Phoenix Design Week 2015: Speakers

IMG_7165We’re always inspired by Phoenix Design week. This year, five of our team at Resound went to participate in the sharing, inspiration, and learning that is the Design Week Conference. Just in case you missed the main speakers, we’ve recapped the awesome talks (complete with the best quotes!).

Ashleigh Axios, White House Creative Director, was a huge hit with our team!

Stephanie (our art director) said, “I enjoyed getting an inside look at the SOTU address and seeing how they iterated on their processes to make it a more interactive and content-rich experience. Designing for the betterment of people is a tough job, and it’s even tougher when you feel the weight of the Presidency (and all it means to be “Presidential”) bearing down upon you. Ashleigh was eloquent while being candid and I really appreciated her sense of humor (and all the GIFs!) throughout her presentation. I’m a fairly driven person and felt like she’s someone I could really look up to. She’s been added to my mental list of female design badasses!”

Our marketing specialist Kayla added, “There’s something special about translating a subject that might be technical and hard to understand into something engaging and easily relatable. She has done a great job of that in the White House, and that’s a lesson we can use (on a much smaller scale) with our clients.”

“You do you. Personality is a great thing. Being phony is a tragedy.” —Ashleigh Axios


Mike really enjoyed hearing from Alex Medina, Creative Director and Music Producer for Reach Records. “He and the whole Reach team are doing some really awesome work in the hip hop scene and I loved getting an inside look into their process and inspiration.”

“Fear of criticism paralyzes creativity.” — Alex Medina

“My limits are not my limitations.” — Alex Medina


We’re going to be honest, Mike was also fangirling a little. “It was awesome to hear (and meet) Stefan Bucher—an illustrator whose work (and monsters) I’ve been following for a long time.”

He wasn’t the only one though…

Our design intern Nate loved Stefan’s presentation too. “I came into the talk knowing nothing of him and was completely caught off guard by his presentation. I admired the dedication he showed throughout his 100 days of monsters project. I know that it takes a lot of self motivation to start and finish a project like that. I also really liked his talk about projects that he would have completed in his future. It’s difficult to think outside the box like that and he took it to a whole other level.”

“Sometimes you have to take your own cap and throw it over the fence — so you have to go get it.” –  Stefan Bucher


Kayla told us that Becky Simpson really inspired her. “I tend to think of success as winning a competition. In some ways it is, but the important thing to remember is that when it comes to creativity, each person’s style is as unique as their fingerprint. It’s shaped by their experience and their perspectives. No one else can tell the story that you were born to tell. And the world needs to hear that story.”

“Creativity and success are bottomless pies. There is plenty to go around.” – Becky Simpson

Resound believes in improv as a huge tool for creativity and brainstorming, so as Mike says, we “appreciated Becky Simpson’s look into her illustration process and integration of improv principles into her design thinking.”

“Starting somewhere now is better than starting somewhere later. Aim for the participation award, not the trophy.”  – Becky Simpson


We also enjoyed hearing about the teamwork from Berger & Föhr. As our web developer Douglas said, “I was really inspired by the connection they had with one another. Their ability to not only collaborate but almost work as one sounds like it’d be an incredible experience to share with a design partner. Their sense of responsible design is one I wish I paid more attention to myself that struck a chord with me. I plan to take steps in the right direction to incorporate that into my life.”


Overall, this year seemed to be stacked a bit heavier with illustrators, as opposed to last year’s branding and UX focus. We know that PHXDW is moving into a new era with a new leadership team. We’re excited to see how they’ll build on this year for the next one!