When offered a ticket to the We Can Create 2011 Design Conference mere days before the event I think most designers would jump at the chance, so that’s precisely what I did! Armed with my trusty notebook and a mind ready to be filled to the brim with creative tidbits I set off for Auckland, and would like to share a few of the highlights here from the two days’ proceedings…
Kris Sowersby from Klim Type Foundry kicked off the event, and was a speaker I was particularly looking forward to hearing as we use his Karbon font for our client Foot Science International, among others. It was great to see a fellow Kiwi amongst the International Speakers, and he described NZ as a “small room with big windows” where we are constantly look out upon the rest of the world to draw our inspiration. I had to giggle too when he divulged that the Green Party uses his National font.
Another amazing speaker was Illustrator Sara Blake, of Hello Zso. Self touted “crazy cat lady” who is somewhat obsessed with girls and birds, I was in complete awe of her talent and effortless drawing skills and felt an affinity with the animated illustrated title sequence she produced for TED in Brooklyn, after being involved with the TEDx events here in Christchurch.
Engin Celikbas from KesselsKramer delivered a great presentation on day two, including an overview of their delightfully witty campaigns for the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam. After staying at the hotel, and discovering that it was quite possibly the worst hotel in all of the Netherlands, rather than trying to cover up the fact they chose to make this the focus of their campaign with hilarious results! There’s a few example above; *not included, and in the bottom right one of the smallest ad campaigns (literally) ever run where they strategically placed little flags out side the hotel proclaiming “now even more dog shit in the front entrance”.
Another great idea from the KesselsKramers UK branch, KK Outlet, was these commemorative Royal Wedding plates, which started out as a joke on paper plates and ended up with 20,000 being produced and sold worldwide.
Interactivity, multimedia and technological advancements were an underlying theme to most of the presentations, and designers are responding to and embracing these new developments through the work they are creating. From Rafael Rozendaal of Brazil who creates and sells online artwork (had to love the way he quite seriously told the audience not to laugh at the animations he deemed to be not funny) to Stamen Design who are re-imagining the discipline of cartography with their data visualisation work where they believe maps should be “for dawdling, not for navigation”.
As with other events of this nature, there was a lot to take in over the two days but I would recommend attending to anyone involved in the creative industry. Many thanks to the most awesome Hamish from Verb for the ticket, and to the lovely Katherine (a talented illustrator in her own right) from Sleep and her sisters for keeping a little Cantabrian all on her lonesome company on day two.