Top 5 Reasons Why Graphic Designers Should Attend Portland Startup Weekend


Guest post by Jaclyn Hudak, Ready Maker Design, LLC

Startup Weekend is a rare opportunity to try your hand at building a business

from the ground up, surrounded by a supportive group of “hustlers, hackers, and

hipsters.” Last year was my first time at Startup Weekend, and you can bet I’ll be

back again this year. If you’re a graphic designer, here are 5 solid reasons why you

should be there too:

5. Build A Business

If you’re a freelancer, one of the best ways to relate to your small business clients is

to put yourself in their shoes for a weekend. Can you develop a product that people

not only love, but actually want to purchase? How will you attract investors? What is

your marketing plan, and is it viable? Learning how to find your priorities here may

help you in the future, when clients seem unorganized.

4. Challenge Yourself

Is there an area of design that you wish you had more experience in? Whether it’s

design for apps, websites, logos, or packaging, you can join a team who needs you to

create something quickly; a great way to dive into a new genre without the pressure

for it to be absolutely perfect. Going into my first Startup Weekend, logo design

made me squeamish, but by the time the weekend finished I felt like an old pro.

3. Work Outside of Your Box

If you’re curious to test the waters as a frontend or backend developer for apps or

websites, or if you have a skill for sales communication that you’d like to sharpen,

this is the perfect opportunity to dabble. Startup Weekend is a learning environment

and there are always people of different skill levels in attendance. Those attending

with more experience are happy to teach others and give advice, and who wouldn’t

want advice from a Nike director, or a seasoned Microsoft engineer?

2. Re-Energize

We all fall into a design rut every now and then and experience the pitfalls of

being uninspired. If you’re looking for a way to break out of a design equivalent of

“writers block,” I will be the first one to tell you that Startup Weekend is the next

step to freeing your mind. A rarity in the real world, everyone who attends Startup

Weekend is actually excited to be there, to work, and to have a hand in creating

something great. Having creative free reign doesn’t hurt either.

1. Expand Your Network

It’s reasonable to say that a designer can never know enough people who are

starting businesses. Logos, branding, and website design are just the tip of the

iceberg for a blooming business. As we all know, Portland is a big small town, so

with the connections you make at Startup Weekend you’ll end up with plenty of

people who will be able to recommend your work to someone, or to someone who

knows someone after the event ends.

Tickets sell out early – buy you tickets now at

Three logos

A few logos I got a chance to create while at Portland Startup Weekend 2013