Hi, Tech

The conference concept critically exploring the role of technology in human spaces, which hypothetically took place in Mexico City (CDMX) in May 2020.

Brand development
UX design + prototyping
6 weeks
Project type
Individual student project at the University of Washington Division of Design
The concept and identity for the Hi, Tech conference was developed as a student project. The class was Visual Systems, and the goal of the project was to create a concept for a new conference, and create visually and conceptually cohesive identity to be carried out across a website, animated bumpers, posters, and more. 
The concept
Hi, Tech is a space to speak critically to the role of technology in our lives beyond just the perspective of those developing it. This conference is different from existing tech conferences like I/O and Eyeo in that it’s not afraid to invite criticism of technology. Writers, political activists, and technologists can speak to the power of technology, as well as its pervasive consequences.
Speakers & details
I collected a hypothetical list of interdisciplinary speakers with different perspectives on technology, from political writer Baratunde Thurston, to emoji activist Jennifer 8. Lee, to NYTimes technology writer (and my personal fav on multiple levels), Jenna Wortham
Visual identity
‍ The identity expresses the conference’s critical stance of technology but also stokes interest in the conference by juxtaposing visuals to create a metaphor for technology. You could say the identity is Barbara Kruger goes pastel. At first glance, the cotton-candy colors and big text are inviting much like technology is. The intense, existential (and intentionally creepy) technology questions juxtapose inviting color scheme, to create a sense of discomfort. The minimal, suffocating space around the text also contributes to this discomfort. Like the visual motifs, perhaps the promises of technology (increased productivity, interconnectedness, etc.) are not so sweet after all?
Base 9 & 12
I just wanted to shoutout Base 9 & 12, the wonderful weird typeface designed by the one and only Zuzana Licko. It provided the enough character to carry an identity without any use of images. The monospace versions to code, and build on the theme of technology. This charismatic typeface allowed, as professor Annabelle Gould says, ‘Let the type do the work’.
‍This project was an important lesson in pivoting. For nearly nine of the eleven weeks in the quarter, I explored a completely different visual direction. In that initial direction, I was using paint to represent humans, along with some element to represent technology. Long story short, the complexity weakened it. I had too many elements to balance on every branded element. It wasn’t the best it could be, but I felt too deep so stuck with it. I ultimately felt so fatigued with the direction that I finally started from scratch in the last week and a half. It was a lot of work to redo in so little time, but it also felt so much easier to do it all when I was proud and passionate about what I was creating.
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