Successful designers are passionate about strategy

Dave Holston
Communications, Design and Brand Strategist, Author, Speakern

In doing research for the book The Strategic Designer: Tools and techniques for managing the design process, I had the opportunity to interview over 100 leading design strategist, researchers and educators. I learned a great deal about the nature of creativity and design from these conversations, but there was one thing that stood out for me - successful designers are passionate about strategy. 


As competition in the design profession grows, designers need new approaches to position themselves not only as creative thinkers but as strategic partners. I’ve tried to share these insights through books, workshops and courses. 


For the past twenty five years I've worked in public affairs, marketing, advertising, communication planning and design management for leading organizations including General Electric, Martin Marietta, Lockheed Martin, The University of Texas and the Georgia Institute of Technology – helping them take a strategic design approach that integrates organizational goals, internal and external analysis and implementation. When I'm not thinking about communication and design I can be found playing old blues tunes on my National Steel guitar, drawing, sailing, writing or just hanging out with my wife, two daughters and our hound dog Violet in beautiful Midtown Atlanta.




Speaking and Workshops

I give lectures, speeches and workshops to associations, business and conferences. I’ve presented in cities across the U.S. and Canada to design, communication and public relations professionals. I strive to bring the concepts I’ve written about to life through engaging, challenging and insightful lectures and workshops. 


My goal is to help communicators take a strategic approach to their work, so my workshops are hands on. I want participants to walk away with valuable, practical tools that they can apply immediately.  I love taking the information and knowledge that I’ve acquired from countless talented people and sharing it.  


To find out more contact me at: 


Here are a few of the lectures, workshops, webinars and competitions that I've conducted over the last few years.


UCDA Design Conference, Austin, TX - 2006
Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Austin, TX - 2007
HOW Design Conference, Boston, MA - May 2008
Destination Design Management Conference, Los Angeles, CA - February 2009
National Education Association, Editors Conference, San Diego, CA - June 2009
Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Austin, TX - March 2010
HOW Design Conference, Denver, CO - June 2010
Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, GA - May 2012
HOW Design Conference, Boston, MA - June 2012
UCDA Design Competition, Nashville, TN - July 2012
Assoc. of Registered Designers (RGD), Toronto, Canada - April 2014
Trinity University Design Lecture, San Antonio, TX - October 2014
RGD Design Thinkers Conference, Toronto, Canada - November 2014
Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Webinar - February 2015
Assoc. for Univ. Continuing Eduction Design Competition, Canada - April 2015
AIGA Boston - Strategic Designer Workshop, Boston, MA - October 2015

Assoc. of Registered Designers (RGD), Toronto, Canada - December 2015

Mohawk Industries, Atlanta, Georgia - October 2016

ConFab, Philadelphia, PA - November 2016


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