June 2013

Say who?

TED conferences bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives, in 18 minutes or less.

The TEDx program is designed to give communities, organisations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

TEDxBrum aims to improve the Birmingham community, bring together the incredible pool of talent within the city and celebrate all individuals who think big but make things happen on a local level.

The theme for TEDxBrum 2013 was pre-selected as ‘Marking the Map.’

We love making things happen at ORB, so we jumped at the opportunity to create an entirely new brand, including everything from visual identity to website development and printed material.

A Hell Yeah! project

Since this was a side project which celebrates creative thinking, we knew it would be pretty darn Hell Yeah!

It was an all-hands-on-deck creative exploration, rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck in with every aspect of design. With a limited budget and a short time-frame, we challenged ourselves to be as inventive as possible.

Say How?

Our goal was to show everyone how the TEDxBrum brand could inspire ideas worth sharing and create a remarkable impact in Birmingham.

TED is all about bringing people together and sharing remarkable ideas, a philosophy we wanted to continue through the branding and implementation. From the event to the interactive workshops and stalls, we had to involve and excite the TEDxBrum community through shared experiences.

Say What?

The theme of the event was ‘Marking the Map’ but after some initial discussion, we soon realised it wasn’t about literal maps (thank goodness). Instead, it was about personal journeys, stories and how we all ‘mark the map’ in our own remarkable way.

After a number of ORB Drawing Board Sessions, we kept coming back to the idea that everyone is remarkable. After all, people make the place.

As the whole TEDxBrum event was put on by volunteers, we embraced do-it-yourself creativity. Every single title on the website and in the event booklet was hand painted. We experimented with Indian ink and got so carried away, we ended up painting Birmingham’s skyline on the windows of our 25th floor office – (well, until we got told off by the window cleaners and sent to the naughty corner).

The fluid visual identity for the entire event – from the striking website, balloons and interactive programmes – was all hand-drawn and entirely bespoke.

At the event, we even went one step further and set up a live ORB drawing table. We invited our illustrators along with other TEDxBrum attendees to have a play around with visual thinking, encouraging people to share their stories and explore what Birmingham meant to them.

You don’t need permission to get up and create; that’s how people can mark the map.

Say Hell Yeah!

We were inspired by the TEDxBrum philosophy, and our Hell Yeah! moment came from working with an organisation which genuinely values creativity and revolutionary ideas.

We created a relevant brand with wide-ranging appeal and facilitated visual thinking to make it come alive. Audience members, including community thought-leaders, local entrepreneurs and young people, walked away excited and inspired. Nothing quite like it had been done before. A buzz on Twitter with over 4,500 tweets and excellent attendee feedback confirmed that the event was a success.

ORB came on as strategic and design partners to create actionable ideas worth spreading, in the true spirit of TED. We created a fluid brand and all the marketing assets to help TEDxBrum come alive. We created some buzz, got stuck in and created a bold brand we hope will have a lasting impact in Birmingham.

Hell Yeah! TEDxBrum. Keep on spreading ideas worth sharing.

Event photography courtesy of Arran White.