Phoenix Design Week 2017 speakers include Phoenix illustrator Kelsey Dake.EXPAND
Phoenix Design Week 2017 speakers include Phoenix illustrator Kelsey Dake.
Kelsey Dake

Your Guide to Must-See Events at Phoenix Design Week 2017

Graphic design doesn't have to be mysterious or overwhelming. And you don't have to be formally trained to add design-inspired thinking to your life.

If you're even the slightest bit curious about the current state of design, and what's happening in the local design scene, you'll want to check out Phoenix Design Week.

The annual event brings together design professionals and other community members for gatherings that inspire lightbulb moments, shared ideas, and greater community connections.

It's happening from Friday, October 27, to Friday, November 3. The event lineup, which includes a two-day Method + Madness conference at Phoenix Convention Center, is extensive.

So we've pulled out some of our favorites, and noted details below, to help you launch your own design adventures. Here's a look at seven must-see events happening during (or right before) Phoenix Design Week.

ASU Visual Communication Design Poster Show
Thursday, October 26, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
ASU Annex at 18 East 10th Street

Check out posters from designers working around the globe during this free exhibition, then bid on your favorites during a poster auction that will help fund Arizona State University's 2018 Visual Communication Design Senior Exhibition next spring. 

Kickoff party for Phoenix Design Week 2016.
Kickoff party for Phoenix Design Week 2016.
Phoenix Design Week

Kickoff Party
Friday, October 27, 6 to 10 p.m.
Rebel Lounge

Phoenix Design Week kicks off with live music by Afrobeat Orchestra, local food trucks, a photo booth, a soundtrack by Jason P. Woodbury, and a special "Wish You Were Here" edition of Phoenix New Times' Bar Flies storytelling series curated by Katie Johnson. Show up by 7 p.m to catch stories by Becky Bartkowski, Anwar Newton, Robrt L. Pela, Stina Sieg, and Johnson. General admission is $20.

Best of 2017 Design Exhibition
Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center

Explore an exhibition of Arizona design created during the past year, including both small- to large-scale projects, such as posters, websites, logos, program covers, and social media campaigns. Then vote for your favorites, and help determine which design gets this year's best of show award. Free with M + M admission, or Explore Your Design Archetype ticket.

Explore Your Design Archetype
Saturday, October 28, 5 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center

Use the art of improvisation to explore whether you're a wild card, perfectionist, natural, expert, dreamer, or problem-solver as you learn about design archetypes, and why they matter, with Nina Miller of Torch Theatre. Tickets are $10.

Couch Confessional
Sunday, October 29, 10:05 a.m.
Phoenix Convention Center

Get to know one of Phoenix's best-known creative couples, as illustrator Kelsey Dake and creative director Chris Rushing take to the couch for a casual Q & A about all things design. Free with Sunday M + M admission, which starts at $59.

Posters exhibited during Phoenix Design Week 2016.
Posters exhibited during Phoenix Design Week 2016.
Phoenix Design Week

Animation Show of Shows
November 1, 7 to 10 p.m.
Third Street Theater at Phoenix Center for the Arts

See 16 animated short films in various formats from countries including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, and Switzerland, which are part of a touring film event curated and presented by Acme Filmworks founder Ron Diamond. Tickets are $12 at the door.

Back to the Eighties
Friday, November 3, 7 to 11 p.m.
Warehouse215 at Bentley Projects

Whip out your spandex and sparkle for the Phoenix Design Week closing party, where you can enjoy live music by Rhythm Edition  appetizers, a photo booth, a cash bar, and creative conversations about the week's design discoveries and insights. Tickets are $40.

Phoenix Design Week runs from Friday, October 27, to Friday, November 3, at various metro Phoenix locations. Get the full schedule and ticket information on the Phoenix Design Week website.

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.

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