In the past year, I have effectively been phasing out major design projects from my workflow, focusing almost exclusively on illustration. But every now and then, I take on a design project because it particularly interests me and/or because I like working with a particular client. In the case of the Data Leadership Summit identity, both applied.
Adam Lerner and I worked together at Kaldor a few years back. If there was anybody who pushed me to think thoroughly and specifically about the things I design, it was Adam. Adam and I particularly made a good team designing web sites, where he was as meticulous about the content and architecture as I was about the pixels and palettes.
Today, Adam is the founder and CEO of Solvable, an organization that works in the mind-numbingly brainy world of mass collaboration. He asked me to produce a foundational identity system for the Data Leadership Summit, an invite-only conference for industry leaders.
What was most enjoyable about this project was the built-in requirement to do something that stood apart from a typical convention in Vancouver — the usual blues and photos of mountains, etc. It was the kind of project where I had all kinds of inspiration and ideas, and I would have been happy to see any of them come to fruition.
Another thing that was great about this project was the way the design was carried into other applications without any participation on my part. After creating the initial identity, it was up to the client to oversee how it was applied. And often, when this happens, if we're really honest, it doesn't quite go the way you had envisioned, and usually no better. But I am very impressed with how Adam's team pulled it all together, including the website and the environmental signage at the event itself. Just to keep a record of it all, I've pulled a few images from Twitter for your viewing pleasure below. One of my favourite nuggets is the way they created a logo/shorthand graphic using Data Lead. Super smart, and I had nothing to do with it*.
Congrats to you, Adam and the Solvable team on a successful and good-looking event!
*UPDATE: It came as no surprise to me that creative director and designer Jen Orth, also a former colleague at Kaldor, was responsible for the successful rollout of the brand. Jen is a freelance designer with 15 years of experience, having also worked at Chicago's SVA and Seattle's Hornall Anderson, working with such clients as Microsoft, Nike, Converse, IBM, and Harley Davidson.