Designing DrupalCon Denver - Part 1

Ken Woodworth

At the closing session for DrupalCon Chicago the announcement was made that the next North American DrupalCon will be in Denver, Colorado. What awesome news for the Colorado Drupal community! In the days before Chicago, there were a number of materials that needed to be created to go along with the Denver announcement. I had the privilege of designing print materials, the slides for the presentation, and the announcement website. In the interest of keeping things as open as possible, I thought I would share the process used in creating those materials.


Mood Boards

The process began with a little research and exploration. I often grab screenshots and images while browsing the web and save them in an inspiration folder. Using a number of these, I created a series of three different mood boards to show possible directions for the DrupalCon Denver branding. These were quick to put together but really helpful in exploring a few different design directions. At this point there was just a small group of people involved in the project since the conference hadn't been announced yet and we were trying to keep a lid on things. I posted the mood boards for the group and the majority of people liked mood board #1. You can check out all three of them here:


Printed Material

The first task, once I had an idea for a design direction, was to create a poster that would be displayed after the announcement. Although I work for a company in Denver, I actually live in upstate New York. I think this gives me a unique perspective for approaching the design. When I think of Colorado, I think of mountains, so it was natural to use imagery of mountains as an anchor to the design. Luckily, the poster was simple and just needed to show "DrupalCon Denver," the event dates, the tagline - "Drupal Elevated," and the venue. There was a lot of discussion with the team around what to use as the tagline, but Keith Stansell's suggestion, "Drupal Elevated," really clicked. What better way to represent both the heights Drupal has achieved and the Mile High City? To go along with the poster, we also created stickers and postcards to hand out during the event. Take a look at the print materials:


Presentation Slides

Another part of the announcement presentation was to create slides to go along with what the speakers were saying. I actually enjoy creating presentations (Keynote in this case) because it gives me a chance to design something without thinking about how it will print or how it will look at different screen resolutions. You don't have to worry about fonts, or bandwidth, or color separations. In this case I designed a number of slides that helped show how far Drupal has come since its beginning; that Denver is a great place to visit; and that the Denver - and the greater Colorado - community is strong. Again, the team had a lot of great feedback to make these slides really shine. Take a look at the slides below:


Website

The final piece to create, and the one I was most excited about, was the website. It's not often that you get to approach a project with almost complete creative freedom. Having free reign to design whatever I wanted was pretty awesome. Using the slides as a foundation, and content written by Justin, I created a single page website that expands on the announcement and helps present Denver as a great place to have the next DrupalCon. This site gave me the chance to use HTML5 markup, the Steelfish font with @font-face syntax, and a few bells and whistles with Javascript. You can see the site at: denver2012.drupal.org.


This has been an amazing process so far and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. All this work was just the tip of the iceberg. There will be a ton more work producing print materials, marketing pieces, the actual DrupalCon Denver website, and more. I'm really looking forward to working with the rest of the Colorado community to design for DrupalCon Denver 2012. I'll try to share as much of the design process as I can so stay tuned for part 2.


About the Author

Ken has helped create beautiful work for amazing clients including Stanford, The World Resources Institute, The Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, and Habitat for Humanity. Ken has a gift for creating beautiful, intuitive design systems for even the most complex requirements, and his design capabilities are matched by a thorough understanding and ability in multiple front-end technologies.

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