The client, SEN Design Group, came to me looking to update an educational sub-brand. They had a product called NEXTgen for training kitchen and bath design industry business owners on transitioning management/ownership to younger family members. They decided it only needed to be a track as part of a more significant business conference.
After much deliberation, they decided to name this new conference The Business Summit (TBS for short). One fresh idea was to not emphasize the SEN brand. She wanted me to to think "modern, mysterious, and really make someone want to learn more."
The final instruction was that I could use any colors "as long as it's something that the top designers (30 Under 30) are going to be intrigued by."
My only question, and I asked it immediately was, "Are you sure you can create interest with an under 30 crowd naming the event “The Business Summit”? Zzzz. How about something like BizCon, BizTrak, or ActionCon?"
Here was the response. "Let's go with BizCon and see how that looks! Any chance we can see a round of this by week's end? I know it's Christmas, but the man never sleeps!"
I have not done any trademark searches for BizCon. I was spit-balling. I assume those logistics are in process. There is no reason to stop, however.
I had already been sketching in a notebook on the subway. It's step one. So, I was prepared to turn this around quickly.
Step One: Sketch
There are a few good ideas in the sketchbook. I decided to focus on these three:
- Diagonal lines thru the word BIZ (pg 1)
- Overlapping letters (pg 2)
- Rectangle sliced diagonally (pg 2)
There is something about these I like—they are busy. It makes me think of what things look like just before they come into focus. That could be a nice visualization of the delta between the experienced business owner and the more novice family members taking over.
Step Two: Type Experimentation
I sat to look at the initial fonts that came to mind. It really helps to line them up and see if they work or if any new ideas pop up.
None of this type looks great. "The Business Summit" is in Gotham and seems pretty good so I'll take that face to the next step. The weight change at the top right is a decent idea, but that treatment is much too conventional, so not inspiring.
Step Three: Logo Scratch Sheet
The image below is a logo scratch sheet done in either Adobe Illustrator or Sketch App. It helps direct the process of iterating. I shared the file with the client saying "I was thinking about sticking with a word mark. Finding ways of breaking the mark into segments or colors in a way to tell the story about the cross-generational and multi-industry purpose of the events. Tell the boss I said to zoom in; a few cool details are going on."
Business Summit was on there just so they could see what that looks like with one of the styles. All three BIZCON marks are workable so I didn't have a preference for which one they wanted to take to the next level.
This was the response, "I fucking love Wayne." Which was quickly followed up with this request "Any chance we could see BizCon like you did Business Summit? Just for kicks and giggles?"
Sure! Let's revise!
Step Four: Revisions
I never actually thought the "LIKE A BOSS" tagline would stick. It was just a place holder.
The next request moved us in the direction of my favorite version. I was so excited to read this, "Curious if we can see the top right, blue and orange logo without the shift? Just the color change, but even lines."
Easy. It's all going according to plan!
The clients response was "Love it! Thank you!"
Making The First Ad
Fast forward four months. It was time to create the first ad for this new brand. The spot was a full-page magazine ad. The client said "This is going to be the first event of its kind. Keep it simple, to the point. More details to come sort of thing. The landing page can be sendesign.com/bizcon. This is the first public thing with the new name and logo so let your creativity fly! specs: 10.25” x 14” + bleed."
I knew right away what I wanted. It's a big risk but they seem to be in a gambling mood. I wanted a big sexy, busy pattern background to show how complex and beautiful shaping the future of the kitchen and bath industry can be when you attend BIZCON!
There are so many good photos on Unsplash.com to work through an idea like this. Go there and check it out—it's awesome. I downloaded and tried a few, but this one, the first I used, was the best. The relationship between the diagonal line created at the point where the rows change direction and the line between the blue and orange of the logo is great. It's a similar shape, just, turned 90 degrees.
After staring at the image for about five long minutes I knew how I wanted to place the logo, event details, tagline, and sponsors. It's an excellent image for the blue and orange.
The idea for the layout was to stick to the left and stay away from the vertical lines on the right, that's where the drama lives. Like she said, "keep it simple." Keeping it simple certainly spoke directly to the sponsors - most of whom had poor quality logo images that could only be placed on a white background.
Final Client Feedback
"Just so you know the boss just did the most insane happy dance about this ad. A job well done!"
I'll take that.