DesignerCon made its annual return to the Anaheim Convention Center from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20. The pop art and design convention featured artists, toy manufacturers and streetwear brands including RipNDip and The Hundreds.
Some of the high-profile artists represented at the convention included Shepard Fairey, Gary Baseman and Kodone, while toy brands such as Kidrobot and Tokidoki had vendor booths on the showfloor. The convention also featured LA-based dance crew Kinjaz, who signed autographs and sold convention-exclusive merchandise, including a toy collaboration with Bearbrick. Outside of the convention center, DesignerCon hosted a variety of food truck businesses local to Orange County.
Visual artist Derek Woods, known under the pseudonym MOLDAZOR, shared a booth with Boise-based artist Dreyfus, who designed Pabst Blue Ribbon Art Can Contest series beer cans and cases in 2021. Woods thought that the convention was more spread out this year, occupying more space than last year’s DesignerCon.
“Before, there was only one half of the building open. Now it’s both halves,” Woods said.
“There’s so many people here, so many amazing artists I’ve never seen. So things are changing in a good way.”
Woods, who sold t-shirts, plushies, stickers and other merchandise, also enjoyed the convention as a fan.
“I’ve got a chance to walk around a little bit. Of course Alex Pardee’s booth is amazing. Wizard of Barge, Crocodile Jackson, Creepy Gals and Junk Yard have this amazing, giant superbooth. It’s really cool,” Woods said.
The four LA-based artists formed a large booth with each artist occupying their own corner booth. In addition to convention mainstays, DesignerCon spotlighted many new artists who made their debuts at the show. Some newcomers that Woods enjoyed seeing included Disgustin Justin, Matthew Crumpton and Wonky Toy Co.
“It’s really exciting to see some old favorites and see some new favorites now,” Woods said.
For the first time, DesignerCon occupied the entire ground floor of the Anaheim Convention Center’s main showroom due to increased demand. The convention center simultaneously hosted the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention and the JAMZ 2022 Bid Challenge.
Over 805 vendors and 550 artists appeared at the convention according to designercon.com, with an estimated 65,000 attendees. With art, toys, apparel, custom cars, music and brand collaborations, DesignerCon closed out with record attendance and with something for everyone.
DesignerCon is expected to return to the Anaheim Convention Center in November 2023.
Josh Cain is a 2022-2023 Photo Editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.