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Move Forward. Dive Deeper.

Interact with fellow attendees, learn about the business of design and maybe even get your hands a little messy.

The Y Design Conference offers unique Thinkshops. They provide the opportunity to learn something new, interact with fellow attendees, learn about the business of design and maybe even get your hands a little messy. Thinkshops are small intimate workshops with usually less than 25 people. Thinkshops will only be offered on Saturday.


Headshot of Aaron Ishaeik

Block Printing with Aaron Ishaeik

Linocut is a graphic relief printmaking technique in which a block of linoleum is carved by hand in order to produce a matrix that can be used for multiple prints. The linoleum block is inked with a roller and then impressed onto paper or fabric.

Aaron Ishaeik

Aaron Ishaeik is an artist based in San Diego, California. From natural to surreal, Aaron's work deals with the complicated relationship between nature and humanity as it relates to our environment.

Aaron is a creative and accomplished artist with experience in many different aspects of printmaking, painting and sculpture. His work has been featured in galleries in Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and San Diego.

Ishaeik is also an award-winning Sr. Art Director with 15 years of design experience in multiple mediums. Ishaeik continues to expand his design capabilities to include film which have resulted in an Emmy for his work for the Port of San Diego.

A graduate of the prestigious The School of Art Institute of Chicago, Ishaeik began his design and fine art career in Chicago and Washington D.C.

Headshot of Heber Miranda

Calligraphy with Heber Miranda

Learn the foundations of pointed pen writing with an introduction to Copperplate calligraphy. You will learn the tools and techniques used to create beautiful letters for any project. Hand written calligraphy adds both a unique and personal experience to your message.

From addressing a letter to simply leaving a note for a loved one and even improving your every-day handwriting, calligraphy adds beauty and the human touch. We will be focusing on understanding how to use a traditional dip pen and pointed nibs with an overview of alternative alphabets of styles possible with the same tools.

Heber Miranda

A graduate of San Diego City College and San Diego State University, Heber works as a graphic designer at Visual Asylum.


Headshot of Brian Wood

Five Things Print Designers Need to Know About Designing for Web with Brian Wood

These days, print designers are branching out into web design to broaden their professional horizons. In this workshop we'll cover some of the challenges you'll encounter in your transition from print to web.

Brian Wood

Brian Wood is a web developer, an Adobe certified instructor in Acrobat X Pro, Illustrator CS5 and Dreamweaver CS5, the author of 8 books including Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book, Adobe Muse Classroom in a Book (published by Peachpit Press), and the author of numerous training DVDs including Muse, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Illustrator and Acrobat 8, Acrobat 9, Acrobat forms, and more.

In addition to training clients including Nordstrom, REI, Boeing, Costco, DDB Seattle, Starbucks, Nintendo, NBBJ, and many others, Brian speaks regularly at national conferences, such as Adobe MAX, Getting Started with Dreamweaver and CSS, The InDesign Conference, The Web Design Conference, The Creative Suite Conference, as well as events hosted by AIGA and other industry organizations.

Brian has a youtube channel at youtube.com/user/askbrianwood, and a video learning site at askbrianwood.com.

Headshot of Johnny Ciotti

Designed Aquariums with Johnny Ciotti

Learning the art of aquarium aquascaping is something that transcends into every creative arena. This workshop will cover the fundamentals of aquarium design and how restraint can and should propel your work in every aspect of design. Sometimes what you make outside of the box needs to be presented in one.

Johnny Ciotti

Johnny Ciotti is a Los Angeles based commercial advertising photographer and creative director. Not having only produced national print ad campaigns, commercials and developed wildly successful social media presence with iconic brands Butterfinger, Pepsi, Pampers, HotPockets, The Sharper Image, and Reebok, he has overseen the production and design direction of many of today's most popular home and commercial aquarium equipment. Johnny has played a large role in the creation of the modern aquarium layout, or aquascape, through his years of hands on experience building living displays for motion and still photography.

Johnny has created works for Aquarium Design Group in Houston TX and Aqua Design Amano in Japan while working hand in hand with the likes of the world renowned freshwater aquascaping artists Jeff Senske and Takashi Amano. Other aquarium accolades would include 2008 AGA Iron Aquascaper and 2010 Reefstock Aquascaping Champion. Johnny's non commercial aquascapes have been noted to shake things up a bit and have been published on the web with Reef Builders and print gracing the pages of Tropical Fish Hobbyist USA, Ultra Marine UK, Practical Fish Keeping UK, and Aqua Journal magazines Japan.

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Headshot of Debara Medina

Get the Clearstory on How to Be a Better Designer for Digital Print with Debara Medina

Clearstory, located in San Diego, serves the self-publishing and photo book industry as well as an array of business printing. Their competencies make them an expert on the technical aspects designers need to 'move forward' with their

concepts into digital printing and production. Clearstory will lend their expertise to explain how much and what technical information is needed to set up a file/job for digital printing and production be it books, portfolios, collateral, boxes, fine art, large format prints, etc. With Clearstory, you dream, they'll make it.

Debara Medina

Debara Medina is a successful entrepreneur and founder of several companies. Her most recent company, Clearstory in San Diego, serves the self-publishing and photo book industry as well as an array of business printing. The company came from a passion to let everyone celebrate their story! Clearstory enables others to create the stories of their life or business by the production of books, portfolios, brochures and other collateral that can be shared and displayed with pride. And with Debara's early years working for a high tech company, she knows how to bring innovation to the offerings—you dream it, she makes it.

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Human Centered Design with Lauren Chapman Ruiz

Today's products and services live in complex systems of digital and human interaction points. Service blueprints help designers navigate this complexity and shape a complete human-centered experience. In this workshop, we'll take a deep dive into one of the primary tools of service design: the service blueprint.

This tool helps us enhance the experiences we design and drives design forward into the new domain of intentionally-designed services. First, we'll discuss the best uses for service blueprint, then you'll build one in small teams around a common experience.

Lauren Chapman Ruiz

Lauren Chapman Ruiz puts these methods into practice daily as a Senior Interaction Designer at Cooper, where she works to understand people and their behaviors to build the foundation for complex design solutions. The majority of her work focuses on challenges within cross-channel services, connected devices, complex data, and health/wellness. She has worked with a range of organizations, such as Bayer Healthcare, United Airlines, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Mondelez International, and Covidien.

Prior to joining Cooper, Lauren worked at the technology design firm MAYA Design, and with the innovation firm Second Road in Australia. She exercises her passion for teaching as a Senior Lecturer at California College of the Arts, and as an instructor for Cooper U training courses. Lauren holds a Master of Design from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA in English and Graphic Design from Loyola Marymount University.

Headshot of Garrett and Chris

Screen Printing with Garrett Patz & Chris Tombs

Get ready to get your hands dirty. We will do a short presentation of screen printing techniques and materials followed by a hands-on demonstration. You are welcome to bring a shirt to print. We will be providing tote bags and poster paper to print on.

Garrett Patz

Garrett has been interested in creating things for as long as he can remember and has long been inspired by the Carl Sagan quote, "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." He loves the power of branding and the inherent value a struggle can provide. Focused, fastidious and quietly confident, his aesthetic is driven by his passion for honest and thoughtful design and he is naturally drawn to grids, structure and geometric forms. When he's not bringing people together through design or photography, he enjoys spending time with his family of four, hiking throughout Southern California and venturing on road trips to explore new destinations. Garrett has worked on projects for Diageo, Lands' End, H&R Block, Transforming Youth Outdoors and more.

Chris Toombs

San Diego native Chris Toombs is a jack of all trades. Graphic designer by day and craftsman by night, he spends evenings and weekends exploring the tactile side of design, trying out new techniques in his search to marry message to medium. Chris spent his formative years surfing and swimming, and both remain passions today. He regularly commutes to work at i.d.e.a. by bicycle and enjoys spending time with his wife Monica and his new baby daughter Betsy.

Headshot of Candice Warner

Quilling with Candice Warner

Come learn how to twist, roll, fold and shape paper into beautiful pieces of quilled art. We'll be working with thin strips of paper to learn some of the basic techniques that make up the building blocks of the quilling process. This hands-on Thinkshop will expose you to one avenue within the creative world of papercrafting.

Candice Warner

Candice has been a crafter and lover of the tactile since childhood, and now the worlds of hand-crafted and well-designed collide in her quilling work. Throughout her studies at San Diego State, she learned to use the precision of digital graphic design to elevate the raw and organic qualities of papercraft.


Headshot of Jethro Ames

Vine Video Making with Jethro Ames

Jethro Ames is a master of Vine, the looping six-second social network owned by Twitter. What makes a successful vine video? Jethro shares how brands can create smart content without breaking the bank. If it's really good, users will watch it over and over again, and that's really powerful for a brand message.

Jethro Ames

Jethro Ames was once an art director for a San Diego based interactive branding agency. Now, he spends his time as a director and creator of micro video campaigns for worldwide brands. Digiday calls him the "Scorcese of Vine." A Tribeca Film Fest winner, Jethro has produced work by Budweiser, Disney Parks & Resorts, Ford Motor Company, M&M'S, Swiffer, The Home Depot and many more. His work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, Fast Company, and Mashable among others.


Headshot of Gini Keating

User Experience with Gini Keating

This session shows how video can be used to tell the full experience story of your product, app, or print-based material. You will learn how to identify the key benefits of your product by focusing on fulfilling your user's needs.

Then learn how video helps you showcase these benefits by presenting the end-to-end experience of interacting with your product. The result is a visual elevator pitch to gain client buy-in and show value to potential consumers. This includes an exercise on telling the user story behind your work. No video experience necessary.

Gini Keating

Gini Keating has more than 20 years of design experience, creating mass consumer market products. She started her career in corporate research at General Instruments/Motorola, designing the first GUI experiences for television set-top boxes and cable modems. At Nokia, Keating led Series 40 mobile phone content design for China, India and the Americas. She is currently Principal User Experience Researcher for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., where she is responsible for user interface and user experience innovation for Qualcomm Research. She has worked extensively in augmented reality, wearables, gestures, wireless charging and other emerging UI technology areas. Keating holds over 10 patents in user experience and device design.

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