GOCON CANADA 2019 CONFERENCE

What is Gocon Canada?

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.

gocon Canada logo

Project Description

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.

Work Areas

Branding
Character Design
Graphic Design
Web Design
Prepress
Illustration
Painting

Research

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.

Sponsorship Prospectus

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.

gocon Canada Sponsorship Prospectus Design
gocon Canada Sponsorship Prospectus Design

Branding

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 GoCon.

gocon Canada Logo Design, Mountie Gopher
gocon Canada Colour Scheme Strips

Character Design

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. 

gocon Canada Mountie Gopher character design in different poses

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.

Me taking a photo with Giant Gopher
Giant Plush Gopher and Taka a selfie banner next to it
gocon Canada Giant Gopher character design

Promoting the Event

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 :)

Picture of stack of coasters with Mountie Gopher
Picture of stack of stickers with Gopher and laptop
Picture of stack of coasters with Mountie Gopher

Photo credit: Mike Fridman 2019

Website

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.

gocon Canada website

Roll Up Banners

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.

gocon Canada roll up banners with giant gopher and mountie gopher

Venue Signage

We put colourful signage to make navigation around a breeze.  Those characters and saturated colours grab attention, make you smile and serve a purpose.

Venue sign with mountie gopher waiving his hand in excitement
Venue sign with mountie gopher showing the direction to snell hall
Gianiant gopher showing direction to snell hall
Mountie gopher with laptop, arrow showing direction to the library

Venue Display Graphics

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.

Sponsors' logos on baloons held by Mountie Gopher. Break screen design
gocon venue with a view of a screen and the stage

Schedule Brochures

Schedule brochures contain information about talks and breaks separated into easy to scan through visual blocks.

gocon schedule brochure cover with gopher on blue background.
gocon schedule brochure spread showing speakers and talks.

Speaker Gifts

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.

animation showing all stages of painting creation.
Photo of all 11 speaker gift paintings. Gopher with laptop under the tree.

T-shirts

Classic and graphic t-shirts with coding Gopher characters we created and available from Moolversin.redbubble.com to support the artist (me).

gocon t-shirt design with Mountie Gopher with laptop under a tree
gocon graphic t-shirt design with Mountie Gopher with laptop under a tree
gocon graphic t-shirt design with Pink Gopher wearing cute hat with laptop under a tree
gocon graphic t-shirt design with Pink Gopher wearing cute with laptop under a tree
gocon team membert-shirt design with all Gopher characters.
Photo gocon t-shirt from twitter hanging on a chair and a cat stands on top of it.
Photo of a Mountie Gopher t-shirt someone ordered from my redbubble store

In this illustration I attempted to capture the mood of Toronto downtown where the conference takes place.

Black and white ink illustration of Toronto skyline as viewed from Toronto island.

Credits

Designer and Artist – Lubov Soltan
Organizers – Mike Fridman, Zach, Goldstein, Max Gonzih, Dylan Arbour
Original Gopher mascot design – Renee French / CC 3.0

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