Aloha, Design Week HNL 2015

Well, what a blast that was!

Design Week HNL kicked off with Design Hunt on Instagram. Every day, designers across town contributed monograms, textured designs, retro designs, beverage-related design and Hawaii-inspired design. It was fun watching people race around the office competing to shoot all the qualifying designs first.

Winners were selected using a randomizer and announced at 10pm. Each winner received a pretty sweet prize pack of designy stuff. 

Our second event was It Takes Deux to Design, held at Kakaako Agora on Tuesday night. We had over 100 people in attendance, and though it was hot and it poured, it was a success. 7 designer-client teams gave rapid-fire presentations and then sat for a big Q&A. Students from BYU had driven all the way down from Laie to attend, and were soaking up the information like sponges. Flyin’ Ahi food truck served poke boats and kalbi beef with crinkle fries. 

Wednesday, the 5-O judging took place at the Honolulu Design Center’s Cupola Theatre. We’ll save the juicy details for a 5-O competition post.

Thursday we had our judges back to the same theatre for a Speaker Series, or in AIGA Honolulu lingo – three Designer Dialogues in one weekday morning event. Over 60 people joined us for this morning-to-lunch session at Cupola Theatre. Jay Fletcher of Charleston, SC kicked it off with a hilarious and extremely relatable presentation of his work, presentation tips and tales of wacky clients. Kelli Anderson of New York shared with us her experience with the “Hidden Talents of Everyday Things” – in particular the amazing things she has created with paper. (Her pop-up book This Book is a Planetarium comes out in March, but you can pre-order it now!) Peter Markatos of MM-SF shared his experiences working with savvy clients – mostly startups in the Bay Area. At first we were concerned that this would not be relatable to our community. But in the end, the strategy of sharing our process helps clients appreciate the role designers play and the expertise we have to offer, no matter their level of branding experience.

Saturday was our big finale, the 5-O show. The 2013 show was held on the deck of the Battleship Missouri. That’s hard to beat. But our event at the Pacific Club was classy and elegant. Thank goodness for the tradewinds. Over 120 members of our design community and related industries came out to celebrate. We revealed the 50 professional and 3 student winners. Our judges announced the Top 5 and got to meet the designers behind the entries. They had an incredible time. They agreed that judging the 5-O show in Hawaii was so pleasant – so different from the normally grueling experience that judging design shows can be. We were delighted to have them. 

And with that, it’s over. Almost a year of planning went into this one week. A huge thank you to our sponsors, without whom we literally could not have done this.

We hope all of you who attended found it fun, educational, and inspiring. Let us know what you thought, shoot an email to or message us on FB, IG, or TT. 

By aigahonolulu
Published October 7, 2015
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