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HOW Design Live Conference—The Exhibition Hall

062513_1HOW Design Live is a web & design based conference that’s currently taking place (June 22nd-26th) in San Francisco. Although, I’m big on design and have been revolving my career around it, I’m quite disconnected with the field in terms of professional gatherings and events like these. I don’t recall where and how, but I discovered the event a few months ago, and with its free exhibition-hall-only pass, I signed up in an instant. (Not sure if the free passes is still available.) They also offer workshops and talks to attend, but at $700 for a daily pass, I had to politely decline. $700, really?!?!

Like most exhibitions, it took place at Moscone Center, in the heart of San Francisco. 062513_2

Imaginary Zebra in the house. 062513_3

Right at the entrance, MWV, a packaging company, greeted us with a collage of butterflies (in the process of..)  spelling out “Inspire.” 062513_4

They were also hosting a competition for a chance to win a $50 gift card. 062513_5

$50 sounded pretty nice, but we were more motived by the chance to design something of our own. And I suppose a butterfly would do at this point. 062513_6

Here’s my Chinese butterfly. 062513_7




Right next to WMV, there’s Pantone. A cohesive color system that many designers swear to. They’re most widely known for their swatches. But accessories such as mugs have begin to surface: 062513_11

And this!062513_12Pantone’s a brand is color. And the extent of that is endless.

Brands like Tattly also plays off the Pantone layout for their temp tattoos—Tattone 5K1N. 062513_13

Then, we came across a booth by Mohawk, a paper co, and Dodocase, a ..case company. 062513_14

They were giving out “Dodonote”, a notepad case that’s compatible with iphone 4 & 5! 062513_15Came with 3 color ways—Red, blue, and black.

They even offered to foil stamping your case. I went with “IZ”. How unpredictable. 062513_16

Michelle Chang went with MC. I admit we are the most creative peeps, but we sure have one of the most innovative cases (for now). 062513_17

Veer, a stock photo firm, was giving away free shirts!062513_18

I strive from freebies. A cool thing about a design conference is that even freebies are pretty cool looking. Free stuff from a tech event makes me want to throw up on myself. 062513_19

Yes, I think I’m fancy. 062513_20

More cool shit: 062513_21Keyboard stickers from Shutterstock.

Blurb provides a service that allow any individual to make their own book. Not on the spot, of course. 062513_22

A large hardcover like this would run for around $120. A 1 of 1 copy. 062513_23

A smaller would go for $20-40/pc. Having this platform allow anyone to become a publisher of their own creations. Though, the cost is a bit high, but it’s something that’s never been done before that’s economically feasible. 062513_24

VMA (not the award) had a wall full of type.
062513_25We were asked to draw out our favorite letter. I think we just went for whatever came to mind first.

More chances for us to win things: 062513_26

Side tracked by this cool packaging: 062513_27

Mao came to join the fun. 062513_28

Canon had their own little booth at the conference as well. 062513_29Played with the marco 60mm on a 60D. The picture was sharp and absolutely stunning.

Dieline also had a booth showcase award winning packaging: 062513_31




Last but certainly not least, HP created a collectible postcards that can found across the hall called “SF Views”, which is a set of 15 cards made with different finish/textured paper and each had a different aesthetics reflecting the impression of the given designer.062513_35

I found all 15. (Just realized I forgot to include Jessica Hische’s in the following photo.)062513_36

Here’s all the stuff I received for the afternoon: 062513_37That is:
-2 bags, 2 wristbands, 3 t-shirts, 2 mouse pad, 1 cotton candy(?), 1 lip moisturizer, 2 badges, 1 sharpie, 1 ruler, 2 notebooks, 2 klipnotes, 2 posters, 6 buttons, 16 stickers, 9 postits, 20 business cards, and 23 paper samples & brochures.

Of which, these stood out the most for me:
062513_38A giant eraser that’ll last you a life time by WebInk.

062513_39Cards that teach you about the anatomy of type. Again, from WebInk.

Cool card by Shutterstock. 062513_40

Another by New Leaf. 062513_41

THE notebook case. 062513_42

Cool looking paper case by Skillfeed.062513_43

Keyboard sticker by Shutterstock062513_44

My favorite—the designer impression of San Francisco. 062513_45

I’ve had my share of trade shows and conferences, with most of them being tech-oriented, I find that a design one offers some of the most intriguing and beautiful merchandises to take home. I highly recommend a conference like this, even if design’s not your profession.

If you’re interested in any of the items I mentioned above (except for the post cards, for that I’m keeping). Feel free to write your name/email/and the item you want in the comments and I’ll choose a random winner in a week or so! Winners have been chosen!

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  1. Hey man, nice write-up. Wish I could’ve checked it out. The Vanderbyl postcard’s illustration totally captures his essence… Would love it if you tossed the giant eraser or paper wallet my way!

  2. I walked right by there this past weekend. I was wondering what event was going on. The last pic is from uniqlo right? Love that store. That fancy shirt looks pretty nifty. I wouldn’t mind getting it xD if its a size medium. Otherwise the keyboard stickers are pretty awesome! Yay for freebies!

  3. Hello!!

    I’m in love with the keyboard stickers!!!!!

  4. Would love to have the keyboard sticker for my lonely MacBook 🙂

  5. Awesome items!! That keyboard sticker would go nice on my macbook 🙂

    Jonathan Natividad
    [email protected]
    Keyboard sticker!

  6. This makes me really want to go to a design conference now. SO COOL.

    Melinda Sugiarto
    [email protected]
    Keyboard sticker please! 🙂

  7. Looked like a sweet conference. Reading through the post I noticed it says “2 mouse pad” without and “s” :C

    Cherise Cenon/[email protected]/cutewallet

  8. Hi Benson,

    thanks for the recap of the event. it would be really awesome if they had more of those in Sydney.

    would really be keen on the paper wallet =]

    [email protected]

  9. Thanks for recapping your experience at the conference. Wish I could’ve gone, there were some panels that caught my interest, but like you mentioned it is expensive (even w student pricing). Those postcards are awesome, got to love freebies.

    MJ Inguito
    [email protected]
    would love a notebook from the event 🙂

  10. Hey Benson!

    That was a really awesome recap of the event! I didn’t know it was free! My friend won the enrichment scholarship and won a student pass to go! I wish I entered to win that conference ticket too! ):

    I wouldn’t mind the paper wallet!

    Thanks so much!

    [email protected]

  11. Looks like a really cool exhibition. Seems to be a lot of inspiring minds and some really cool ideas. Looking forward to see more of your stuff, the style is something I can’t describe and I really like it.

    Kyle Phan – [email protected] – definitely that paper wallet!

  12. looks so much fun! i should go next time :/ and the stairs looks oddly familiar 😉

  13. Keyboard stickers would be aweome!!! 🙂 or the fancy shirt haha

  14. Hi! The wallet or the fancy shirt please

  15. oh maaaan. that macro lens is amazing. so crisp. bummer this conference is in san fran AND it’s $700. ouch. it looks like a great place to share ideas and get inspired by other artists though. glad you had a good time!

    Joann S / [email protected] / I’d love the basics shirt!

  16. My Designer Wall—$15 Project — Imaginary Zebra™ // IZ™