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A graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Austin, TX.
After a couple of relatively shy identities for our first two conferences, we started to get bolder in our concepts and executions with the 2012 Brand New Conference in New York, once we felt more comfortable with the idea of running a conference.
This year’s identity was the result of a combination of three broad trends we had noticed in identity design the year or two leading up to the conference. These are pointed out not because they are bad but, on the contrary, for their potential for being quite effective and interesting.
Based on those three trends, we started going down the list, starting with the geometric sans serif trend. Using Gotham out of the box is usually fine but we were not getting anything interesting so we decided to build a strictly geometric wordmark with more abstract characters.
We left the wordmark sit for a little. It was fine but missing something more exciting. We moved on to the second trend of color overlays and landed on bright red and blue because of no particular reason.
Going to back to the wordmark and still feeling it was plain we added a square grid and a grid of concentric circles on top of each letter, then we merged various intersections of the grid inside each letter to start bringing in the patterning trend. Add the color palette and suddenly things start to get interesting.
With a set of parameters in place we built out to the full wordmark. No repeating letter is the same in terms of the pattern inside it, because that would be lazy and we don’t do lazy.
But still, something was missing. It had patterning but it wasn’t the dense effect of the examples above, which was something we were drawn to. Also, this could have been a logo for any creative conference, not a logo- and identity-specific conference. So we decided to add some patterning to the patterning in the form of “debris” from famous logos. What exactly do we mean by debris? This:
We made 20 of these patterns in two configurations, “light” and “dark”, less dense and more dense, so that we could generate different textures. Once we had those we started placing them inside each of the different partitions we built into each letter. Like we said, we don’t do lazy.
The first step in the identity was designing the website and our main goal was to make sure people saw the detail so we made a huge BNC2012 header run the width of the site. We even made additional numerals for the ticket prices.
The program was an oversize tabloid structure that allowed for some great spreads inside to show our speakers’ work. The cover was clear foil stamp on purple paper and sewn with red thred.
The poster was a modest giveaway to the attendees but, really, it was an excuse to showcase the ingredients of the conference’s identity. The logo patterns are printed as tinted letterpress, meaning they only darken the color of the heavy red paper. The geometric letterforms are then applied on top through a clear foil stamp, so that you can still see the color and texture of the paper but with a nice, gloss. If you look at the poster straight on you almost can’t see a thing, but once the light hits at an angle it’s full of highlights and shadows. The clear foil plate used on the poster was re-used in the cover of the conference’s program above but on purple paper so we were able to both establish some visual consistency between the materials and save some money.
In 2012 we hadn’t yet tricked out our badges or podium or stage graphics, so that’s all there is to show. Oh, and this cool rendition of the logo on the marquee outside the venue. Photos of the event can be found on our Flickr account.