After the Hampton Creative team attended the well-known, yearly HOW graphic design conference, Chris Ensor talks about his experience there.
This was Hampton Creative’s first time attending the HOW design conference. Why did you decide to attend this year?
CHRIS: Attending HOW was something that Johnie has wanted to do for some time, and since we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary this year, it seemed like perfect timing. We’re continually learning and pushing to improve our skills and expand our knowledge base for our clients and ourselves. And as designers, we’re inspired by seeing what others are making. In fact, just being in a city like Boston was inspiring in and of itself – this history, the architecture…the food! It was certainly a memorable experience, and the opportunity to learn from some of the great minds of advertising and design – like Kit Hinrichs of Pentagram – was unbelievable.
So it was in Boston, excuse me BAHSTEN. That’s quite a trek from here. What were some of your favorite experiences while you were touring?
CHRIS: We were fortunate to have a few days to explore the city before HOW officially kicked off. A few of our favorite stops included checking out a Fine Printmaking Exhibit at the Boston Public Library (amazing architecture and craftsmanship) and the Institute of Contemporary Art: http://www.icaboston.org/
Of course, the highlight was visiting historic Fenway Park and watching the Sox pull out a dramatic 8th inning comeback over the Marlins. Singing “Sweet Caroline” with 37,000 fans was something we won’t forget.
What are some things you saw at the conference that you want to see incorporated at Hampton Creative?
CHRIS: I think the conference reiterated the importance strategy plays in any design. It’s important that we clearly communicate to our clients the need for marketing intelligence and strategy before any design begins. We also saw the value of refining our processes – and in some cases expanding them – in order to better serve our clients. We were really inspired by the DC-based agency Design Army’s session; it made us want to dream bigger! The takeaways were that we were doing a lot of things very well, but we definitely saw a few areas where we could make improvements.
Do you think you would go back next year?
CHRIS: Honestly, I’m not sure….there are so many options for continuing education. It would be interesting to explore other conferences that focus on our other core strengths like Web Design and Development. But we will definitely continue to learn our craft and get better at what we’re doing, both individually and corporately.
Now for the 20 thousand dollar question, did you try the clam chowda?
CHRIS: Yes, and it was wicked awesome. Also highly recommend the crab cakes. Notice the word is not spelled with a “K.” That’s real lump crab meat up there, folks.