UID Design Talks

Client work 2009.

Niklas Andersson speaking before the UID Design Talks 2009 audience.

Niklas Andersson speaking before the UID Design Talks 2009 audience.

The assignment

The Umeå Institute of Design (UID) wanted me to work on the visual identity of UID Design Talks, a symposium that would occur each year in the beginning of June, to celebrate the culmination of the school year (and ensuing, well-deserved summer vacations). The initial brief for the for the UID Design Talks assignment was fairly straightforward: I had to create a graphic identity for UID Design Talks—create a logo, choose which typefaces to use, determine a colour scheme, etc.—that would mostly be deployed digitally: as a website, and as invitation e-cards. The brief also mentioned that the graphics be suitable for printed matters such as programmes and wayfinding signage.

But really, as it turned out, the bulk of the assignment resided on creating 1) a highly flexible and adaptable layout to accustom different graphics throughout the years on the UID Design Talks website and 2) to come up with compelling visuals for the ‘Design for the future—thefuture of design’ theme of the 2009 instalment of UID Design Talks.

The website

UID Design Talks website screen-shot

UID Design Talks website screen-shot taken at the launch of the website, around May 15, 2009.

Since the website is online, why not discover it first-handedly! Here’s the URL: http://www.dh.umu.se/designtalks.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to program the whole thing. My job was to submit screen-shots of what the website should look like. Speaking of which, here’s sample images that I submitted to the UID Design Talks + degree exhibition committee.

The sketches were handed to the programmer as vector files and at 1:1 scale pixel unit.

Early proposal (with a nasty colour scheme).

Speakers page sketch.

HTML ‘div’ separation to ease the task of the programmer.

Final sketch for the homepage.

The logo

UID Design Talks logo

The final version of the UID Design Talks logo.

As part of the assignment, I had to design a logo for UID Design Talks. After trying out a few ideas of a logo with the type in lowercase and accompanied by a mark (see images below), the UID Design Talks + degree exhibition committee and I soon realized that they didn’t quite ‘work’ so well and looked, well, quite bland. It was then decided that I should try something typographic only.

Pleasantly enough, very quickly I came up with a quite simple idea of setting all of the words in uppercase and working with 45° and 90° angles.

logo play

Shown above is a simple demonstration of how one could, in a pattern, play with the logo.

The obliqueness of the logo simply refers to the (hopefully) challenging and different ideas that the speakers communicate through their talks at UID Design Talks.

Web-based promotion

Below are images that could be seen on rotation on UID’s homepage.

flyer 1 flyer 2 flyer 3

As you can see, these promotional flyer were quite simple and straightforward. Their sole purpose was to, well, be attractive to the eye on UID’s homepage.

A whole lot of other, more explicative flyers were made for wide email distribution, in both English and Swedish. A poster was especially made for the event (printed with the School’s printer at around 10 copies). Sadly, I do not have a decent picture of it. Here it is in digital format anyway.

UID Design Talks poster

The printed programme

The folding technique utilized for this leaflet was directly influenced by a project done by the small Amsterdam graphic design studio Experimental Jetset who were themselves influenced by punkzines,

UID Design Talks programme

The schedule.

Parallel session.


Exactly 278 of them were painstakingly folded and cut by hand by a team of 6 devoted fellow students at UID. Thanks guys.