Non-profit Go conference created by the community for the community based in Toronto. GOCON's goal is to host an event with strong technical discussions and networking opportunities.
The brief for this project was very interesting to me because I could apply variety of my skills: Graphic Design, Character Design, Typography, Illustration, Prepress, Web Design and Acrylic Painting. I also communicated with vendors, managed materials and budget.
I joined the team after an initial interest for the event was registered. Team created a landing page where users could subscribe for email updates.
First steps I took when I joined the team were figuring out the scope of the project, identifying the most important aspects and priorities. First priority to make the event happen was to create sponsorship prospectus, character design and branding.
Prospectus was the most important asset at this stage - we had to reach our potential sponsors as soon as possible. It was created even before gocon had a logo. Colour scheme and style follow Go official branding guidelines. Gopher illustrations is where all the fun happens: they are goofy, colourful and adorable.
I used Go official brand guidelines as an inspiration for building a distinct colour combination. Vibrant clean colours are an important aspect of design that helps convey friendly, welcoming and fun character of goconon.
All character designs are based on mascot created by Renee French. Mountie Gopher is the main character and mascot of gocon. He proudly wears Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform. Other gophers represent developers and users.
Second crucial member of Gopher family is a Giant Gopher that seats next to the stage during the event. During breaks attendees took selfies with him and had a lot of fun. Giant plush Gopher was an absolute hit at the event.
Other characters represent diverse and friendly Go community.
In addition to promoting gocon online it was important to let local meetup attendees know what we were building and trying to achieve.
Good visuals helped establish that the event is well put together on a high professional level with care for quality in every aspect, embraces diversity and supports the community.
Sharing is caring :)
Photo credit: Mike Fridman 2019
Built with Bulma.io gocon website contains exhaustive information about gocon, current sponsors and future sponsoring opportunities, speakers and their talks schedule, venue location and amenities, code of conduct, blog and small merch store.
Bulma was chosen because this framework is easy to work with and looks good without customization. I worked in collaboration with the developer and provided feedback on visuals and website structure.
Roll up banners helped achieved following goals:
● Sponsors banner placed near the entrance showcases gocon's sponsors and helps attendees navigate to the concierge desk where they received their name badges and a warm welcome.
● "Take a selfie with me!" banner advertized Manifold that sponsored the Giant Gopher. It turned out very cute and now lives in Manifold's Toronto office. The banner that is, Giant Gopher is priceless to us :)
● Two banners with downtown landscape were placed on both sides of the stage. Their purpose is to provide some visual flair and brand recognition on video and in photos.
We put colourful signage to make navigation around a breeze. Those characters and saturated colours grab attention, make you smile and serve a purpose.
During the breaks projectors display sponsors logos in a fun illustration format with Mountie Gopher character. Again serving a purpose while looking fun and cute.
Schedule brochures contain information about talks and breaks separated into easy to scan through visual blocks.
I created 11 acrylic paintings. I had one week to produce these. Each of them is a bit different to add a small personal touch.
Classic and graphic t-shirts with coding Gopher characters we created and available from Moolversin.redbubble.com to support the artist (me).
In this illustration I attempted to capture the mood of Toronto downtown where the conference takes place.
Designer and Artist – Lubov Soltan
Organizers – Mike Fridman, Zach, Goldstein, Max Gonzih, Dylan Arbour
Original Gopher mascot design – Renee French / CC 3.0