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re:think 2016: VMA Design Conference

Visual Media Alliance

Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (PDT)

re:think 2016: VMA Design Conference

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Full Conference, and Cheese-or-Font-due Evening Party
Includes access to: All conference seminar sessions, 19th Annual VMA Showcase Awards Luncheon, and the Cheese-or-Font-due evening party (5pm-7pm).
Ended $199.00 $0.00
Cheese-or-Font-due Evening Party
This ticket allows you entry to the evening Cheese-or-Font-due evening party (5pm-7pm) to network with industry professionals, and meet with 45 exhibitors, while you enjoy drinks & hors d'oeuvres, as well as great music.
Ended $10.00 $0.00
Pier 80 parking lot with just 3 blocks from the Midway. A Shuttle service is available.
Ended $15.00 $0.00

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Event Details

VMA Design Conference re:think 2016

re:think 2016 is a forward-thinking design conference that explores the question of what it means to be a designer today, connecting new ideas with the tried-and-true.

re:think 2016 is an official event of San Francisco Design Week presented by Visual Media Alliance


Registration 8:30am-9:00am

Check in and receive your welcome package

Conference 9:00am-5:00pm

This single-track conference includes 10 intriguing speakers from diverse backgrounds presenting innovative design perspectives back-to-back.

19th Annual VMA Showcase Awards Luncheon 12:00pm-2:00pm

Discover the gold, silver and bronze winners and view the works of the gold winners at a sit-down luncheon. Special awards are presented on-stage for gold entries that are stand-out pieces selected by our panel of judges.

Evening Cheese or Font-due Reception 5:00pm-7:00pm

Join us as we celebrate the closing of re:think design conference and SF Design Week together with the designers who presented and participated all day. 

We’ll all be ready to let loose and party hardy.

There will be

 - Music, Drinks, Cheese and Chocolate Font-due. Honoring the efforts of the Cheese or Font Guessing Game
 - A Flashtag Photo Booth will set you up for memorable selfies you can print and post.
 - Visit with the Exhibitors showcasing Photography, Paper, Marketing, Energy, USPS, Print, Color management, Motion graphics and more.
 - Glimpse the winners of the 2016 Annual Showcase design and print awards


The Midway SF

900 Marin Street, San Francisco, CA
Main Entrance on Illinois, between Marin & Cesar Chavez


Hurry and register before they are sold out.

Full-Day Pass: $199
Evening-Only Pass: $10
Parking: $15

Visit for details and more information.


Bringing Your Brand Values to Life Through Creative Work

Kristy Cameron / Starbucks Global Creative

A brand book lies at the heart of every strong company. Learn how Starbucks’ core brand beliefs acted as the guiding principals when developing the creative expression of their Global Brand Book. You’ll get a peek into the thoughts that shaped the work and learn how brand tools add meaningful value. You’ll also get a glimpse of how to inspire creative thinking above and beyond the do’s and don’ts of a company’s logo.

The Myth That is Inspiration

Tanner Christensen / Facebook

One of the most prevalent myths in the creative industry today is that inspiration is crucial for having big ideas. We waste a remarkable number of hours each day waiting for inspiration to strike. The truth is the pursuit of inspiration can be a way to feel productive without actually producing anything. In this seminar, Tanner shows us that what we need isn’t inspiration, but rather momentum. And that the best way to get momentum is to move something—a pen across a page, your feet out the door, or something more.

Haptic Brain, Haptic Brand

Daniel Dejan / Sappi North America

Daniel looks at communications through the lens of neuroscience, exploring how media shapes the brain, and consequently the way a brand is perceived. He examines haptics—the study of how what we touch shapes what we feel—and the science behind why our haptic brains respond so well to haptic brands. You’ll explore case studies from three world-renowned brands that highlight the communicative power of touch in action.

Timeless Principles of Good Design: Fitness, Firmness, Delight

Carolina do Bartolo / 101 Editions

About 2000 years ago, the Roman architect Vitruvius outlined three principles of good design: fitness, firmness, and delight. Today these are often translated as useful, usable and desirable. As "good design" is more and more frequently regarded as essential to any successful business endeavor, more people than ever are asking, "What is good design?" No matter which words we use, these ancient principles provide a timeless framework for answering that question and evaluating all design, universally and forever.

Immoderate Moderation

Steve Decker / Zooka Creative

Steve will moderate the day. That’s not to say he will keep it moderate—anything but. An experienced and persuasive public speaker, he’ll keep the energy flowing and the inspiration growing. If you’ve ever heard Steve present, as he has many times before, you know you are in for a treat.

Finding and Keeping Top Creative Talent

Megan slabinski / The Creative Group

Are you ready to move your business forward? Join Megan to learn about the latest workplace trends affecting small and large companies’ efforts to recruit the best creative talent. Whether you are looking to hire new staff for your organization or retain star performers, these are important employment trends to keep on your radar. Based on research for The Creative Group’s 2016 Salary Guide and Creative Team of the Future program, you’ll find out what positions and skills employers are willing to pay a premium for. You’ll also discover strategies for overcoming common workplace challenges, what it means to be, or have, an indispensable team member, and methods of recruiting and retaining hard-to-find creative talent.

Using Design as a Floatation Device

Mark Holmes / Google

Mark has been riding the waves of Silicon Valley innovation for the last 25 years—from the booms of desktop publishing, dot.coms and the CD-ROM, to console, PC & mobile gaming, to feature CG animation and Internet search. Chronicling a professional history at the crossroads of technology and art, Mark will shed light on working in the information and entertainment fields, and stress how the best floatation device for riding out the ceaseless churning of technological innovation is the never-ending need for good design.

Point/Counter Point

Michael Osborne / Michael Osborne Design

Michael will go head-to-head with "the new (millennial) designer"—possibly one of his own former students. This will be an opportunity to compare notes: What does it mean to be a designer today? Have expectations changed? Is the job much different from what it once was? The audience is invited to participate in what has potential to become a rather heated discussion.

The Philosophy of Good Design (and Why Your Work is Critically Important)

Jen Tank / Huge 

Designers today consistently hear the mantra "design can change the world." But it can be hard to feel like you’re doing anything important when you’re in the thick of it—in that fifth round of feedback, still arguing for the simpler layout, or the more elegant color palette. In this talk you’ll rethink Plato’s 2,400-year-old idea on the importance of beauty and the role of the designer to remember why we do what we do.

Design Thinking, Collaboration and Professional Development

Linda "Elle" Yaven / ELLEVATE

Design thinking is a positive change methodology used by successful entrepreneurs and businesses. Does it also develop well-being professionally, on teams, and in life? Linda will show you why the answer is yes. Creating awareness of our communication habits at work, home, and in life is foundational to this innovative discipline. This presentation will provide inquiry into effective, generative communication, and poses an answer to the question, "How do I bring out my best and the best in others, while focusing on what matters to me most?"

User Experience of Food Through Design

Dava Guthmiller / Noise 13 Design

In any brand experience, you need to be aware of the full user experience. The message and feeling of a brand needs to work within the whole system for maximum benefit. In this discussion, you’ll explore the customer journey thorough the lens of shopping, eating, events, and travel to see how the user’s experience of food could be rethought and better designed. 

Design Manager, Brand Expression
Kristy is a creative force with expertise in graphic design, branding, packaging, and promotional design. For over fifteen years, she has worked on creative and brand expression, providing intelligent and award-winning creative solutions for Starbucks. With her team of trusty designers, Kristy leads the development of the world-renowned coffee brand’s aesthetic.
Kristy Cameron
Product Designer
Tanner is a multidisciplinary designer and strategist with an insatiable curiosity for all things creative—product design, content strategy, web development, research testing, the list goes on. In addition to being a product designer at Facebook, Tanner is a published author, creator of bestselling apps, leader of creative content teams, and has led data infrastructure teams at Brigham Young University.
Tanner Christensen
Print/Creative Manager
As an educator, designer, humanist, and lover of all things graphic art-related, Daniel has been an evangelist for the power of paper and print throughout his 40-year career. As the face of the ETC (education-training-consulting) Group at Sappi Fine Paper North America, he is always ready to share his know-how with designers, printers, paper merchants, and the like.
Daniel Dejan
Carolina is the designer, co-author and publisher of the award-winning book, Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting, as well as its companion app of the same name. A graduate of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, Carolina is a systems thinker who revels in details. She has been an instructor at Academy of Art University in San Francisco since 2000.
Carolina de Bartolo
Steve is the founder and CEO of Zooka Creative, a hybrid agency combining strategy, design, and digital interaction. For over 20 years, he has worked across multiple industries—including consumer electronics, food, and apparel—to develop winning retail strategies by leveraging interactive technology. Steve earned his MBA from The Marshall Graduate School of Business at USC.
Steve Decker
Megan Slabinski / THE CREATIVE GROUP
District President
Megan Slabinski is district president of Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing firm and parent company of The Creative Group, which specializes in placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis. In this role, she manages operations for Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group locations in Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Megan has served as a frequent speaker on hiring and career issues, presented at industry conferences, and has been interviewed by the media on workplace topics. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of Washington.
Megan SlabinskiSQUARE


Mark is a 16-year art department veteran at Pixar Animation Studios, contributing to 10 feature films, including Graphic Art Director on Wall-E and Production Designer on Lifted. As founding partner of game studio Dynamighty, Mark art directed the Bafta-nominated game, Counterspy, and now resides at the heart of innovation and delight with the Doodle team at Google.

Mark Holmes

President & Creative Director
Michael founded his eponymous design firm in 1981. Their work in brand identity and package design has garnered awards from all major competitions, and has been recognized by many industry publications. Michael's work is included in the permanent collections of the San Francisco MOMA, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

Michael Osborne
Creative Director
Jen leads the development and execution of creative, interactive, and visual design at Huge. Specializing in fashion e-commerce and branding, she has worked on projects for a variety of heavy-hitting brands. With work that's garnered awards and recognition from leading industry publications, it's no surprise that her client portfolio boasts clients such as Wells Fargo, ING, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The French Laundry, and more.
Founder and Associate Professor, Design Strategy MBA California College of the Arts, San Francisco
Linda "Elle" Yaven runs a social innovation agency, providing professional development programs rooted in design. She is a professor at California College of the Arts and has a client roster boasting brands like Pixar, Apple, Google, and Gensler. She has had a meditation practice for 25 years and lives in the Bay Area, where it's perfectly okay to call yourself a social innovator.
Linda Elle Yaven
Founder & Chief Creative Officer
Dava leads a brand strategy and design agency that works to create insightful, compelling brands. She believes there are two key components to building a unique and lasting brand: life and style. Dava has been an instructor at the Academy of Art, and sits on the boards for Slow Food San Francisco and the Good Food Awards.
Dava Guthmiller


Appleton Coated
Bay Digital
Best Label
Clearwater Paper
Commerce Printing
Direct Response Imaging
DSS Plastics Group
GPA Specialty Substrate Solutions
International Paper
JLM Energy
JP Graphics
Midland Paper
Neenah Paper
Norfolk Press
Postal Customer Council
Reich Paper
Rods and Cones
Savvy Print Solutions
Spicers Paper
Storyboard Magazine
The Creative Group
The Navigator Company
The Parks Group
Time Printing Solutions Providers
United States Postal Service
Visual Media Alliance
Watermark Press
Western Trade Printing
Yupo Synthetic Paper


San Francisco Design Week  Storyboard Magazine  Visual Media Alliance

Visit for details and more information.

Have questions about re:think 2016: VMA Design Conference? Contact Visual Media Alliance

When & Where

The Midway SF
900 Marin Street
San Francisco, CA 94124

Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (PDT)

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Visual Media Alliance

Visual Media Alliance (VMA) and VMA Education are nonprofit trade associations dedicated to providing a variety of benefits and money saving programs to creative, web, marketing and print businesses in Northern and Central California and Northern Nevada. We were formerly known as the Printing Industries of Northern California - PINC. Our purpose is to deliver what it takes to help our members become more successful and profitable in their businesses. To accomplish that goal, we provide personal and professional development programs for both owners and employees. Dues are based on each company's employee count.


The Alliance brings Business Services to small and medium media companies and even individual creatives who are typically underserved in insurance and discounted business services.

  • Group health, business, and life insurance at money-saving rates
  • Opportunities to network with peers and collaborate with other types of media companies
  • Business services like a credit union, payroll service, and collection letters
  • Discounts on business essentials like software and office supplies and educational programming.


    Education is the cornerstone of the programs we offer. Since it is business-centric education, it encompasses many formats including dinner meetings, management seminars and classes, webinars, conferences, and hands-on technical training. Our most popular programs, however, are our insurance services, offering the lowest group rates and tailored to the needs of our industry.


    When your company joins VMA, your company also becomes a member of Printing Industries of America (PIA), the world’s largest graphic arts trade association, representing an industry with more than 1.2 million employees and serving the interests of more than 12,000 member companies. As a VMA member, you also belong to the Printing Industries of California (PIC), the state organization that represents you before state legislative and regulatory bodies and provides information and resources to help you comply in these arenas.


    VMA, along with PIC and PIA, provides you with the management, marketing, financial and technical information that you need to operate your firm more profitably




    Our employees in San Francisco are here to serve you. Don't hesitate to call 415-489-7601 or email us

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