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HOW Design Live 2016 Recap

On the weekend of May 21st, Marbury Creative Group (MCG) designers, John, Carol, and I, enjoyed two days at HOW Design Live 2016. Filled with breakout sessions, keynotes, and workshops, HOW Design Live is five days of creative inspiration and practical application to refuel designers’ passion for their work. (from And boy did we leave refueled.

Before I tell y’all how wonderful the conference was and some of the fabulous things we learned, I would like to start off by saying that I am not a morning person. Especially on the weekends. I was up Saturday AND Sunday at 5:30am – which is 2.5 hours earlier than my Monday – Friday schedule! Though my eyelids felt glued shut, I was so excited to go explore Atlanta, meet new colleagues, learn from creative leaders, and experience HOW that even the early mornings were worth it.

John, Carol, and I covered a lot of ground in just 2 days. We sat in 6 keynotes covering topics like technology and the future of design, designing globally, and a conversation between Debbie Millman and Chip Kidd about Chip’s personal journey though life as a designer. We also interacted with industry colleagues in breakout sessions covering topics like design tips and tricks, management, package design, creative thinking, and much more. Luckily the designers at MCG have varied design interests, so we were able to divide and conquer session topics to learn as much as possible—and there was plenty to learn!

I left HOW Design Live with a notebook filled with notes and inspiration and excitement to get back to my computer and get to designing! Here are 2 of my favorite nuggets of inspiration:

1. How to shut your monkey
Danny Gregory came up with the idea of your monkey. Your monkey (commonly known as your inner critic) is that nagging voice inside you head that says you aren’t good enough. That color isn’t right. What were you thinking when you came up with that idea and concept!? Why in the world would you ever use that typeface in that layout?

We all have it. It is something designers and creatives struggle with daily. I learned how to shut my monkey – to control that inner critic of mine and get more done with out that nagging voice!

2. Adobe apps are awesome!!
I attended a session with Justin Seeley who works at, an online tool for designers to learn how do use the Adobe programs. He introduced us to all the cool features of Adobe Creative suite and showed us that Adobe has some amazing apps that help designers take their design to the next level. Creating patterns, brushes, capturing color pallets in an environment, and so much more. We can start layouts on the go and finishing them on the computers.

By the end of the weekend I was exhausted, but it was totally worth waking up early! I am so appreciative of Rob and Shelly for giving the designers this amazing opportunity to develop as designers. Thanks to HOW, the MCG Studio is even more energized to serve our clients with industry-leading techniques and new ideas creative strategies!



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