This is a piece written for Vis Com 3 at Seattle Pacific University.
The AIGA Design Conference just concluded in New Orleans. A tour-de-force of designers and thinkers, the Design Conference sets a watermark for design leadership in the US and internationally.
After getting to take a look at the conference materials provided to the attendees, I decided their REVIVAL theme for the conference was rather elegant and beautiful. However, visiting the front page of their website left me with a different experience.
Predominantly typography and photography based, the illustrations on this page lie on top of grayscale tones. Floral motifs continue from print pieces and other web graphics. The first thing you see contains important information about the conference, which is a big plus. And even though this front page is consistent with other materials, I question whether or not it’s doing the job the front page of a conference website should.
Pieces like this one at the right are further down the page. What exactly is the viewer supposed to experience looking at this photo? Does it really inform and direct the viewer towards other important conference info?
Branding a conference is a difficult task. You usually have little chance to build brand equity or capital, and must convince your audience that you have something important to offer them right away. Currently I think I might learn to play trumpet at this conference.
There are plenty of good things about AIGA’s presentation, though. Pages containing information are presented carefully, albeit in a labyrinthine way. The speakers page looks great, with portraits framed gracefully. I’m not convinced about the color-on-hover effect, though- I don’t feel it provides the correct feedback I need as a user.