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conference venue

Design Thinkers


Brand + Event Design

Canada’s Largest Annual Design Conference.


Each year the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) selects a different local design firm or agency to be the Design Partner for the conference. In 2015, Overdrive was tapped for this honour. The scope of the project is a complete communications and marketing campaign involving visual identity, on and off-line collateral, video, photography and this year… a piece of epic sculpture. Always up for a challenge and the pure joy of all-nighters, the team’s first objective was to create a visual campaign focused on the variety of speakers and attendees at the conference.

By creating a single image from many images, the intent was to represent the bringing together of different skill sets, opinions, backgrounds and geography in one location, at one point in time, that would be memorable. Underlying this approach we’ve incorporated the notions of data and craft. Data, because it is everywhere and because data visualization is becoming an important part of what designers do. Craft, because designers make things—often in methodical and meticulous ways. To sum up, the direction we chose was about Speakers. Attendees. Points of data. Layers of information.


Branding, Visual Identity, Collateral, Program, Brochure, Videos, Website, Acrylic Sculpture, Wayfinding and Signage


Overdrive Design Limited—Concept and Creative, Sculpture design and fabrication, Web design, User interface design, User experience design, Visual identity, Event design, Print design, Art Direction, Photography, Illustration, Sweat equity
Somserset Graphics—Print Partner
Mohawk—Paper Partner
Many thanks to the following professionals and organizations who collaborated to produce the campaign Converge. Inspire. Transform.
Russell Wu, Christian Castel RGD of Tango Media, Bruce Fleming of Mach Sound Studios, Brian Pieters Photography and Assistant Thomas Lee, McWood Studios, Plas-Tech Inc, Structure Corporation.


Materials and Media


Design Thinkers


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Video & Teasers

The video was created with the purpose of revealing the story behind the conference. Data, speakers and beautiful footage of the sculpture are juxtaposed throughout the video, representing the overall concepts of the visual identity. The story is built using light visuals, clean contemplative music, and soft movements to a final reveal of the sculpture in its entirety.

Two teasers were also created and released to the public prior to the main video to help the buildup to the final reveal.

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Collateral Package

Postcard (1st public mailer), pre-event brochure (2nd public mailer), event program, buttons, t-shirts, swag bag, attendees badges, poster. A little process work in the middle.

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This was the first public mailer. The diecut dots correspond to the hanging points that were used to suspend the acrylic strips used in the sculpture. Many of the speakers had not been confirmed at this point, so instead of being able to announce keynotes, we relied on design alone to create enough visual interest to entice a person to pick up the postcard and learn more. The visual identity was fledgling at this point but we had done enough discovery and exploration to be confident about the basic design elements of this piece as something that would be continued throughout the campaign.

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This was the second public mailer. By this time speakers had been confirmed and the brochure contained information on them. On this piece, the dots were not diecut. The reasons were two fold. One was cost and the second was that the diecutting process for the first mailer was only 80% successful meaning that Overdrive staff pitched in to manually punch out over 700K “dots” that had not been cleanly punched out during diecutting.

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Event Program

This is the catalogue for the event. It was handed out at registration and was the guide to the two day event which included details on the speakers, their topics, locations and maps.

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Poster & Buttons

The image is the front view of the sculpture that was built for the event. The image is split in half and folds around to the back of the poster.

design thinkers website
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Sculpture Details

The sculpture that Overdrive built for the event was several months in planning and execution. Images were digitally printed directly on 3/8” plexi and laser cut into strips. Other than that and the lighting, every aspect of the sculpture was made by hand and lovingly assembled.

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Conference Photos

A selection of images from the two day 2015 Design Thinkers event in Toronto.