The International Sign Association (ISA) had their annual conference and expo April 3-6 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This year ISA made a concerted effort to reach out to designers and offer more educational sessions that specifically target designers and the issues they face in the world of environmental graphic design (EGD). Many of our SEGD colleagues and industry friends from leading EGD firms were represented: Gensler, Two Twelve Associates, Calori & Vanden-Eynden, and Studio SC to name a few.
I represented fd2s at the conference and, despite my general aversion to Las Vegas, had a great time! The quality and content of the seminars were well done and informational. Topics included incorporating BIM and Revit into design workflows, which seems great in theory, but has not been embraced by designers. We also discussed evidenced-based design – something I think all designers should embrace to shift decision-making from the subjective toward the objective. The speakers also did a good job of engaging their audience, with several wrapping up their talks with outstanding audience questions. A good sign – pardon the pun.
The exhibit hall was interesting even if there seemed to be a glut of large format printers and LED suppliers from China and Korea. There seemed to be few truly new fabrication techniques or products on display, but I nevertheless left with quite a few additional sources for products and services that I didn’t previously know about. This will make for a happy resource library back in the fd2s studio!
The expo hall and a number of the seminars afforded good opportunities to network with designers, fabricators, manufacturers and suppliers. In particular, it was great to connect with DG Studios, Babendure Design, 505 Designs and EMG to name just a few.
by Rick Smits