Fri, Oct 6th, 8:00am - Sun, Oct 8th 1:00pm
Madden’s on Gull Lake
11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd MN 56401

  • Trustee $245
  • Design Leader $245
  • Sustaining $245
  • Supporter $245
  • Contributor $275
  • Educator $245
  • Non-Member $465

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Since 1980, Design Camp has been annually held in northern Minnesota, and has set the standard for design conferences nationwide. Opening on a Friday and closing on a Sunday, campers experience five outstanding keynote speakers, hands-on workshops held by the industry’s best, and a weekend full of opportunities to socialize and truly let go, amongst peers and icons alike.

Limited to 350 attendees, Design Camp is made up of illustrators, photographers, educators, graphic designers, art directors, students, web developers, executives, copywriters, visual artists, sculptors, project managers, design entrepreneurs, and rollerbladers. Check out photos from past Design Camps to get a feel for what it’s all about.

Follow us on social media for more information and updates!

Design Camp is one of the last truly unique creative conferences, and the original conference for design. It was designed in 1980 to be a getaway for graphic designers to experience life away from the studio, and to more intimately understand the successes, goals, and struggles of their peers in the field.

Why I Should Attend Design Camp®

Design Camp is an opportunity to develop, expand, and sharpen your set of skills in a variety of design practices. It has been created for you to be able to learn approaches to design challenges from new perspectives. The opportunity to be actively idle with others in the design trade is what makes camp worth joining.

Fellow attendees include internationally renowned keynote speakers, folks from Minnesota’s most in-demand firms and studios, influential members of the design community, and the most important, potential connections: the colleagues you did not previously know you had.

The investment required to attend Design Camp is always kept as low as possible. AIGA is a 100% volunteer-run organization, so the folks running the operation have donated countless hours to coordinate the event. The goal is to create a design-based engagement that is open and available to everyone who can attend. When other conference ticket prices can be in the thousands, access to Design Camp has remained a fraction of that.


Registration is now open!

Lodging is not included in the registration fee, so attendees are responsible for making their own reservations. We highly encourage attendees to stay onsite, as this provides convenient access to the entirety of the event. For lodging, check rates and availability at Madden’s on Gull Lake.

Registration Includes:

  • Access to all five renowned keynote speaker presentations
  • Access to three curated workshops
  • Access to the Business Expo and Friday Cocktail Hour
  • Specially curated recreation experiences throughout the weekend
  • Welcome bag with iconic Design Camp sweatshirt
  • Refreshments during breaks throughout weekend (meal plans available separately)


Presenter Types

  • Friday Keynotes

    Jay Fletcher
    Una Kravets
    Jay Fletcher
    Designer + Illustrator

    Since 2001 Jay Fletcher has been living & working in Charleston, South Carolina as a graphic designer and illustrator. In 2004, as a means of burning off unused creativity, a budding freelance career took root as a late-night side gig. Kegs of coffee were brewed, momentum built, and now J Fletcher Design has a stable of clients ranging from Nickelodeon to Neil Patrick Harris, work featured in international industry publications, and shelves of recognition from some of the design world’s most prominent voices.

    Una Kravets
    Digital + Analog / Designer + Developer / Writer + Speaker

    Una is a Senior UI Engineer who loves to travel, listen to audiobooks, and do brush lettering. She co-hosts a podcast about tech tools called Toolsday, writes code for a living for DigitalOcean, and speaks about CSS/Sass, web performance, Open Source, and experiments in visual development. She has started two Sass Meetups and promotes designers in Open Source as a core member of the Open Design Foundation.

  • Saturday Keynotes

    Steve Frykholm
    Jennifer Daniel
    Steve Frykholm
    Designer (Retired), Herman Miller

    In 1970 Steve was employed at Herman Miller, their first internal graphic designer, and retired in 2015. He’s an AIGA Fellow (2007) and an AIGA Medalist (2010). He's been recognized as an annual report legend in Graphis, and an American design icon in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Communication Arts.

    Jennifer Daniel
    Designer, Writer

    Jennifer Daniel is a serious, real designer, writer and growth hacker focused on workflow productivity and paradigm shifting the game changing industry of product design. She was awarded a Pulitzer-prize for her still-life photographs of bananas.

  • Sunday Keynotes

    Ann Willoughby
    Tad Carpenter
    Ann Willoughby
    Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Willoughby Design

    Ann Willoughby has been a leader in brand experience design and design education for almost four decades. She has taught, written and given lectures all over the world. AIGA has been at the center of her professional career since the mid 1980s. She is a AIGA medalist and served on the AIGA National Board of Directors and chaired the 2004 AIGA National Design Conference in New York. Ann was Co-Chair of the AIGA National Centennial Celebration in 2014. Ann helped launch the pilot AIGA Design Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. She writes and speaks about systems design and design thinking as a method to improve the product and service experiences that designers help create so that they are sustainable, useful and beautiful. She was named one of 50 women leaders in the design book, Women of Design by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit.

    Ann founded Willoughby Design in 1978. Over the years, Willoughby has developed a business culture and process where designers and clients work together collaboratively at the Design Barn or at the offices in Kansas City and San Francisco. Willoughby has designed brand identities and and interactive brand experiences for scores of clients, including the Kauffman Foundation, the United Nations, Hallmark Cards, Lee Jeans, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Spin Pizza and Panera Bread. The company has provided pro bono design for Harvesters, the regional food bank for 20 years. Kansas City civic and community organizations such as Visit KC, KC Chamber, Max Rapid Bus, and the win|win initiative are examples of Willoughby re-brands that helped revitalize the city over the past 10 years. Willoughby is currently designing the new streetcar and regional transit brand system for the greater Kansas City region.

    Tad Carpenter
    Founder / Illustrator + Author + Educator, Carpenter Collective

    Tad Carpenter is a designer, illustrator, author and educator based in Kansas City, Missouri. Carpenter co-runs the design and branding studio, Carpenter Collective with his wife, Jessica Carpenter where they focus on bringing powerful messages to life through branding, packaging, illustration and design. They have worked with clients ranging from Target, Coca-Cola, Macy’s, Old Navy, Conan O'Brien, Adobe and MTV among many others. Carpenter has worked with numerous bands on posters and tour campaigns for over 10 years, including John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews Band to name a few. Carpenter has written and illustrated over twenty children's books in our marketplace today intended for adults and children of all ages. Tad also currently teaches graphic design at the University of Kansas.

  • Mental Health Superpowers: Self-reflection, relaxation, and connection for the creative life


    You want to live on the edge of your creativity. You want to optimize your productivity. You want your clients to be happy. You want to enjoy your life.

    You’re a creative. Your role may be the envy of your friends and afford you plenty of opportunities and benefits; however, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll also notice heavy psychological burdens like burnout, isolation, and the looming threats of stagnation and failure.

    Over time, the weight of these burdens can take a major toll on your physical health, emotional well-being, relationships, and professional edge.

    The good news is that a few simple strategies can help you enhance your longevity and life satisfaction. Sherry will walk you through steps to help you better manage anxiety, find work-life integration, and become adept at reading and understanding your own personal metrics.

    This workshop has several experiential components- participants should wear clothing that is comfortable for gentle movement and bring a journal or notebook. This session is suitable for all campers.


    Sherry Walling
    PhD, LP, Clinical Psychologist, ZenFounder

    Dr. Sherry Walling is a licensed psychologist and the co-host of the ZenFounder podcast. Her life’s work is to help high-performing professionals maximize their potential while maintaining personal sanity, life satisfaction, and a sense of fulfillment.  She consults regularly with entrepreneurs, freelancers, and founders regarding interpersonal conflicts, burnout, anxiety, productivity, existential angst, major transitions, and personal balance.

    Sherry is a graduate of the University of California, Davis and Fuller School of Psychology. She has a PhD in clinical psychology and two master’s degrees. In addition, she completed year-old residential fellowships at Yale University School of Medicine and the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder affiliated with Boston University School of Medicine. She has also held faculty appointments at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, California School of Professional Psychology, and Fresno Pacific University.  

    Married to a serial tech entrepreneur, Sherry has a unique combination of psychological expertise and 17 years of experience in the trenches of the entrepreneur world. She loves bringing these two worlds together on the podcast, in her consulting work, and as a speaker.
    When she’s not in the consulting room or hopping conferences; Sherry can be found on her paddleboard, teaching aerial yoga, building sandcastles on the beach, or constructing lego worlds with her two sons.

  • Wine & Type Pairing


    Pairing typefaces is a lot like wine tasting: making educated and inspired choices where the history, personality and unique details of each flavor bring out the best of its complement, creating an experience worth savoring.

    Join us for some pairing and pouring in a session of type pairing and wine tasting. Learn the tips and tricks for pairing type in a design context—classifications, character, superfamilies and more. This palatable event offers a perfect balance of education and networking for designers of all skill levels. This workshop is suitable for all campers over 21 years of age.


    Rachel Elnar
    Michael Stinson
    Ramp Creative
  • Ten Letterpress Essentials


    Get a little ink under your fingernails* with this hands-on workshop. We are bringing our mobile print shop to Design Camp in order to share the techniques and processes that make Minnesota a hotbed of letterpress printing. We’ll be making printing folded-paper structures, business cards and drink coasters while giving you plenty of time to create something of your own and hopefully be inspired for a future print project! This session is suitable for all campers.

    *If inky hands are not your thing, latex gloves will be provided.


    Jason Yoh
    Instructor, Minnesota Center for Book Arts

    Jason Yoh is a printmaker, designer and Eagle Scout. He has been working in some of the country's best-known letterpress studios since 2005 and is an instructor at Minnesota Center for Book Arts and an advisory board member of the Proof Public collective. This is his third Design Camp. 

    Austin Nash
    Minnesota Center for Book Arts

    Austin Nash is a designer, printmaker, and general MacGyver. He is a coop member at Hamilton Ink Spot and Proof Public where he leads workshops and makes rad prints. He also enjoys shooting laser beams to make new woodtype. 

  • Sustainability Now! A Hands-on Workshop On Sustainability Practice for Today’s Designers


    Over 80-percent of today’s corporations do some sort of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting. All of the United States’ trading partners are signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement, with laws, regulations, and initiatives in those countries changing to meet the Paris Climate goals. Across the board, consumers are looking more critically at the goods they buy, the services they use, and the companies behind them. Sustainability is no longer a nice thing to do for the earth, but a critical part of a business’ strategic positioning strategy. Designers who understand sustainability principles and strategies will be better positioned to serve their client’s needs. In this workshop, you’ll have a hands-on opportunity to explore a sampling of the tools, systems, and strategies today’s sustainability practitioners use to create highly effective, innovative and forward-looking design solutions. This session is suitable for all campers.


    Holly Robbins
    This Is Folly
    Wendy Jedlička
  • Here is what we propose


    This workshop will take a personal, pragmatic, and honest look at the real functionality and thought design of proposals, for both freelancers and studios. Guided by Brent Stickels, owner of YYES in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, and a veteran of the industry, this will be a group discussion with some colorful industry input of special guests. Attendees are highly encouraged to bring their owns proposal templates for real-time collaboration. Active and aspiring freelancers, studio-owners, and account managers will get the most value from this workshop.


    Brent Stickels
    Partner, YYES

    Brent Stickels is a co-founding partner of YYES, a design studio established in 2000 and headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Minneapolis. A writer and designer with a background in advertising, Brent and his studio work with clients undergoing substantive changes to their brands, business models, and communications.

  • #sketchnoting for everyday life


    You, yes YOU, can take persuasive, informative, compelling notes. You’ll actually remember what you seek to learn. Your notes will float seamlessly through groups of your friends and colleagues; they, too, will learn what you learned. Seriously! Simplify your personal and professional lives by talking less and showing more. I will show you how, and then you will show you that YOU can do it!


    Lisa Troutman
    Illustrator, Drawn Well, LLC

    Drawn Well LLC is Lisa Troutman, a twin cities-based illustrator who creates hand-drawn and digital artwork for a variety of clients and applications.

    Think of her as the go-to multifaceted illustrator on your staff minus that pesky overhead. In fact, she relishes working in the fast-paced and ultra diverse visual environment–read: visual note taking one day, concept art for consumer testing the next, information graphics for presentations after that–so characteristic of agencies, consultancies and small businesses. She’ll work on site, she’ll work in her studio. She’s ready to help you best communicate with your clients or customers, your colleagues or staff and everyone in between.

    Her work has been published on packaging, in books and manuals, on posters, and online. Lisa’s background in user-centered design and design research make her a natural fit for projects requiring a visual description of a process or event.

    Lisa is a casual cyclist and self-described “food nerd.” She shares a home in NE Minneapolis with her husband and their pet pugs. A favorite past time is hunting for inspiring and unusual graphic artifacts at antique and vintage shops wherever they roam.

  • Sweat Equity: Invest In Businesses & Invest In Your Own


    Whether you’re a freelancer or part of a creative team, there are alternative ways of flexing your creative muscles to generate additional revenue. As creative partners at Farmboy, we share our insight and experience taking stakes in other business ventures via sweat equity (buying in with our own skillsets). We’ll also cover a different kind of investment, yourself. Knowing when to go above and beyond on a client project to either leverage more work with them, or getting more of the work you want with other clients in the future. Maybe even create your own client work. Why not? We did! Q&A will be a good portion of the workshop, so come to engage! This session is suitable for all campers.


    Zachary Kern

    Zachary Kern came on with the Farmboy team in early 2012 after having already known Jason for several years. He graduated from Grand View University in Des Moines, where Farmboy was actually his student internship. His passion is branding, concepts, and illustration. He stuck around to become the firm’s first full-time hire, and began living the dream by getting to hone his craft on vastly different client jobs and aiding in building a firm from the ground up. As part of the Farmboy team he’s had work featured in AIGA, LogoLounge, Behance, and more. Did we mention he was born with that last name Kern?

    Jason McArtor
    Founder & Creative Director, Farmboy

    Jason McArtor is the Founder & Creative Director at Farmboy. Jason has built a successful team of Graphic Design, Web Development, and Marketing professionals over the past 20 years. His own work has been featured in various publications and has garnered awards both within Iowa and nationally. When he’s not dreaming up brand concepts, you can find him trying out a new recipe, working with one of his youth softball teams, or re-watching one of the Cubs World Series Games.

  • The Future of UX is Digital Product Design


    Nurturing a digital product over time allows any User Experience professional a greater ability to engage and learn from their users. By being the voice of the user in a self-organized, cross-functional product team, designers center around business objectives and find win-wins for all. Join us as we dig into the world of User Experience as it evolves in agile product environments. We’ll discuss the value of product design, dual track discovery, benchmarking studies, and problem solving as part of the next evolution of what it means to be a UX practitioner. Alison will build off a lecture format into hands-on workshop for self-evaluation as a Product Designer though skill assessment, continuous learning and principals for evolving in your career as the context of design shifts. This session is suitable for all campers.


    Alison Beattie
    Director of UX, Target
  • Copyrights: Registration, Ownership and Protection


    This session will take an in-depth look at copyright laws and issues in the world of design and social media. We’ll examine recent cases, the registration process, and enforcement strategies. This session is suitable for all campers.


    Courtney Thomson
    Associate, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

    Courtney provides great value, efficiency and service to her clients. Courtney’s practice focuses on trademark, copyright, anti-counterfeiting, licensing, marketing and brand management, and commercial agreements.

    Courtney uses her experience to develop and implement creative intellectual property strategies to address each client’s unique needs. She strives to make herself approachable and responsive to her clients throughout each project to ensure unmatched service and satisfaction.

  • Mixed Blessing: Looking at the good and bad of Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality


    New technologies that challenge our definition of “reality” are entering the world in new formats and price points every day, such that it’s no longer a question of if we will have the potential to live in multiple realities, but when. And like every invention before it, these technologies will bring with them massive benefits and equally immense challenges for designers and society as a whole. Citing examples and through hands-on demonstrations, we will explore both paths forward: the good and the evil.


    10 Thousand Design
  • Adobe XD Workshop - Open Workshop


    Note: This is an open workshop that does not require pre-registration

    Experience matters. People decide within seconds whether your app or website is useful and engaging. Crafting a great user experience requires more than just visual design. Adobe XD is an app for doing it all – wireframing, visual design, interaction design, prototyping, previewing and sharing. In this session, we will show you how to design and prototype a complete experience using the new Adobe XD. Learn tips and tricks to immediately be more productive creating a great user experience.


    Keith Gilbert
  • Fresh Takes on Classic Type - Open Workshop


    Note: This is an open workshop that does not require pre-registration

    Get creative making your own collages and journals! In this hands-on workshop you will use a variety of media to make type collages for the covers of journals with the option to bind them in a variety of ways. There will be a dynamic presentation about the beautiful type promotion Ann Willoughby created in partnership with Neenah Paper.


    Kim Shannon
    Neenah Paper

AIGA Student Member registration

Student tickets: $135 for the first 100 students, and $245 thereafter

AIGA Minnesota offers 100 student tickets at a discounted rate. These tickets usually sell out, are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, and cannot be reserved in advance. Student members who wish to attend Design Camp after student member tickets are sold out are encouraged to purchase tickets at the Supporting Member rate, which is also discounted. AIGA Minnesota cannot accept registration of blocks of students or processing group payments. Student members may register a group of students, contingent upon availability, using our online registration system, with an institutional credit card.

Students without active AIGA memberships will be charged the nonmember rate.

Eligibility for student member tickets is contingent upon attendee being a full-time student as of October 6, 2017.


If you register and are unable to attend, firstly, we would be sorry to hear that. Secondly, please email [email protected] by September 25, 2017 for a 50% refund of conference fees. Cancellations after September 25, 2017 will not be refunded. Additional fees may apply where applicable.

Lodging cancellations must be handled by contacting Madden’s directly. Conference is subject to cancellation or change. Liability is limited to funds remitted for conference registration. Speakers and presenters are subject to change without prior notice.

Privacy Policy

Your registration constitutes permission to use photos and audio/video recordings taken of you at the event or program for promotional and educational purposes in connection with AIGA Minnesota programs and activities, in corresponding publications, in AIGA Minnesota’s archives, and on AIGA Minnesota’s websites and social media presences. We will only get your good side.