Naturally, event branding is more temporal than the long-tail branding we often participate in. It shines for only a few months just to burn bright for a couple of days… and then it’s all mostly reinvented the following year.
This ephemeral quality of an event brand opens up the approach to be bold and opinionated. The challenge is in quickly establishing something that's recognizable across many surfaces that doesn’t create visual fatigue before the actual event.
Regardless of how evident it is in the outcome, we always start from a conceptual place. It’s never a pure style exercise. With this year's launches bringing design and development together, our initial spark was this overarching theme of a shared common language.
Early on we circled around visual language motifs. The primacy of pictograms emerged as this wonderfully universal and accessible idea to begin sketching. We flipped the typical purpose of pictograms from wayfinding or signposting to instead be the primary expression.
With Config returning as an in-person event, it also felt like an obvious opportunity to nod slightly to the rich design history of expos, world fairs, and other large events that bring people and ideas together.
Each of the 50+ pictos were constructed to fill as much of a square as possible, pushing the limits of legibility with interesting proportions, balancing the graphic, geometric shapes with organic curves.
Almost like sculpture, it became an exercise in removing rather than adding elements, leaving only what’s essential. This created some interesting visual relationships when stacking or combining them in various formations.
We created a series of palettes containing pastels and vibrant color pairings which we offset with the stark, black pictos. A refined palette allows us to dial it up and down so we can stretch the brand system across the many assets and pieces of collateral in a variety of ways.
Motion has become a core element of Config. The mutable logo, the ambient animations, and with this year’s opener film, we were able to push it even further. @Jeffersonch3ng and @chadcolby worked together on this with @jdashscott. Sound design by @SoundsLikeThese
Oh, and of course the goodies. Who needs another tote bag, I mean, really? IMO it’s the details like custom dying the totes that changes ~swag~ from stuff, to stuff you keep.
This was done all in house with an assist from @jdashscott, and @SoundsLikeThese Figma Brand Studio— @Jeffersonch3ng, @chadcolby, Mika Kunisaki, @leandrocastelao, Gustavo Delgado, @redindhi and @andy_luce Also a big shout out to the @figma events team that trusts us so much!