Design Nation Conference
by Larissa Petryca, on 20 May 2022 15:24:24 CEST
In April 2022, PCU student Šimon Kremr travelled to New York City to attend Design Nation, a four day conference for up and coming young creatives.
PCU Lecturers had encouraged Graphic Design students to apply for the conference that offered an all expenses trip to NYC. Several students applied and Šimon was successful! Before he knew it he was staying at the New Yorker Hotel right next to Madison Square Gardens with an amazing view of the city.
Design Nation is an annual conference organised by Business Today, an undergraduate-focused business organization based out of Princeton University. The conference connects students with leading design professionals through a series of workshops, keynote lectures and networking events.
One hundred design students from fashion, graphic design, product and industrial design were chosen, with only two from Europe, Šimon from the Czech Republic and another student from France. The majority of students were from the USA with a few who had traveled further afield from Korea and India.
Key Learning from the Conference
Šimon heard from established designers about the value of self promotion on social media and how important it is to make a client a part of the design process in order to achieve the best possible result.
Several designers also recommended their strategy of specializing in a particular business segments, for example LGBTQ businesses or women-owned businesses.
As far as design trends, minimal, clean, pared-back and eco-friendly continue to be major drivers, with digital design dominant and as a result google fonts remain popular when developing digital assets.
The tutorials and workshops that Šimon took made him realise that his lecturers and Graphic Design programme at PCU was very current and professional as he’d heard and already learnt a lot of what was presented, yet many of the students had found the content new.
Finally, this was a unique opportunity for Šimon to build his creative network internationally. He came away with many friends and industry connections and was even offered help from major designers to fine-tune his portfolio, plus a possibility of an internship.
An unexpected Pathway
Šimon’s application to Design Nation was accepted based on his portfolio, his passion for design and determination to succeed professionally.
As a former law student at a Czech University in Olomouc, in 2019 Simon decided to pursue his passion for art and chose to study Graphic Design. It was a gamble but one that he is really happy with.
Growing up he’d always been artistic and in his free time had learnt Adobe Photoshop. Šimon had a friend who’d studied at PCU and loved it so he took a few refresher classes in English over summer but found the transfer to an English-speaking University easy and now has a new found confidence in English. The smaller numbers of students, international environment and friendly approach from the teachers have made it all the more nicer.
Šimon will soon graduate and plans to work as a location independent freelance designer so his English degree and advanced language skills will be very useful. He is also thinking of undertaking a Master’s degree in Portugal.
See Šimon and the class of 2022’s Graduating exhibition ‘Long Story Short’ (including live presentations) on June 3 at PCU’s Bishop’s Court Campus.