RGD – The Association of Registered Graphic Designers in Canada – invited BMD to create the branding for its DesignThinkers conference in 2021.
The identity was heavily informed by a number of global events that unfurled during its conception. The world was going through the first waves of a deadly pandemic and lockdown, forcing people to figure out new ways of working and communicating. At the same time, the need to address issues around diversity and inclusion became more apparent than ever. It was a pivotal time with reverberations in all parts of society, including the design industry.
The work needed to recognize these events and the need for change. It needed to start a conversation. Rebranding the conference for one year to DesignReThinkers expresses that ambition and is amplified by a messaging-driven system based on this intervention.
A simple graphic element visualizes the idea of change. A sticker adds prefixes such as RE, CO and UP to carefully curated messages. The result is a shift in perspective – sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic. The bold, type driven identity has a DIY-aesthetic and conveys a sense of urgency. It invites everyone at the conference to collaborate and challenge the status quo.
Initially, this identity was designed with a return to in-person gatherings in mind. Fittingly for the theme of the conference, the expression for the identity had to be rethought for an all-digital edition after all. Environmental and promotional graphics were created for the conference, but only digital assets – such as social media templates and the website – were eventually executed.