Seek is a one day design conference held on Monday, November 12 2018 at Morningstar Auditorium, in Chicago Illinois. Featuring presentations by eleven notable designers.


Be exposed to new ways of thinking about design, design process and how the various designers solve problems.

be inspired

See beautiful, functional, effective design and hear the stories of the designers who create it.


Meet new people, get to know some of the presenters and have some fun.


Dana Arnett

Dana is the vice chair and founding partner of the internationally recognized firm, VSA Partners. Dana is also the current president of AIGA. Dana leads a group of 280 associates at VSA in the creation of design and marketing programs, as well as digital and interactive initiatives, for a diverse roster of clients, including: Harley-Davidson, IBM, General Electric, Bloomberg, Anheuser Busch, and Google.
VSA Partners

Dan Kraemer

Dan Kraemer is Founder and Chief Design Officer at IA Collaborative, where he leads a multidisciplinary team of designers, researchers, business strategists, engineers and architects to help clients uncover new opportunities and design new products, services and business models. Educated as a BFA and MBA, Dan provides leadership at the intersection of human centered design and business strategy. His clients include Airbnb, Audi, Bosch, FedEx, GE, Hyatt, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, The Kennedy Center, Nike, Philips, Samsung, United Airlines, and the United Nations.
IA Collaborative

dawn hancock

Dawn is a troublemaker, a bleeding heart, a designer by trade and a do-gooder by choice. Two things she likes: ideas and people. She’s been known to put them together in a room, just to see what happens. She started Firebelly in 1999 with a simple mission: Good Design for Good Reason™. Since then, she’s been diligent about hiring passionate people, seeking out fearless allies and taking on projects with the potential to change the world (or at least the local community). While she’s kept the design studio intentionally small, Dawn has kept on hustling to expand Firebelly’s reach and impact. Over the years, she’s founded a community-based nonprofit, an education incubator, a 10-day design bootcamp, and Typeforce, a curated showcase of typographic allstars. Named one of Fast Company’s 11 Most Generous Designers, Dawn has never stopped focusing on people and their potential to create a better world together, one good idea at a time.
Firebelly Design

patrick gallagher

Over the past 30 years, Patrick has built a strong reputation globally as a leader in the field of Museum Planning and Design. He has worked with every kind of collection from microscopic stardust, to hundreds of vintage military tanks and aircraft, in institutions ranging from cultural history and natural science to sports, music and the arts. Patrick is a past president of the SEGD and has served on the board of numerous professional design organizations. Patrick is owner and President of Gallagher & Associates. From exhibition design and graphics to media and interactive, the studio creates impactful, immersive experiences that educate and engage millions of visitors throughout the world.
Gallagher & Associates

kim knoll

Creative and candid, Kim was named one of Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago by Newcity. She always has a strong creative vision and a plan to bring it to life. Kim and her husband, Kyle Eertmoed, joined forces in 2011 to found design and branding firm Knoed Creative (pronounced “node”). Working with startups around the globe, they have helped creative visions become realities through handcrafted designs inspired by each client’s unique style, story and set of challenges. With over 15 years of experience, Kim specializes in design, planning, copywriting and creative strategy.
Kim Knoll Art
Knoed Design

sam ciulla

Sam brings over 30 years of experience as a designer, creative director, and brand strategist and managing member of Ciulla Associates. As CEO and Executive Creative Director, Ciulla manages and directs a staff of brand consultants and design and production specialists working in the areas of consumer and corporate branding, involving brand identity, packaging, structural design, integrated communications. His responsibilities and leadership help guide all strategic and creative efforts at Ciulla Associates. The organization is comprised of proven brand strategists, design professionals and production specialists, working together to deliver design programs for new brands, brand revitalization and brand architecture.
Ciulla Associates

Josh jensen

Josh has always loved sitting in the space between business and design, where the best design problems live. That passion for problem solving is what drives him to create experiences that endear brands to people, create lasting relationships and help people along the way. With brand identity and web design as a foundation, today, Josh is a UX Creative Director for State Farm Digital Experience where he leads a team in creating branded digital experiences for State Farm and its customers.
State Farm

jordan polonsky

Jordan is Director of Product Design at Eight Bit Studios. He is passionate about discovering opportunities, defining strategies, driving design direction, crafting interfaces and experiences, simplifying the complex, analyzing analytics, building brands, and partnering with bold companies — all while having fun and collaborating with ridiculously talented people. He has over a decade of digital agency experience, along with four plus years specifically focused on leading and launching digital products and services.
Eight Bit Studios

Alison sustarich

Having freelanced with large and small agencies, Alison founded Tiny Bold Creative in 2012 as a means to work directly with passionate small business owners and good-hearted organizations. What began as a one-woman design shop has grown over the years into a collaborative studio, pulling in trusted designers, writers, developers, and photographers to meet clients' needs. While away from the computer, Alison is starting a line of screen prints for retail, and is adjusting to work + life after the kickoff of her biggest project to date: becoming a mom to identical twins!
Tiny Bold Creative

brian rau

Brian is graphic designer and illustrator. He has worked in-house, for advertising and design agencies, and is now freelancing since April. Brian focuses mainly on branding and identity and carrying that out through various mediums such as illustration and packaging.
Brian Rau

Tony Maro

Tony is the creative director for Rockit Ranch Productions, a restaurant development and management company specializing in entertainment marketing, branding, and operations. Rockit Ranch brands include Underground, Rockit Burger Bar and Sunda New Asian, all of which Tony and his team was involved in the design of the branding and marketing materials.
Rockit Ranch Productions
Tony Maro


Seek 2018 takes place at Morningstar Auditorium.
22 W Washington Street, Chicago Illinois 60602
Seventh Floor

getting to seek

Metra train service from the various Chicago suburbs will get you to the Chicago Loop area arriving at the downtown stations; Union Station, Oglivie Transportation Center, or LaSalle Street Station. From there you can either walk for about 10-15 minutes or take a taxi or Uber. Taxi stands are common at all train stations. Metra is the way to go for those in the suburbs of Chicago. It's fast and there are no hassles of traffic or downtown parking.
Metra Train
Ventra App for Mobile Tickets

CTA service Blue Line Washington station would be closest to Morningstar. For those living in the city CTA is a good option.
Chicago Transit Authority

If you must drive it is highly recommended you carpool and leave very, very early. It will be rush hour in the morning. Metra is really the way to go, and then you don’t have to concern yourself with parking too.

If you must drive, use the parking app SpotHero to find and reserve parking spots at garages around the conference venue (22 W. Washington Street, Chicago IL). SpotHero will give you reduced rates, up to 50% in some cases.
Spot Hero

Hotels are plentiful in the area, though they can get a bit pricey. For a lower price option, and for those in the student or frugally minded category, check out Hi Hostel Chicago.

This schedule is subject to change.
All events are at Morningstar Auditorium or the Pre-Function Area on the 7th floor.
No food or drinks allowed in the Auditorium!

9:30am Check in at Morningstar 7th Floor

All attendees are required to pre-register and check in to receive an event program and an identity lanyard which allows access to the conference spaces and return entry into the building after lunch.

Coffee, Tea and Bakery Items Available in the Pre-Function Area.

10:00 Welcome, Conference Orientation, Morningstar Auditorium

10:10 About Morningstar

10:15 Dan Kraemer, IA Collaborative

10:40 Dana Arnett, VSA Partners and AIGA President

11:05 Patrick Gallagher, Gallagher & Associates

11:30 Panel discussion with Dana, Dan and Patrick

12:00pm Lunch Break. Lunch on your own.

1:00 Kim Knoll, Knoed Creative

1:25 Brian Rau, Freelance Designer

1:50 Jordan Polonsky, Eight Bit Studios

2:15 Tony Maro, Rockit Ranch Productions

2:40 Break Time, 20 Minutes

3:00 Sam Ciulla, Ciulla Associates

3:25 Alison Sustarich, Tiny Bold Creative

3:55 Josh Jensen, State Farm

4:20 Dawn Hancock, Firebelly

4:50 Panel Discussion

5:35 Latinicity, Block 37, third floor, Main Dining Room, for food, drinks, fun, and networking with presenters, fellow attendees. On your own dime. Drink responsibly.
Latinicity Food Kitchens.

6:30pm Conference concludes, unless you are having too much fun at Latinicity hanging with the presenters and other attendees. : )