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Does anyone know of good/reputable graphic design conferences/conventions in the states? I'm looking to attend one that focuses both on web and print design.

Your recommendations are appreciated.

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In my experience finding a good conference that focuses on both web design and graphic design is going to be difficult. I was at Photoshop World in February, but that conference tended to focus way more on Photoshop for Photography than anything else. And I just got back from an excellent conference called Front End Design Conference. It was an excellent web design conference, but no focus on print design. You may want to look into attending a couple conferences that specialize in one or the other. –  Joel Glovier Jul 26 '11 at 10:12
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2 Answers

Don't forget Adobe MAX: max.adobe.com, which has absolutely everything.

Which conventions/conferences you should shell out your hard-earned bucks for depends entirely on what you need and want out of them. My own leaning is toward the practical and technological, rather than theoretical or "inspirational."

Award-winning design is not always (by a long, long way) successful design, in terms of actually increasing the client's revenue, so I recommend you don't let yourself be seduced by that kind of peer adulation. I regard it as my principal job to make my clients more successful, so I haven't see a lot of return-on-investment in the HOW and AIGA conferences, which have leaned a bit too far in the other direction.

If it's P2P Mind-Melding, networking and information sharing you're after, you'll get a lot out of your local user groups and online design communities -- quite often more than you'll get from an expensive once-a-year conference, where the networking possibilities are less than you might think. (How do you pick who to network with, out of 3,000+ total strangers? -- I've done it, but I can't say it's been productive in any real sense.)

The UIE and aneventapart conferences that DA01 referred to are excellent. They are practical, nitty-gritty, how-do-you-get-from-A-to-B in their focus. The HOW and AIGA conferences are probably more useful from a career-advice standpoint than design practicalities.

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I agree, I can easily get inspired by heading to starbucks and get some Americano. I'm all about technology, and workshops rather than speakers talking about how to become creative. –  ben Jul 26 '11 at 16:30
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HOW Design conference is the big one for graphic design:

http://www.howconference.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=17015&tabid=23071&

AIGA has one as well:

http://designconference2011.aiga.org/

And there are handfuls of more niche conferences all over the place (marketing, branding, etc)

As for web design, that's really a different path and there's a ton of different conferences for that. Some well known ones:

UIE's UI:

http://www.uie.com/events/uiconf/2011/

UIE's Web App Masters Tour (I've attended this and highly recommend it)

http://www.uie.com/events/web_app_masters/2011/

An event apart:

http://aneventapart.com/

Barcamp (free conferences held in locations throughout the globe.)

http://barcamp.org/

And there's many, many others.

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