Code for America Summit 2015 

The Code for America is a roll-up-your-sleeves conference that brings together over 1,200 innovators from hundreds of governments across the U.S. along with civic-minded technologists, designers, community organizers, and entrepreneurs. 

My Role
Branding, art direction, visual design, project coordination

The Team
Code for America Marketing Team, Caspian Productions

The brand needed to appeal to our partners in government, tech startups, and the broader community of designers and developers who attend.  It also needed to connect to the Code for America brand, while having it's own unique style.  

The design system I created was flexible and cohesive across a wide variety of media — from signage to slide decks to name tags. Conference attendees loved the clean and consistent design, and were able to easily figure out how to navigate the conference, and left with a clear understanding of what 21st century government is all about, and how they can help make government better.

 

Process

I began by sketching dozens of different ideas for the branding concept, considering different ways to visually convey 21st century cities, civic engagement, and government technology innovation. After narrowing down to a few primary concepts, I experimented with many variations and mocked up how it might look in different contexts. 

 

Signage and Collateral

The signage both helped attendees navigate the conference, and be inspired by key messages. I color-coded the breakout sessions across all signage and the printed program, to make it easier for people to find the session they were attending. 

 

Staging and Slides

I designed the stage setup so the branding would be visible in all photos, but not distract from the speaker's messages. The Summit brand was visible directly behind speakers, while their slides appeared on two large screens on either side.

I created a slide deck template to support speakers in keeping their talks clear, consistent, and on-brand. The deck included advice on slide design, storytelling, and Powerpoint tips.

"This slide deck template is AMAZING!"
– Senior White House Official

I created an animated version of our key messages to kickoff the Code for America Summit Talks.


SWAG & User Needs Pocket Guide

Conference giveaways should be more than random goodies with logos. Our team wanted attendees to leave with practical tips and tricks for understanding and designing for user needs.

I project managed and designed a unique, fold-out User Needs 101 Guide, and worked with Alan Joseph Williams to write the content.


Name Tags

The first thing I want to see when looking at someone's name tag is their first name – the conference branding and other information is secondary. We included labels to highlight attendee's unique role in the Code for America community, and also included a label for first-time attendees, as a signal to everyone else to warmly welcome them into fold.

I created test name tags with all possible label combinations, and the longest and shortest names and titles. 

 

Code for America Technology Awards

The Technology Awards were a competition to recognize outstanding products and implementations of government technology, and the winners were announced on stage at the Summit.

I designed the branding for the Awards program and art directed the physical awards. 


Event photography by Drew Bird Photo.