A new design conference centered exclusively on connecting designers and developers with new technology requires an effective branding strategy.
The technology presented in this conference is cutting edge.
To attract top designers, the conference must be high quality and high end.
What I learned
- Notes and freebies from past design conferences
- Websites of successful conferences
- Attendees of past conferences
To appeal to designers and developers, it is important to have:
- Time for them to meet prospective future employees
- Solid visual design
- Speakers for topics other than design
A large variety of sketches and word maps were created and from those I simplified my top four ideas into four possible directions.
“I come to conferences for awareness of emerging tools, trends, and best practices.”
“Extend” was the winner because it best encompassed my target market, designers & developers, without being too broad. However, I would have to put in a lot of work to keep it fresh and new, because the concept started out a little cliché.
Extending 2022’s breakthroughs to developers and designers.
This became the concept behind the conference—extending the implications of technological knowledge to design from other areas, and pushing the boundaries of what design is. Often, being willing to push them so hard that they break.
The typefaces I selected, Pirulen and divo Code Two, are unusual and edgy. They imply futuristic technology and served as a clean contrast to the wild colors and patterns used.
To suggest something breaking can be a positive and inspirational thing, the colors used are bright and classic. They come together and overlap in the form of designed glitches and overlapping patterns.
Choosing the speakers
In a survey of design professionals, more than 60% rated the speakers as the most valuable part of the conference.
“The most important thing that a design conference has to offer me is relevant topics and speakers so that when I am done attending, I have things to think back and learn on.”
Getting people posted
To invite people to the conference, the first step was to create a fold out poster.
The front of the poster is a display piece to be hung on the wall. It contains a few general pieces of information.
Creating the back
The backside of the poster folds into a small booklet that contains information about the conference. This physical part of production took several mockups before landing on the best solution.
Countless introductions are made at conferences, so Extend incorporated nametags, so that all of the conference attendees would be able to more easily keep track of their peers.
“For me, conferences are all about networking with other designers and learning from each other.”
Designing for digital
The web experience quickly evolved from a digital version of the schedule to a more in-depth resource providing helpful extra content.
The resulting pages are as colorful and playful as they are dynamic and useful. The brand echoes quality and character from a 404 page that encourages the user to keep breaking things, to a registration that allows users to customize their meals.
Making a move
The dynamic nature of the content meant that the non-static work required movement to truly show off the glitch effects.
This is evident expecially in the moving promo graphic used on social media and on the website.
To record the information from the talks, attendees are given notebooks.
Shirts will make it easier for past attendees to recognize each other, and hopefully spark conversation in the design community that draws new attendees to the conference for the next year.