A Year to Grow Together!

2020 was quite a year. Despite the many hurdles, we’ve managed to make inroads on some meaningful initiatives. 

With 2021 underway, it’s time to step up, think bigger, rebuild and grow stronger…together. We have work to do, both individually and collectively, to remain positive and steadfast. Moving as one, we can lead our community, our region and this nation forward. And we will.

This year we’ll finish what we started. That means, most notably, that we’ll continue our chapter reset initiatives and realign our purpose. We’ll implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at every level of our operations and recraft our roles and our approach to programming. Why? So we can deliver greater value to our members, solidify our local and regional connections, and help forge a stronger design community. 

Please read the highlights below to learn what we have been up to and how you can get involved. We are almost knee deep in 2021, and it’s going to be a banner year for AIGA San Diego!  

On behalf of your board of directors and chapter advisors, stay strong and keep connected.

Thank you,
Marc Hedges
President, AIGA San Diego

Chapter Announcements

Spotlights and Accomplishments

Here are current initiatives in the works and highlights from last year.

Intuit Designer Launch Series 

In May, we closed out Stage 4 of of our first Designer Launch Series, a four-part program developed in partnership with Intuit, that gives students and early career designers exposure to real-world design thinking and practical skills to help them prepare for career advancement. We averaged 80 attendees for each session, with Stage 4 pivoting to a virtual environment due to safety protocols.

The series has been a great success and we have launched DLS2, the second iteration of the Designer Launch Series! Stage 1 just wrapped in December and Stage 2 takes off on February 25, 2021, where we’ll dive into design thinking at its core. Even if you missed Stage 1 of the series you will still gain valuable information, so we invite you to join us! Register your spot at designerlaunchseries.com.

World Design Capital 2024

It is with great excitement that AIGA San Diego announces our endorsement and participation in the bid for San Diego + Tijuana World Design Capital 2024. 

The Design Forward Alliance is spearheading the creation of a world-class bid for the San Diego/Tijuana region to become the first binational, cross-border World Design Capital in 2024. This designation aligns with AIGA’s mission—to advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. We know that leveraging the efforts and resources put forth by so many local leaders will not only elevate but also honor our unique and diverse bi-national region. Going after this designation will highlight the region’s dedication to design innovation and economic development that have promoted and supported local industry and tourism on a daily basis.

“San Diego and Northern Baja are kindred spirits whose proximity creates a special bond and diverse point of view. It’s our HOME and a collaborative spirit of cross-cultural innovation that we seek to share with the world.” – MaeLin Levine, Chair | 2024 World Design Capital Bid Committee

If you can, please show your support with a donation or help spread the word about the WDC 2024 initiative.

AIGA Professional Development 

In our continuing effort to advance design as a profession, we hosted and promoted multiple professional development opportunities.

We opened the year with Smart Business Practices for Designers, presented by Gregg F. Himfar, CFP President of GFH Financial, Karen Fulton, President & CEO of PIA San Diego, and James Villaneuva, Licenses Insurance Expert. They provided valuable information covering the basics of ‘what you should know’ about business liability insurance. 

As COVID-19 took hold, we had the opportunity to team up with Steven Morris of Matter Consulting in April to learn how to protect our businesses, serve customers and take care of ourselves during this crisis. The webinar conversation, Creative Business Management Through Crisis explored how you and your brand can be thoughtful while swiftly shifting during this tough time.

As the global economic environment continued to challenge agencies and independent business owners with conflicting messaging, inconsistent workflow and trying to manage the stress of PPP paperwork, we hosted Pivoting in Our New Economic Environment, a webinar with Ryan Saathoff, CEO of RG Alliance and Angela Hill, CEO of Incitrio. They discussed how to evolve and grow as you pivot your business, and ways to redefine your offerings that can be easily implemented.

AIGA Community Events

AIGA San Diego events brings together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design, to enhance professional development and provide resources accessible to all. Through our continuing effort to build up our local and regional connections, we promote design-focused events that are hosted by other organizations including fellow AIGA chapters, educational institutions and independent businesses in the community.

If you’d like an upcoming event promoted, please provide the information within our Community Event Post Request Form for promotional consideration. 

A Documentary Portrait of Dieter Rams

We teamed up with our friends at UX Speakeasy in March to celebrate the monumental impact that Dieter Rams had on the field of product design and the world at large. The event at the Museum of Photographic Arts kicked off with the Designers Panel Discussion, moderated by Bennet King of Konrad King, with panelists Min Choi, Designer and Educator, Justin Manor of Sosolimited, Laura Warner of CityWorks, and Chuck Pelly of Intersection. Followed by the San Diego screening of Rams: A Documentary Portrait of Dieter Rams, a film by Gary Hustwit (the filmmaker behind Helvetica and Objectified).

A Closer Look at a Civil Rights Icon Cesar Chavez

In celebration of Cesar Chavez Day we took an opportunity to highlight the profound impact this legendary leader had, his Mexican-American heritage and the legacy he left on the graphic arts. You can continue to celebrate Cesar Chavez with us! Download and build your own mini-Cesar, take a selfie in his honor and share on Instagram using hashtags #AIGASD (it’s pretty awesome, if we do say so). 

AIGA SD Portfolio Review

We hosted our annual Portfolio Review in May, engaging the design community and all the dreamers, believers and creative thinkers who are finishing school, changing careers or looking to grow their skill set.

Created specifically for people in graphic design, branding, UX/UI and digital design, the AIGA SD Portfolio Review virtually connected emerging designers with local design leaders. In 15-minute consultations, participants received one-on-one guidance on their digital or physical portfolios. We had 50 scholars join us from Point Loma Nazarene, SDSU, and  City College. Fifty industry leaders also participated, including Yomar AugustoMichael OsborneMelissa Senne and Sean Kelley to name a few.

San Diego Design Week: Projecting Futures

In September, AIGA San Diego had the opportunity to represent our organization in San Diego’s first-ever Design Week. Presented by Mingei International Museum, San Diego Design Week was packed full of events, exhibitions, workshops, networking and talks featuring all design disciplines—from architecture, interior design and landscape design, to graphic design, fashion, technology and more—highlighting our border region’s unique talent from San Diego and Tijuana.

AIGA San Diego exhibited Projecting Futures, a visual showcase centered around the theme of “envisioning hope for the future and elevating the value of graphic design as a profession.” Our public outdoor projection at Hunter & Maddox in Little Italy was free to the public and featured original work from 59 San Diego and Tijuana designers and artists. We have highlighted some participants in video interviews that are available now on our San Diego Design Week event page. We’ll be adding more, too!

AIGA San Diego Scholarship Fund 

We are excited to announce that proceeds earned from theProjecting Futures program along with the Designer Launch Series in partnership with Intuit have been applied to our first ever AIGA San Diego Scholarship Fund. We will continue to support this fund through future programming and events.

25th Annual Y Design Conference (Y25)

Our Y25 Committee is in the ‘reimagining’ phase to present the Annual Y Design Conference this Fall 2021! We are enthusiastic that the global pandemic is on a positive decline while the health and safety of all attendees, speakers and venue staff remains our top priority. Our objective is to host an in-person event so that we can learn and gain inspiration together with safety protocols in place. We will announce our plan soon.

Already registered?
As a registered ticket holder for Y25, you still have a confirmed seat and your registration will automatically roll over.

COVID-19 Resources

For information and eligibility regarding the coronavirus vaccinations in San Diego County and other related links, please visit our resources page.

Read the Latest on the Blog

Around the Clock with AIGA San Diego

AIGA San Diego is proud to shine the light on our board members. While a love for design is the tie that binds us, our individual passions are what set us apart. “Around the Clock” explores what we all do…when we’re not doing this. Whether designing masks for frontline workers (Allan Manzano) or getting our game on in the industry (Karen Morrison), Around the Clock presents a look at what really drives us when the second hand is ticking.

Eye on Diversity 

As we develop initiatives to support the underserved, BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities, and to keep the conversations open, we have launched a new blogging initiative, ‘Eye on Diversity,’ that is meant to shine a light on the hurdles faced by many and promote those in our community who are engaged and participating in positive ways. We’ve had the privilege to talk with illustrator Reggie Brown, designers Maece Seirafi and Milka Broukhim and independent contract designer Graciela “Gracie” Ramirez. More engaging conversations will be posted soon.

AIGA National Announcements

AIGA remains committed to advancing the future of design within our communities, among our members, in small businesses and corporations, in educational institutions, and for individuals. As part of this effort, the newly formed Community Committee acts as an advisory committee to AIGA’s National Board of Directors regarding member, volunteer and community relationships and engagement within AIGA. It is composed of the Presidents Council Chair (PCC), Chapter Advisory Council (CAC), the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, and the Design Educators Community (DEC) steering committee chairs. The Community Committee will ensure AIGA chapters and their communities are connected and supported for sustainability and growth.

AIGA’s National Board of Directors has been proactive in providing resources to help chapters move forward and confront the racial issues brought to light over the summer within the organization and beyond. There is recognition of the important need to look inward and consider race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability, age, and other factors that shape perspectives and professional experience.

AIGA hosted a week-long Anti-Bias training workshop in October, moderated by Shakti Butler, Ph.D., Founder and President of World Trust Educational Services. Through film and dialogue, World Trust Educational Services ignites courage and expands capacity to create a world free from racism. This was attended by chapter leaders from all 75 AIGA chapters. 

Discover new insights from a range of reading materials from introductory basics to academic research. 

Special Shout Out  to Our Departing Board Members

Thank you for playing a pivotal role in our organizations growth. We would not have accomplished so much without your dedication.

  • Jasmine Jimenez, Administration
  • Chalsey Falk, Membership Director
  • Terri Lowry, Diversity Director
  • Nick Porter, Website Director
  • Jana Dennison, Social Media Director

Want to volunteer and get involved with AIGA San Diego?

AIGA San Diego is looking for passionate individuals to volunteer and co-lead to help us accomplish our goals. Volunteering with AIGA is an amazing experience and offers the chance to grow as an individual while serving the San Diego community.

To learn more and apply, please contact us today at info@sandiego.aiga.org!

Your donation supports the future of AIGA San Diego

AIGA San Diego is a non-profit 501(c)(3) professional design organization providing educational and career enhancement opportunities for students and working professional within the greater San Diego region. We are proud to support and collaborate with the region’s most reputable design-centric individuals and organizations. We will continue to engage our community through thoughtful, interactive programming at every turn.

Help us continue this important work into 2021 and beyond. Giving online is safe and secure. Remember, your gift may be tax-deductible under the CARES Act, even if you don’t itemize.

Donate Today

You can donate to AIGA San Diego or give while you shop through smile.amazon.com when you buy anything large or small (simply select us as your preferred organization and use the Smile Amazon link whenever you shop). Your contribution is greatly appreciated and all proceeds support AIGA San Diego’s student and professional programs.

Join AIGA or Renew Your Membership

To access AIGA’s network of resources and connections, please join the largest professional association of designers in the world today. From group rate discounts to individual memberships, we provide you with the tools to succeed. If you are a member, consider upgrading your AIGA San Diego membership level when you renew.

Become Our Community Partner

If you or your business are interested in reaching the greater San Diego design community, a partnership with AIGA San Diego is a strategic investment. For information on corporate sponsorship and programming opportunities, please contact us.

Thank You to Our Chapter and Program Sponsors

By AIGA San Diego Tijuana
Published February 20, 2021