Behind the Design: HOW Design Live Materials

What started out as one designer’s pressing desire to document her experience at HOW Design Live led her to design this year’s conference promotional brochure.

“I still recall the feeling I had leaving Sally Hogshead’s final keynote in 2011. With four days filled with so many experiences, I felt my head would explode,” says designer Crystal Reynolds. “But something was missing: I needed something tangible to hold onto from the event.”

Seeking a way to capture the inspiration, information and energy of her next HOW experience, Reynolds created myNote. She gathered input from designers she’d met in 2011 and incorporated plenty of room to add her own notes and ideas into a spiral-bound publication-slash-notebook that she titled “Creatives Cupboard.”

“Working with Topline Printing, I packed 200 copies of myNote into my suitcase and took them to HOW Design Live 2012 to share with friends,” she recalls. “The feedback was so positive that the following year I partnered with Red Dog Graphics, Neenah Paper and Ilise Benun to bring myNote to the Creative Freelancer Conference audience.”

Impressed with Reynolds’s creation and her passion for the event, HOW Design Live managers contracted with her to create a myNote book with note pages and conference information in 2015. She’s working again this year to create the conference guidebook featuring stocks from Neenah Paper.

HDL15 brochure

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Reynolds first attended the HOW Design Conference in 2001 as an employee at the University of Calgary; when she returned to the event in 2011, she went as the solopreneur owner of Crystal Ink Creative in Calgary. That experience, she says, was especially valuable because of the connections she made. “What I get out of HOW changes every year,” says Reynolds, who is also one of the HOW Champions who support the event. “The first year, I was so lacking in motivation and inspiration, and I needed more connection with people. I had pre-connected with people on social media, so I had people to hang out with from the get-go. I’ve benefited so much from all the people I’ve connected with — they’re amazing cheerleaders, they’ll give you honest feedback, you have that kind of community support.”

HDL16 brochure cover
This year, Reynolds designed the 32-page HOW Design Live brochure (above) and the guide/notebook attendees will get in Atlanta. Being both designer and target audience helps tremendously, she says. “I do really great design when I design for myself, and this is what I’m doing for HOW. I love going to the event, and I’m designing what I would want to use myself.

“It’s like what Aaron Draplin said in his podcast with Ilise Benun: ‘Design it for yourself and make it awesome.’”

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Make career-changing connections, gain the inspiration you’re craving — and who knows, maybe land your next cool design gig like Reynolds did. Register now for HOW Design Live in Atlanta, less than a month away!