DESIGNERS. In the 2008 book “Get a Design Job,” RitaSue Siegel suggests that you “Think about developing your skills in areas of practice that didn’t exist before, as they tend to attract the highest salaries until everyone catches up.”
One way to better understand future design opportunities is to go to the same conferences that potential employers attend. For example, two upcoming conferences in the fields of graphic communications and on-demand printing will examine what types of skills and workflows will be required to more easily and efficiently move content between print, online, and interactive projects.
While both conferences include some design-oriented sessions, that’s not the only way you can give your career a boost. The more you learn about your customers’ business goals and technical challenges, the more prepared you will be to position yourself as the type of problem-solver they need to hire.
Graphics of the Americas (GOA)
Feb. 24-26, 2011
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL
Companies that once specialized exclusively in printing now must offer a wider range of graphic-communications services that can help their customers deliver marketing messages across a broad mix of print and digital formats. To serve this new graphics-communication industry, the GOA conference features educational sessions that appeal to printing company executives, designers, and creative professionals.
For example, during the cre8 conference held in conjunction with the GOA conference, you can attend sessions that will help you update or expand your skills. You can learn how to:
- create interactive Flash and PDF documents with Adobe InDesign;
- simplify the transition of print content to the web;
- preflight all components of a mixed-media project to ensure that corporate branding is maintained in print, on the web, and in mobile messaging
- use XML publishing with InDesign to create documents to be shared for print layouts, online, mobile devices, and e-readers
- ensure your user-interface elements are attractive and easy to use.
The keynote address “Inspiring Digital Innovation” will be presented by John S. Bracken, director of digital media and director of the Knight News Challenge at the Knight Foundation. Bracken will share his views on the future of media and its role in society. Other sessions will discuss “The Digital Landscape for 2011 and Beyond” and “New Media Revenue Streams.”
On the trade-show floor, you can see various digital-printing technologies in action. You might even run into some forward-thinking graphics-business owners who can tell you more about the type of design skills they need most.
Publishing Xchange Conference
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC
The great “e-blending” of digital content delivery through social media, ebooks, digital publications, media tablets, and new forms of printing is opening many exciting possibilities for traditional publishers, as well as corporate marketing groups that have begun acting like publishers. But this “cross-media” revolution is also creating noise and confusion.
Co-located with the Info 360 Conference and On-Demand Expo, the new Publishing Xchange Conference will strive to help publishers, marketing-communications content providers, ad agencies, commercial and in-plant printers, and graphic designers build a stronger roadmap to success. Seminar tracks include topics such as the state and future of publishing, cross-media marketing, and e-media technologies.
One keynoter will be Rob Covey, senior vice president of content and design for the National Geographic Digital Media Group. He will talk about how National Geographic has evolved to market exciting and engaging content across all media channels and share some of the challenges and opportunities associated with today’s new era of publishing.
In another keynote session, Charlie Corr of Mimeo will talk about The New Era of Printing and Publishing on Demand and some of the threats and opportunities that will impact everyone from publishers to printers to end users.
Other workshops will talk about digital typography, how designing e-books and digital publications differs from designing for print, and digital advertising challenges such as wrangling pixels from print to mobile to billboards.