Fri, Oct 4th, 9:00am - Sun, Oct 6th 1:00pm
Madden’s on Gull Lake
11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd MN 56401

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See you at Design Camp, Oct 4-6 at Madden’s!

Design Camp is a unique conference where we take our profession and passion to the great outdoors. We pair premier thinkers, speakers, and design icons with the beauty of northern Minnesota to give you a full weekend to refresh and jumpstart your creativity.

Find your inspiration in the north woods.

Design Camp will gather designers, artists, art directors, copywriters, web developers, students, educators, and other creative-minded folks who are ready to learn from each other. The day-to-day schedule consists of speakers, workshops, and activities to both teach specific skills, and relax your creativity and let your mind wander.

Explore the multidisciplinary, interconnected nature of design in the modern era.

Design as a profession is continuously shaped by outside forces. In turn, design and designers have the power to influence the world around us. The field of design is like a woven tapestry, made more beautiful as we add more color, and stronger as we add more threads. How do the connections forged among individuals, among organizations, and among disciplines produce creative energy? How can we inspire and be inspired by a more diverse set of experiences?

Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Ash Huang
Senior Experience Designer, Adobe

Ash Huang is a writer and designer based in San Francisco. She currently works at Adobe as a Senior Experience Designer, and previously worked with Twitter, Pinterest, Dropbox, and others. Her design articles have been featured in Fast Company, Offscreen Magazine, and Thought Catalog. When she’s not breaking the Internet, she’s working on her third novel, going on adventures with her family, or trying to get the paint out of her hair.

Ashleigh Axios
Creative Director, Obama White House, Executive Board Member, AIGA

Ashleigh Axios is an international speaker, strategic creative, and an advocate for design's ability to break barriers and create positive social change. She is an executive board member for AIGA, the professional association of design. At Automattic, a company on a mission to democratize publishing and commerce, Axios formed and led the in-house creative agency for marketing, communications, and brand identity solutions. Prior to her role at Automattic, Axios served as the creative director and a digital strategist in the Obama White House. She is president emeritus of AIGA Washington D.C., where she formed DotGovDesign, an initiative connecting and empowering government designers.

Emily Cohen
Consultant to Creative Professionals | Member AIGA

A brutally honest consultant, Emily Cohen has been honored to consult and work with many leading design firms across the country. Through these experiences, she has developed, tested, and curated key business insights and strategies that have helped firms become more effective, profitable, and fun to work at. Emily conducts strategic business planning retreats and provides confidential, best-practice insights and advice on staff, client, and process-management strategies. She loves sharing her expertise through speaking engagements, guest posts, her Skillshare class, webinars, industry activism, and, most recently, in her new business book for creatives, Brutally Honest: No-bullshit business strategies to evolve your creative business. Emily Cohen is also fast-talker, a designer by degree, an avid reader, a trend-spotter, a connector, and her client’s advocate.

Lawrence Azerrad
Founder, Creative Director, LADdesign

Lawrence Azerrad is a Grammy Award winning designer, creative director and founder of LADdesign, a graphic design studio focusing on creating visual experiences that spark emotion for musicians, educational and cultural institutions, and organizations working to visualize the future.
Azerrad is the author of Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde published by Prestel. The book chronicles the lifestyle and experience of the world’s only luxury supersonic airliner as expressed through design, and was selected by Amazon as a Best of the Year title in Arts & Photography.
Azerrad is also a producer and the creative director of the Grammy Award winning The Voyager Golden Record 40th Anniversary Edition.
Azerrad is the author of a program called the Designing The Future of Music. Working with several universities in the U.S. and the U.K. in leading designers to uncover new pathways to richer connections to experiencing, valuing, and the discovering of music through design innovation.
Azerrad has spoken on design and inspiration at The V&A Museum, London, The Smithsonian Institution, TEDxUCLA, and at universities, professional organizations, nationwide and internationally.

Seth Johnson
Program Director, Design Program Office, IBM

Seth Johnson advocates on behalf of the world’s largest professional design workforce: 2,500 formally-trained designers in more than 50 studios across nearly 40 countries. His team’s mission is to ensure that IBM’s designers are practicing the best of their craft, growing their skills, and advancing their careers.

Prior to his current role, he led a team to pioneer the infusion of design thinking into IBM’s myriad sales organizations, ultimately increasing the effectiveness and value of dozens of the company’s most strategic client-facing teams. As a recognized leader in the practice of design thinking facilitation, Seth has developed many of the standard facilitation practices in use across IBM today.

Before joining IBM, Seth founded a Minneapolis-based consultancy focused on improving the patient product experience for pharmaceutical companies. A former president of AIGA Minnesota and a long-time educator, he currently serves as an advisor and visiting faculty member of the Graphic Design Graduate Program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. He lives proudly by himself in Austin, Texas.

Review our schedule for the weekend, check out our workshops, or learn more about what Design Camp is about. And be sure to follow us for the latest announcements


Madden’s On Gull Lake
11266 Pine Beach Peninsula
Brainerd, MN 56401

Oct. 4-6, 2019


  • Trustee $275
  • Design Leader $275
  • Sustaining $275
  • Supporter $275
  • Contributor $275
  • Educator $275
  • Student $205
  • Non-member $495

Registration includes event only.

Lodging must be booked separately.

Registration is now closed. Looking forward to seeing all of you there!

What To Expect

Education. Inspiration. Socialization. Relaxation.

That’s The Ticket: Your design camp ticket includes access to all of the keynotes and presentations, three pre-registered workshop sessions, and several daytime and evening social and networking opportunities. And of course, our famous Design Camp Welcome Bag containing your badge, camp information guide, an iconic custom-designed t-shirt, and curated swag items from some of our amazing sponsors.

Eat, Drink, & Be Merry: Lodging and meals (including the progressive dinner) are booked separately through Madden’s. If you are not staying at Madden’s, you can still contact them to purchase a meal plan in order to participate in the social meal activities.

Northwoods Style: Cozy camp comfort meets creative conference. The weather in October isn’t always Minnesota Nice, and many of the activities require some trips outdoors, so pack accordingly! Bonus points: bring your favorite flannel and get rad in plaid with us on Friday for our Plaidurday celebration.

Social Stuff: We’ve built in plenty of social activities for you to bond with your friends and colleagues, or make some new ones! In addition to the progressive dinner, design trivia competition, and nights by the bonfire that you know and love, we have plenty of fun in store for you during the off-hours (hint: brush up on your mini golf skills…)


Event registration does not include lodging. You are responsible for your lodging and transportation to Madden’s.

We have a limited block of rooms available at Madden’s, which include access to our meal plan. If you are interested in staying on-site please contact Madden’s directly at 1-800-642-5363 for rates and availability.

Workshop Sessions

You will be able to pre-register for three (3) workshops you’d like to attend when you purchase your ticket. All workshops run during all scheduled times, but you can only attend your workshop during your selected time slot. These workshops will be saved along with your registration info, and indicated along with your badge when you get to camp.


Presenter Types

  • Being User-Centered: Journeys, Stories, Maps, & More


    Glossy personas alone can’t make you user-centered. Come learn a new framework for understanding users and actively centering them in your design conversations. We’ll bust apart popular tools for describing users and their journeys into reusable patterns and components.


    Scott Kubie
    Lead Content Strategist, Brain Traffic

    Scott Kubie is the author of Writing for Designers and the Lead Content Strategist at Brain Traffic, where he helps organizations of all kinds solve their wicked website problems. Scott was the first UX content strategist at Wolfram Research, and has been working on the content side of digital experiences since 2009. A popular and energetic speaker, Scott has delivered over 60 public talks and workshops about UX and content strategy to international audiences. Scott lives and works in Northeast Minneapolis, and enjoys biking, running, and performing his music at open mic nights.

  • Cards & Crafts With Neenah


    Details matter – right down to the greeting card you choose to communicate your message. An eye-catching envelope, the right paper, and the perfect sentiment prove that it’s the little things that count. Discover the latest texture trends and greeting card designs, then get crafty and create your own custom cards to tell that special someone you care. Because color and texture paired with outstanding design make for a meaningful message they won’t soon forget. Attendees will also receive a special preview of our new hemp product!


    Dallas Franklin
    Creative Director, Neenah Paper
    Kim Shannon
    National Sales Manager, Neenah Paper
  • Design Can Change the World


    We are living through a moral crisis today, where people are simultaneously more connected by social media and reporting they feel more lonely and isolated than ever. Authentic community demands proximity and engaging one another about our deepest aspirations, concerns, yearning, hope, pain, joy, and promise. At Pollen, we believe human connection is the pulse that sustains our ability to push for solving some of the biggest challenges facing our communities. Design Director Melanie G. S. Walby will be presenting on how we do this through art and storytelling.


    Melanie Walby
    Design Director, Pollen Midwest

    After working at Vetta-Zelo, FLM, Media Loft and Ideas That Kick, Melanie G. S. Walby made the switch to the nonprofit world, working as a full-time-part-timer at Juxtaposition Arts and Pollen before going into her full-time role at Pollen Midwest in 2018. She’s a former board member and former Associate Director of the Sustainable Design Committee for AIGA Minnesota. She was recently named one of AdFed’s “32 Under 32” and has been featured in Communication Arts, blackswho.design, and Adobe Creative Jam.

  • Designing Experiences that Do More and Mean More


    The goal of this workshop is to practice designing experiences that matter. We’ll explore new tools and theories – plus practice ways to apply these to relevant design problems.


    Alex Register
    Designer, Zeus Jones

    Alex works as a Designer at Zeus Jones, specializing in creating products, brands, and experiences with meaning

    Sarah Herberg
    Strategist, Zeus Jones

    As a strategist at Zeus Jones, Sarah leads teams on a variety of projects, from brand innovation to service and experience design. Sarah loves getting teams excited about projects that at first glance feel impossible. With over a decade of experience, Sarah’s helped guide marketing at companies including General Mills, Apple and Whole Foods Market. At Zeus Jones, she also helps shape our approach to employee growth.

  • Design Psychology and How It Affects Your Audience


    Design directly influences your audience’s decisions and actions. This session will cover 8 design psychology principles that can be applied to your web design to help you create a user-centered site that effectively communicates to your audience and achieves your intended outcomes.


    Sarah Bieber
    Senior Web Designer, Click Rain

    Sarah Bieber is a senior web designer at Click Rain, a digital marketing agency in Sioux Falls, SD. She leads the Click Rain team with design-thinking strategies, user testing research and web design. With nearly 10 years of experience in fine arts and marketing, she has a wide range of design and creative applications. A deep passion for hand lettering lead her to launch Ink & Type Co., a small shop selling hand lettered artwork. She nerds out on all things creative-thinking, design psychology and cat GIFs.

  • Do Your Thing: The Transformative Power of Personal Projects


    Want to enhance your creativity and level up in your professional life? Two words: personal projects. Learn how making time for self-initiated work and creative play can expand your horizons, keep you on your toes, and transform your creative practice at any career stage.


    Abby Haddican
    Designer, Abby Haddican Studio

    Abby Haddican is a multidisciplinary designer who works in branding, packaging, typography, illustration, and fine art. A South Dakota native, Abby holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota, and received her design education at the College of Visual Arts. Her work has been recognized by Communication Arts, the TDC, Print, AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers, AIGA Minnesota, and the Tokyo Type Directors Club, among others. When Abby’s not working, she enjoys reading, running, dance-cleaning, day-drinking, public radio, one-way feuds, practical jokes, singing in the shower, and working her fingers to the bone. Her studio is in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

  • Letters Pressed into Paper


    21st century letterpress printing can include a wide range of techniques and materials that create infinite possibilities for design creativity. In this hands-on workshop, we will build and print a full alphabet using LEGO tiles while also learning letterpress basics with vintage type and presses. Learn about ways you can incorporate letterpress into your design practice and leave with your own collaborative print!


    Jason Yoh and Niki Sauer-Yoh
    Proprietors, Yoh Letterpress

    Jason Yoh and Niki Sauer-Yoh have been working together on various letterpress projects since 2013 when they designed and printed their own wedding invitations together. Today their house is home to the same number of printing presses as children (3). Before they met, Jason studied printmaking at The Cleveland Institute of Art and Niki studied Studio Art and Art History at the University of Minnesota - Morris. Combined they have like a million years experience working in Printing and Marketing around the Twin Cities.

  • The Art of Storytelling


    Storytelling is the best way to connect and create moments for anyone. We all have it in us to turn anything into a story, but it is a lost art. Read these two statements and see which one painted a better moment for you: 1) My favorite memory is me sitting in my grandma’s kitchen, while she sings and bakes my favorite cookies. 2) My favorite childhood memory is me sitting on my grandmas creaked brown wooden chair in the kitchen, while she sings in her yellow floral dress baking my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I bet you its number 2. In this workshop we’ll discuss effective ways of talking about your projects, ideas and even an object to challenge yourself. We’ll unravel three easy steps to storytelling and why it creates a more adventurous conversation.


    Bert Lee
    Speaker and Designer

    Bert Lee is a speaker, dancer and digital magician. He specializes in public speaking and is a member of Toastmasters club competing in speech competitions and hosting his own workshops teaching the art of effective communication, listening and building confidence on stage with an understanding of body language. With Bert being an active dancer, he oversees a community group called Hmong Breakers Leadership Council organizing local charity events and dance competitions in support of his local dancers and artists. Bert enjoys designing marketing collaterals and visuals to craft compelling brand stories for small businesses.

  • Scroll-stopping Packaging


    Packaging acts as a brand’s core communicator and often is the first touchpoint. Today’s omni-channel market environments demand an even more innovative approach to package design, especially when it comes to the online consumer experience. Attendees will explore considerations for designing physical packaging for both online and on-shelf success. A hands-on activity will offer real-world experience for crossing the digital divide.


    Stefan Hartung
    Co Founder, Kick

    Co-Presenters Emily Bartz, Claudia Dubé and Briana Vanderlinde

    Kick has been transforming brands for almost 20 years. As the creative lead, Stefan — alongside a team of brilliant women whose talents span the branding and design spectrum — has designed packaging for everything from skincare and cereal to soda, alcohol and pet feed. Stefan and three of Kick’s top designers will share their insights on designing packaging for today’s online-savvy consumers. 

  • How To Speak Unicorn: Translating Design for the Digital Age


    In order to be effective, a designer needs to do more than simply provide visual solutions to predefined problems. Digital design sits at a crossroads between multiple disciplines – both within an organization (project managers, developers, technologists, stakeholders, copywriters) and outside the organization (audiences, clients, investors, users). We must embrace our role as Translators of Ideas in order to advocate for the value of design in an increasingly technical world. Conversely, we as designers can also gain insight from the constant iteration and incremental improvements of programming methodologies.  Michelle will share the lessons she’s learned as a designer, translator, and communicator along her journey from design to frontend development. But this isn’t just a storytelling session – you will walk away with practical insights into using your design thinking skills to create effective solutions for the digital space, bridge gaps between disciplines, avoid the struggle of miscommunication, and develop empathy and understanding for your colleagues and your audience alike.


    Michelle Schulp
    Independent Digital Designer/Developer, Marktime Media

    Michelle is an independent graphic designer and frontend developer in Minneapolis. Prior to beginning her career, she studied Visual Communications, with minors in Psychology and Sociology. As her work progressed, she also branched into front-end development and user experience design to round our her skillset. This combination of disciplines led her to adopt a strategy-based approach to design, focused on solving tangible problems and achieving real goals based on how people think. Now, she collaborates on projects with clients ranging from solopreneurs to enterprise. She loves the open source community, and when she is not working on projects she speaks/volunteers/organizes at events and workshops around the country, including serving as the Director of Technology for AIGA Minnesota. Her passions are communication and empowerment, and she believes in the power of "Why?"

Thanks To Our Sponsors


If you register and are unable to attend, firstly, we would be sorry to hear that. Secondly, please email [email protected] by September 10, 2019 for a 50% refund of conference fees. Cancellations after September 10, 2019 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.

Contact Leadership

Director of Legacy Programming