10, AIGA SB made inroads with the noisy Twitter scene by hosting a chat of our very own. We invited creative professionals from across the AIGA network and beyond to chat for an hour about design, creativity, inspiration, and best practices for all of the above. Several of our board members got together at Armada Wine & Beer on State St. to moderate the chat: Social Media Chair Gen Matsui, Marketing Director Nicki Gauthier, and President Keir DuBois—with a few other board members checking in virtually for the duration.

On the analytics side, the #AIGADesignersTalk hashtag was used 159 times. We had 18 people contributing to the conversation, an estimated reach of 22K, and we gained 11 new followers that day. Even better, the conversation was excellent! We shared advice, tips and tricks, unexpected skills, favorite projects, inspiring heroes, and our sometimes-winding paths into the profession. We particularly enjoyed mixing it up with our own members as well as AIGAers from chapters like New Orleans, Orange County, and Central Pennsylvania (thanks for staying up late, CPA!). We also shamelessly plugged several upcoming events.

It was a fun event—slow to get going but soon blasting like a fire hose. Keeping up definitely required some effort! We’re looking forward to doing it again, perhaps in the summer or fall. Here are some of our favorite tweeted responses (be sure to follow these awesome designers too):

Why design? What made you choose this career? How did you get to this point?
@swolpe I was told I could make lots of money drawing. By the time I realized that was a lie I’d already fallen in love.
@NickiG I got my BS in Business from @SDSU in 2006. Moved back to SB & worked at @CMCRESCUE in marketing
@samrdbarnes I love it because design is problem solving interwoven with storytelling
@theItoons because these people add colors and charm to the life. Wanted to be a life-charmer.

What skill(s) have you learned as a designer that you hadn’t expected to know or need?
@brisayswhaat negotiating! learning how to teach others. strategy.
@2kHero Copyrights and writing copy.
@genmatsui Print production wise, everything can be fixed. Everything.
@swolpe I’m learning to show clients design isn’t a commodity, it’s value is the process and thinking. I thought it would sell itself.

Can you describe your personal design style…in only THREE words?
@AIGAOC Sunny, friendly, and organic.
@samrdbarnes minimal, sleek, flat
@theItoons clean elegant and slick.

In your experience, what’s been the biggest challenge of your career?
@swolpe I’ve been moonlighting with design for 10+ years, while I work a day job I don’t enjoy. Staying committed!
@jenniejacobs learning to trust my instincts! & learning to assert my opinion (cuz I actually do know what I’m talking about)

All designers have pet peeves. What are yours & how do you deal with them?
@brisayswhaat miscommunication! or not understanding process behind execution. communication & examples solve both. usually.
@swolpe I work from home so my biggest issue is keeping up with the daddy-daughter dance breaks.
@genmatsui Paying attention to details that no one else will ever see…Must. Fix. It. Sometimes you gotta let go

How do you advise aspiring designers? What’s the best advice you got as a newbie?
@mmcothern Best advice I got as newbie was joining AIGA. Oh…and being introduced to Pinterest.
@brisayswhaat network! ask questions! try new things! be adventurous! get away from the screen! do your homework!
@samrdbarnes Never stop making, reading, and learning. Be patient and wait for your techniques to catch up with your style.
@AIGACentralPA Join your local AIGA chapter, of course!
@genmatsui Don’t stop learning. Do tutorials, trade tips, do personal projects. Show your work to everyone, get feedback!

Want more? Check out #AIGADesignersTalk on Twitter! Follow @aigasb for updates on design, local events, and our next Twitter chat.

Rock Star Gig Rating: On a scale of “zero” to “insane,” this vibrant virtual symposium was a bit like the old days of tuning in via radio to your favorite band playing a huge concert thousands of miles away.

Photo by Nicki Gauthier.

By Keir DuBois
Published February 15, 2016
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