DesignThinkers 2018 Branding by Zulu Alpha Kilo

Ryan Booth RGD, Creative Director at Zulu Alpha Kilo, reflects on the branding for DesignThinkers 2018, "Speak the Truth".


What did taking on the DesignThinkers conference branding mean to you and your team at the time?
Working on the creative work for DesignThinkers was an important project for our team. Only a select few studios have worked on this, and having our work visible to the entire design community in Canada was both exciting and terrifying.
Explain your concept and how you and your team got there?
We had a large number of ideas and concepts on the wall but ultimately decided on Speak the Truth. It was one of those times where we netted out on the initial thought, and the lines started writing themselves. The visuals came together in that way too. Truth is black and white, therefore our colour palette should reflect that. For every line we wrote that made it to a poster or lanyard, there were hundreds more that didn’t make the cut. The trickiest part of this process was finding the right voice that wasn’t too soft and also wasn’t too mean, but also were real things that designers would, or could, say.
What was your biggest challenge being the Design Partner for DesignThinkers?
Really our biggest challenge was just cracking that one concept where we all were like, “yeah, that’s it.” Some really great ideas died before seeing the light of day.
How did it feel to present your work to a bunch of designers? And then see your work live during the event and witness people's reactions to it?
It was stressful thinking about the reaction to our work, but our concept embraced that notion so in the end, whether it was loved or hated, we pre-empted that with our funny lines about hating our type choices, for example. We loved seeing designers reactions to the lines on Instagram and how everyone really gravitated to the idea.
What are you most proud of from your own experience? Is there anything you would have done differently?
The proudest moment was sitting in the crowd watching Michael Beirut speaking at a podium with an identity we spent the last year creating, and knowing that all the hard work was done and we could sit back and enjoy the conference.
What has been your favourite DesignThinkers branding, besides your own, and why?
Besides our own, I’d have to say I really liked the visuals Rethink created in 2017. I loved the variety of executions for the eyes and how it worked throughout each touchpoint.


Stay tuned for more insights into DesignThinkers branding from the past 20 years.

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