Words by Ben HamiltonMarch 13, 2019
In May this year, Bristol will host its second WordCamp, which promises to build upon the success of the 2017 event and be bigger, better and even more exciting-er.
Having attended and enjoyed the 2017 WordCamp, we were delighted to be approached by the organisers and be invited to come on board to oversee the brand and visual identity aspect of the event. This blog post talks about the process we’ve been through so far and the exciting things still to come.
WordCamps usually have a ‘theme’ which inspires the look & feel of the various promotional materials required by the event, from the website to the printed tickets, to the swag on offer and of course the associated Wapuu!
When we took on the project the team had already decided the theme for 2019 would be ‘street art’. Bristol is widely known for its world-class offering and creativity when it comes to the graffiti, murals and sculpture that beautifully adorn our city – and so the theme seemed entirely fitting and we were excited to get stuck in.
A month or so after we had settled on our theme, we couldn’t believe it when we saw a similar theme announcement on Twitter for WordCamp Europe (to be held in Berlin) – to the effect that their theme was also street art! “Oh no!”, we thought. Should we return to the drawing board and choose another theme? After some discussion and a look at the assets they were already using to promote their event, we decided there was enough difference between Berlin and Bristol’s street art cultures to produce a very different visual identity. Sorry Berlin, we promise we didn’t copy you!
Graffiti and street art offered such a rich palette to draw from when it came to the creation of some initial concepts. I was interested in reflecting the vibrancy and dynamism of Bristol’s street art scene, but also wanted to hint at the digital nature of the conference.
To achieve this, I began experimenting with imagery of Bristol and its graffiti, and overlaid very bright gradients chosen from a palette which could be seen to have an association with ‘digital’ or on-screen culture.
Next up we needed a logo. I identified a number of fonts we might use for this purpose, all inspired by brush strokes, stencils or spray can textures. Once I’d chosen a few contenders and shared with the wider team for their input, I settled on one and drew up a variety of layouts. After more team feedback, we selected the arrangement seen here and I began to use it in conjunction with the image treatments.
Now that we had a logo and a strong concept for imagery, I took to the streets with my camera and shot a bank of photos from all over the city which I could use in the creation of all the visual assets we would require. Adding some more spray can textures and vibrant colours, we ended up with a nice resource to stand us in good stead for the task ahead.
The last thing to do was arguably the most important… the creation of our very own little Wapuu! Of course it had to be street art themed and so a spray can was the obvious choice to accompany this lovable yellow blob, turning it onto a wannabe Banksy. May we present Grafuu:
There’s loads still to do and a ton of assets we need to apply the identity to before WordCamp Bristol kicks off on May 17th. We’re regularly updating pages on the website, working closely with our excellent colleagues on the organising team.
We’ll soon be turning our thoughts to the swag you can expect to receive if you decide to attend, and for 2019 we want to be mindful of not producing an excess of waste plastic or items that are likely to end up in landfill. We’re carefully choosing just the right loot and we’ll be creating some really fun and, importantly, useful swag for you to snaffle up when you join us at WordCamp!
A big thanks to all my colleagues on the organising team for their support in the creation of the identity so far. If you want to attend WordCamp Bristol 2019 be sure to grab your tickets here and come and say hello to the Atomic Smash team 🙂
Taking place May 17 – 19 at University of Bristol, School of Chemistry. Grab your tickets to what promises to be a fantastic event over at the official WordCamp Bristol website and be sure to come and say hi to team Atomic Smash 😀