ELEVATE: Student Portfolio Day

How AIGA LA forged new connections between emerging designers and legendary talent.

let's give the la creative community a powerful platform.

The annual town hall meeting is an important part of the AIGA LA programming calendar. We celebrate our chapter's big wins, we share the challenges that lie ahead, and we get valuable in-person feedback from our members.

For the 2016 town hall meeting, we were looking for new ways to start a discussion. How do we get people talking about the issues that matter to design professionals? How can we gather new intelligence about what our members care about? How do we inject new life into the town hall meeting format and create an event worthy of the top-notch creatives we serve? The Design Debates served as our answer.


After receiving valuable insights from senior advisors who ran their own town hall meetings in previous years, we set out to add more speaking and presentations to our format. Since 2016 is an election year filled with lively debate, it made sense to ride that wave and come up with a series of our own debates with a strong focus on design.

We began our research 


Using content from a previous issue, I presented a new direction for The STORM Report: a polished magazine publication with an updated logo and type system, new features and departments, and a revamped artist ranking algorithm that places stronger emphasis on organic discovery of music by a fan, as opposed to buzz generated through digital marketing. The changes were unanimously approved by the memBrain team.


The first issue of the new STORM Report debuted in January 2015. In addition to the comprehensive re-design of the publication, I provided creative direction and feedback to the in-house team of STORM writer/reporters, and I also contributed several articles to the publication.

The STORM Report generated lots of enthusiasm and positive feedback from memBrain's clients, as well as the team at law firm and parent company Hertz Lichtenstein & Young, LLC.  Activity on memBrain's Spotify playlists doubled immediately after the publication relaunch, and memBrain's senior team used the STORM Reports as an outreach tool to generate new business worldwide at music marketing conferences in Canada, Australia, and the U.S.