This is the second in a series of 3 blog posts to walk you through our 2016 Red Hat Summit theme process. In this post, we’ll focus on our second phase — design concepts (from inspiration to chosen concept).
As described in part 1 of this Summit series, striving to bring the open source mentality to the creative process allowed for better collaboration across our design and event teams. This got rid of the “big reveal” approach to design and allowed for an enriched final result because everyone was allowed to contribute.
For the 2016 Red Hat Summit theme, we landed on the concept of “Power of Participation.” This idea stems from what is true about open source and Red Hat—it’s about the people behind the technology and how their contributions make a big impact.
Step 1: Gathering Inspiration
Before jumping into creating anything, we felt it was important to look at design trends, research other events, and pull inspiration from the designs in our everyday lives. Each designer was tasked with inspiration image research and general concept creation, which we grouped into “buckets.” We gathered our findings and came back together as a group to discuss potential directions.
Step 2: Creating the visual style
We moved into the phase of applying a visual style to Power of Participation. We considered 4 different lenses to test different tones for the event. Apart from the tone, we also considered how abstract or literal these concepts should be. We wanted the visual style to evoke a tone and feeling at the event but we didn’t want it to be so abstract that the attendee didn’t understand it.
The 4 lenses we explored were patchwork, building blocks, pixels with depth, and people behind technology. Each lens has a unique twist on the concept of power of participation.
When individuals come together they bring their own personal experiences and knowledge to share with others. With these differences and similarities, they achieve a more well-rounded result. That’s the idea of patchwork. Using the Red Hat corporate pattern as a starting point for the patchwork design, and applying meaning to the different segments—individual, community, customers, partners, and Red Hat—makes this design as unique as the people and communities involved.
Infinite ideas can be generated when we collaborate and work together. This idea is at the core of the Red Hat Summit and the theme of participation. We can create exponential patterns by using just a limited number of simple shapes in different formations. To include the attendee into the experience, the shapes would be formed from user-generated data and applied to the different experiences at the Red Hat Summit.
Pixels with depth
Participation happens in many forms: Through individual growth, networking, collaborating, and building. The pixel motif draws parallels to these ideas. A pixel symbolizes one part of something larger, but when many pixels come together they create a larger image. Working together and creating something larger are true hallmarks of the open source community and the goals for the Red Hat Summit.
People behind technology
Technology is created by humans. The idea of participation doesn’t happen unless people collaborate. This concept gets at the heart of both of these and highlights the people behind the technology. Using silhouettes of people and hands overlaid with images of technology merge these ideas together. The double-exposure effect mirrors the goal of Summit—people coming together to learn about the latest technologies, participate to further the industry, and of course experience the power of open source.
Abiding by our own rules and truly embracing the idea of the Power of Participation, the design team traded files halfway through the process. Each designer took one concept, worked up visual style boards, and presented back to the team. We had a critique session and traded files with another designer. This was an important step in the process because each bucket got a fresh take and a new perspective. Ultimately, by adhering to our own true ideals, the concepts got stronger and richer. We even learned a few new tricks from each other along the way. It was the Power of Participation in practice!
Narrowing down to one idea was difficult, but there is always a winner. To find out which idea won, read the next blog post in this series.