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Conestoga College Student Brent Morrison Starts Things Up for Siggraph 2011

A guest post by Brent Morrison, Advertising – Creative, Conestoga College – School of Media & Design

Ever since I started in the creative field I’ve always wanted to visit Vancouver. Not only for the opportunities presented by the city but also for the beautiful landscapes and the chance for adventure. I’ve spent my entire life growing up in southern Ontario and never really explored outside of the province. When the opportunity presented itself through my work placement to travel to Vancouver I was absolutely beside myself.

As a student, to have an opportunity such as this find its way to me, I couldn’t have been more thankful. As an advertising student, my role for the Waterloo Region – Canada’s Technology Triangle booth at Siggraph 2011, was to develop and design the creative in collaboration with Canada’s Technology Triangle, Communitech, The City of Kitchener, Christie, and Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Coorporation.

My creative approach when I was starting ideas for design was trying to figure out who we were communicating to, either young or an older audience. Unfortunately the demographic was not known however I used this to my advantage by designing the creative that would connect with both audiences.

Since there seems to be a retro trend in society currently, vinyl records becoming popular again, styles of clothing and even colours, I thought I would apply this trend to the project at hand. I designed a pixel like theme for all the creative, including icons, text and images. I gave it a slight modern feel using black backgrounds and variations of bright colours. I felt that the younger individuals would connect with the retro feel with a modern look to and the more mature generations would be able to indentify with the older look.

Start Here: Canada's Technology Triangle - Waterloo Region

Our booth content was centered on a Waterloo Region Trivia game, with the categories of Career, Education, Lifestyle, Start-up, Creative, and Diversity. The object of the game was to answer questions and earn category buttons to enter a draw for the grand prize – a BlackBerry Playbook.  Since our theme was ‘Start Here’ I designed the buttons with a pixilated start button that you would find on a computer. We had roughly 6000 players participate in the trading of our buttons. We had plenty of positive feedback saying how much people enjoyed interacting with others and commented on the design itself, which was humbling. We even heard about people trading them outside of the convention.

Overall our booth was a great success as we were able to make an impact through our creative game that, according to participants, other booths failed to do. People thought the whole trading idea was fun as it made everyone interact with each other, rather than just handing out redundant promotional swag.  My experience at Siggraph 2011 in Vancouver was incredible. This was such an invaluable learning experience working with many people and developing the content, especially in such a small time frame. I’m definitely appreciative of having the opportunity to work on this one of a kind project and finally have my chance to see Vancouver in all of its glory.

Siggraph 2011, Vancouver

Siggraph 2011, Vancouver

For more information about this initiative, visit www.waterlooregionstarthere.com.

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