2008 Semi-Permanent Design Conference Review

2008 Semi-Permanent Design Conference Review

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Semi Permanent 2008

Here is some graphic design news… On the weekend I went to the well respected two day design conference ‘Semi-Permanent‘ that was held here in Sydney, Australia. I am going to give a short review / summary as well as some interesting information about the conference.

There is some pictures on Flickr of the actual conference.

So what is Semi Permanent?

In my words… two days of inspiration and industry insight…

From the Semi Permanent website… “To put it simply Semi-Permanent is a design event. It consists of a conference and side events which include exhibitions, competitions, workshops and parties. It’s a week long celebration of all things design. Graphic Design, Film, Art, Illustration, Web Design, Photography, Visual Effects, Animation, Graffiti, Motion Graphics, Stop Motion; all these things and more. Semi-Permanent explores the diverse and exciting design world bringing together exceptionally talented artists and designers to speak at the event.”

The entry was AUD$100 for the two days as I am a student however for non students it was AUD$280.

Why did I attend?

Semi-Permanent is an excellent source of inspiration. The speakers are at the top of their respective fields and they share with us, their experience and expertise that they have gained getting to that position – something that is invaluable as a young designer and student. By seeing these presentations it gives me an invaluable insight into the industry… showing me new styles and techniques that can push myself and my work in new directions.

Day 1

Who spoke on day 1 of the conference?

For short bios, links to their website and some of their work you can check out the Semi Permanent site or I have provided links to their websites below.

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  • LifeLounge; Jamie Driver and Luke Lucas (Graphic Design)
  • Ben Frost (Graffiti / Painter / Graphic Artist)
  • Debaser; David Homer & Aaron Hayward (Graphic Design)
  • The Directors Bureau; Lana Kim (Video + Advertising)
  • Sixty40; Matt Taylor and Mark Simpson (Animation + Advertsing)
  • Spencer Platt (Photo Journalist) You can see his 3 most famous pictures below.

Spencer Platt

What did they speak about?

Mostly how they went about doing their work, the thought processes behind their work and showcases of their work and then some. But to sum up an 7 hour conference into a paragraph or two is not quite sufficient nor fair but I will mention this one philosophy that Life Lounge mentioned…

When trying to price a job use the Cheap/Good/Fast pricing structure. Choose only two of the three things mentioned and that is how you should price your job based on those things.

eg. If a client wants a good product fast, obviously you will charge a lot more. If a client wants a good product for cheap, chances are it’s not going to be fast. If a client wants a fast product for cheap then chances are it is not going to be good. You should base your prices around this.

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Try to get your head around that, it’ll probably take a few reads.

Day 2

Who spoke on day 2 of the conference?

For short bios, links to their website and some of their work you can check out the Semi Permanent site or I have provided links to their websites below.

Alex Trouchet

What did they speak about?

In general what I mentioned above… how they went about doing their work, the thought processes behind their work and showcases of their work and then some. I will outline one of speakers that really stood out…

Anthony Lister (a talented American painter/artist who paints superheroes) was hilarious and down right original (yet scary). First he came out on stage with another guy dressed as spider man and then Anthony with a pop gun, shot him down – a very strange intro. Spiderman stayed dead on stage for the full hour.

Then Lister just said “I am not really good at presentations”, sat down and put up a photo slideshow of him and his friends smoking bongs and partying. People thought it was a joke however it went on for about 45mins of the full hour, with him pretty much just blubbering on about nothing, mumbling and saying random hilarious things (pretty sure he was high)…

About a quarter of 2500 people in the audience actually stood up and left with disgust after 15 minutes of his ‘presentation’ but for the ones who stayed it was hilarious. It was, by far, the least serious talk of the 2 days but the most entertaining – that is for sure. For example, someone in the audience asked Lister the question “Why do you paint?” and he replied in a slow, slurred and thoughtful tone of voice “Why do you brush your teeth? …long pause… to keep your teeth from rotting and falling out… long pause… that is why I paint. Yeah that is why I paint.” Maybe not so funny in writing but the crowd found it pretty hilarious.

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He is one hell of a character that is for sure. You can check out some videos of him and his crazy personality and his awesome work on You Tube.


About 10 of the 12 speakers really struck a chord with me as they were truly inspirational. Their work was extremely inspiring and it was very hard to choose my favourite speaker so I have narrowed it down to LifeLounge, Sixty40 and Alex Trochut. All three were extremely entertaining and just totally unreal and inspirational.

I would give day the 2 day conference a good 8/10 and without a doubt I will be going again next year. I would highly highly recommend it to all students studying design as well as professionals. There is actually a similar 4 day conference in Melbourne, Australia by the name of AGideas which is being held at the end of April. Don’t miss out, get tickets now.

Oh and I forgot to mention… as an added bonus, everyone who went also received an awesome goody bag with free design magazines and books (300+ pages) along with other random design paraphernalia such as mouse pads, industry news and promo material. Quite a treat. 🙂

Anyway hope this has encouraged you to get out there and be active in the design community. To find out about future events and graphic design news check out websites such as Dexigner or stay subscribed here on Just Creative Design.

14 thoughts on “2008 Semi-Permanent Design Conference Review”

  1. Hi Jacob,

    Thanks for the review. Like Kelly, I’ve also heard the cheap / good / fast philosophy. It’s definitely a simple way to explain pricing structure.

    I checked out a few of the speaker websites, and must say, Alex Trochut has a fantastic range of designs in his portfolio, some of which are awesome.

    Shame about the 56k internet. 🙁

    David Airey’s last blog post..Logo design and card for Jigsaw Internet

  2. Sounds like a good one this year. I had a few mates down at the Sydney Event. I was planning to go the the Brisbane one next week but I never got my act together and student tickets are sold out now…oh well.

  3. That place looks like a designers dream vacation! So many different things to do. Thanks for taking the time to post and I hope your high speed is back up. 🙂

    caleb miles’s last blog post..Modern Painting 4.4.08 24×48

  4. Hi Jack,

    I never been to any design conference before. Thanks for giving me some insight about what is going on. Cheers~

    Rafie’s last blog post..iLuvislam Project

  5. Jacob,

    Neat review. The good/cheap/fast I have heard before, in fact there’s a web designer here in Delaware, U.S. who actually has them as radio buttons on his contact page for potential clients (pick two). It’s really direct and kind of takes people aback, but he pulls no punches. I wear much softer gloves when I explain that to clients. It’s important to know you can’t have all three!

    As always, great links, too. When I read here I always learn something new.



    Kelly’s last blog post..Tip of the Week: Thank-You Knowts—So Old They’re New Again

  6. Andrew,
    Well don’t miss out on next year!

    Hehe it was pretty entertaining but not really a vacation 😛 I got my highspeed back up now, I had to upgrade my plan though. AUstralian internet is so bad.

    It was my first one but not my last that’s for sure.

    I had also heard it before however they talked about it for about 2 minutes with power point slides to go with it so it was given a new light.

    Yes it is a simple way to explain it and I know that I will no doubt have to explain it in the short future. Yeah Alex Trochut was really amazing. Every piece of his work was spot on perfect.

    I got the net speed back up now 🙂 Had to upgrade.

    Yeah that is a great rule but sometimes it can be broken when the work is low.

    Yeah Aussie internet sucks so bad – it is among the world’s worst and most expensive. However we have the third highest ranking for people with internet per capita yet we rank as the second lowest for quality of internet vs price. Source: http://www.cnet.com.au/broadband/0,239036008,339280104,00.htm

  7. Jacob,

    It sounds like the event was pretty good. I have been a proponent of the Cheap/Good/Fast mentality, however I have added a new rule to my version.

    In an effort to increase the quality of my work, I have began turning down more and more jobs that want the cheap/fast combo. I will take some if the client has also given me some good projects as well, but otherwise I try to stay away.

    It sounds like Aussie Internet is pretty sucky. I am glad that I do not have to deal with any sort of limits like that…

    Zinni’s last blog post..10 Amazing Website Designs, The Freshest Yet

  8. Hi Rozie, ah you did a better summary than mine, you must had taken notes or have a very good memory, either one. Lister was good to break up the other speeches I thought but it was bit of a joke for the amount of money people paid… the last 20 minutes was a bit more interesting. I still will go next year 🙂

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