Each year CallisonRTKL hosts a design conference as a way to invest in and connect with a select group of up-and-coming designers within the firm. One chosen delegate from each of fifteen offices travels to meet their global teammates for three days of networking, workshops, and exploration. In 2017 the conference was held in Seattle, so the Design Leadership Council asked me to design the event, starting with the identity.
Programatic themes of professional development and personal growth weave together with an understated brand system of simple, bold logo and geometry, carefully curated landscape photography, and foggy earth tones to create a quintessentially Seattle conference identity.
"Ascend" is both entrepreneurial and natural; nodding to Seattle's history of ingenuity, the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the professional goals of the design conference program.
The identity is played out across all primary attendee touch points, starting with a responsive website, e-mail blasts, and presentation guidelines and finishing with a full swag suite including a screen-printed tote, embroidered snapback, hand-lettered hiker's patch, blind-debossed moleskines, ID badges, and even temporary tattoos.
As a reflection of Seattle's relaxed, pro-local, no-logo ethos, the identity is applied to each piece of the swag kit with quiet confidence you would never see Miami or Chicago. All elements of the kits were procured and manufactured locally.