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Designing for TEDxBrum 2016

Our colourful 2016 branding was designed by Helen Page, this year's creative head and designer. By day, Helen can be found bringing brands to life over at Birmingham-based brand agency Orb, and it was her job to sculpt the TEDxBrum brand and interpret this year's theme - the #PowerOfUs.

Taking inspiration from bold and brash identities, Helen created a 3D isometric ‘US’ which could be displayed both vertically and horizontally to make it as adaptable as possible. Mustard, satsuma and lime were key background colours, with TED red on yellow being the key combination that quickly became synonymous with the event and helped convey bags of personality; a nod to classic TED with a creative and contemporary twist. Dots, lines, and scratch patterns were also incorporated, creating fun and versatile fillers to the wire frame letters and other graphic elements.

Helen tells us: "Shapes were also a key theme in the moodboards and are a great way to frame written content and showcase images. Three shapes have been introduced; a triangle, a hexagon and a square to create these clusters each using colours and patterns across the whole palette to tie the identity together. This year, the idea of playful illustrations of the line-up was also brought in to keep the TEDxBrum style very unique to the event and to help bring a crafted element to the visual style, breaking up the dramatic sharp edges and patterns." 

Each speaker and performer from this year's line-up was hand drawn by local illustrator Louise Byng using pencil, and the resulting images were used on the TEDxBrum website, across social media and in our printed programme, as well as signed prints of the artwork being presented as part of 'thank you' gift bags to our speakers and performers."It felt really special to be able to create that level of detail, with a lot of recipients sharing how much this and other little touches curated by the team had added to their wider experience of being part of the event", says Byng.

Social media was key to building up the energy around the event, with the line-up being revealed gradually in the weeks leading up to the day itself via twitter and facebook. The written content in these announcements graphics was minimal allowing for the accompanying social media text to flesh out the details, keeping the social media posts simple, shareable and more memorable.

Byng adds: Working with Helen's vibrant colour scheme and incorporating textures into the drawings digitally was a new challenge for me, and I think the combination of hand-rendered marks and digital vectors is what sets these illustrations apart, bringing an entirely new dimension to my work. The announcements were fast-paced and required consistent teamwork between myself and Helen to bring the different elements together and keep things super high quality despite the quick turnaround. The outcome is absolutely a testament to the #PowerOfUs itself, as neither of us could have produced these outcomes by working in silo.

Connect with Helen & Byng on twitter:
@HelenCPage | @ByngSquirrel