In early 2017 Carlos Menchaca, Drew Lakin, and I started work on the branding for AIGA Austin's Design Ranch 2018. Design Ranch is a three day design conference that happens every other year at Camp Waldemar, in Hunt, TX — some refer to it as 'summer camp for designers'. It is an event where folks from all over the United States leave their computers behind, and come to participate in hands-on workshops, meet new people, and have a good time in the Texas hill country. The workshops focus on a wide range of tactile exercises such as wood carving, screen printing, cut-paper-pop-up design, foil-stamp embossing, etc. There are also in-between activities like archery and horseback riding, and evening events including live music and star gazing. To give an idea of scope and popularity: attendance is usually limited to about 250 people; and tickets for Design Ranch 2018 sold out in about 8 minutes.
Dining hall, wayfinding, evening entertainers
For my part on the Design Ranch 2018 branding team, I contributed to the overall art direction for the brand, and also contributed to the execution of the book — featuring profiles of the workshops and their leaders, a conference itinerary, camp map, and interactive passport.
Carlos, Drew, and I met frequently to establish the tone and direction for the logo, first deciding conceptually how the event should be framed, then gathering materials to inform our decisions later; we then synthesized that material and moved to sketches for the final mark. Once we decided which direction was the strongest, Drew took over for the final execution, creating the marks you see below.
A big part of establishing the brand was deciding on the type and color that would be used throughout. In the end, we chose Trirong Regular, and Overpass Bold and Light; along with the color pallet shown above.
With all of these thing combined, Drew executed some really stellar artwork for things like T-shirts, hats, mugs, etc.
The book for Design Ranch 2018 is probably the project that I am most proud of to date. Carlos and I really stretched out imaginations in regard to how attendees would interact with the document throughout the day; and how to make something that not only looks cool, but is practical in size and in function. The end result is a beautiful publication that really showcases what can be done with Neenah Paper.
The cover for the book is printed on a gorgeous Neenah wood-tone (see close-up shots below) with a copper embossed wordmark that extends across two of the four panels that make up the outside cover. It is affixed to the book block with matching copper screw-posts. To the right of the wordmark is the "passport" in which attendees could get stamped at the various workshops and activities they participated in — making each book unique to the guest's experience and a device to better remember the experience.
The inside of the cover featured a map of the camp grounds as well as an itinerary listing the times for workshops, meals, etc.
To break things up a bit, and divide the book into individual sections, we included three pull-out spreads listing workshop leaders, sponsors, and a thank you section for everyone involved with making the event happen. The backside of each had a Texas flag in a corresponding monotone.