We can’t believe it, but we just wrapped our third Hang Time event, this time in Los Angeles! Over 450 designers joined us at The Theatre at Ace Hotel for presentations by some of the best design talent in the world. Our venue was absolutely breathtaking and a great backdrop for such an inspiring day.
The theme for the event focused on one of the Dribbble team’s core values: try new things. Each presentation touched on how designers can improve their process and level up their career by trying scary new things, failing upwards, building a network, finding balance, and being your authentic self.
We started the day early with DKNG founders Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman for their Creative Collaboration workshop. Designers paired up to follow a design brief using the concept of play and construction using craft materials. During the event, Dan and Nathan shared their process for starting a new project—from concept development, team brainstorming, providing constructive criticism and feedback, art direction, composition, adding layers of meaning, and finally to execution.
After the workshop, with coffee and pastries in hand, we got started with the main event—Hang Time Los Angeles! Meg Lewis opened the day by sharing her career path as an unusual person and how finding your own niche and being your true authentic self can help you have the career you’ve always dreamed of.
Joshua Sassoon shared what happened when his team tried something new. When they didn’t have the budget, the design team at Thumbtack got resourceful and filmed their own promotional videos to talk about their vision—and they learned a lot along the way!
Founders of Hoodzpah Design, Jennifer and Amy Hood, talked about how their careers have been born of shattered dreams. They shared, “So much of our success has come from things not turning out how we expected.” By taking risks and basically starting anywhere… you can create opportunities you’ve never even dreamed of before.
Pablo Stanley hijacked his own talk! Instead of talking about comics and design as planned, he revealed how he found out he was colorblind and shared with the crowd how easy it is to make things accessible.
After lunch, we heard from legendary designer Susan Kare. We’ve all seen and used so much of her work in our lives, so it was an absolute privilege to hear the stories behind her work. Her message to the crowd was to have confidence in your skill mix.
Peter Deltondo gave a super inspiring talk in which he questioned the glorification of busy-ness and encouraged the notion of maintaining your life while completing your life’s work. It’s all about balance!
Dave Hogue didn’t plan to be there… but that’s because his talk was all about how he didn’t plan on a design career path. His background in science brings a lot to his work at Google and attendees can do the same—use your past experiences to your advantage.
Then it was time for our design discussion and let us tell you, this wasn’t your average conference panel… Our own Rogie King made our discussion on how brands are going beyond the logo super fun with a rousing game of “That brand is tight.”
During the discussion, Leah Pincsak shared how the team at Atlassian creates a cohesive brand. It’s important that all designers (brand, marketing, product) feel empowered and know that they have the same values. Amy Ngai from Axiom Zen shared lessons her team has learned from one of their products—fueling brand with passion is important. She shared, “We’ve hired our best people from our Cryptokitties community.” And Timothy Belonax from Pinterest shared how their design team creates and works with guidelines.
Mural CEO Mariano Suarez-Battan was looking for a platform to help tap into his imagination—so he built one! In his presentation, he challenged all imagination workers to inspire, share, enhance, and connect.
Haraldur Thorleifsson shared lessons from his life that have helped influence and establish the core values at Ueno. Most importantly, everyone at the agency believes they have a duty to help each other do whatever it is they want to accomplish.
We closed out the day with the incredible Paula Scher and we were blown away by her wisdom. She shared an incredible amount of work she’s done over her career and the lessons she’s learned along the way. There were so many quotable moments from her presentation, but this stood out to many of our attendees: “If you crowdsource design you’ll end up with the most mediocre version — because that’s where that goes. The purpose of design is to elevate the expectation, not pander to it.”
After the party is the after-party, right? Once presentations finished, attendees, speakers, and sponsors all gathered in the beautiful Theatre at Ace Hotel lobby to have a few drinks, chow down on snacks, mingle and talk shop, screen print fun t-shirts designed by Rogie with our friends at Real Thread, and make lasting connections.
One of our favorite parts of our Hang Time after parties is having super talented Dribbblers there to vend their goods. LA was no exception. Amy and Jennifer Hood brought their side hustle, Odds and Sods Co. to Hang Time and shared pins, patches, and posters. They also brought their latest book, Freelance, and Business, and Stuff. Los Angeles-based artist Blake Kathryn also had a table to share enamel pins, posters, and virtually interactive prints! Check out her representation, H+ Creative, to discover even more incredible artists.
After their workshop, Dan and Nathan from DKNG hung out all day and brought out their posters, enamel pins, patches, and playing cards to the after-party. If you didn’t get a chance to snag anything, you can see all the goods in the online shop.
LA-based designers and illustrators Lauren Griffin and Jourdan Enriquez also both had booths where they shared prints, patches, pins, and other goods. We were blown away by Lauren’s glow-in-the-dark print and Jourdan’s fun and quirky goods!
This fun-filled day wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our MVP sponsors, Mural and Thumbtack and our All-star sponsors, Simplecast, Google Design, and Atlassian. Additionally, we’d like to thank our friends at DreamHost, InVision, Adobe XD, Abstract, PatientPop, BCG Digital Ventures, Nike, Shopify, Lingo, Real Thread, Sticker Mule, TheSupply, and SiteGround for their support.
We’re taking Hang Time to NYC next, so stay tuned for details and get in touch if you’d like to be involved!