An idea worth stealing: How Strategy revamped TedxChristchurch

Coming up with a new look and feel for as visible a brand like Ted (or Tedx) is no easy feat, but the Team at Strategy Christchurch decided to go bold and daring over stuffy and safe. 

TedxChristchurch has just wrapped up its second annual talk with a slick new look, thanks to the help of agency Strategy Creative.

Whille the event held last year was large, this time around, organisers scaled it back into a more intimate venue.

Speakers included Joanna Norris, chief executive of ChristchurchNZ and former South Island editor-in-chief for Fairfax Media and editor of The Press, and Jordan Watson, AKA How To Dad on YouTube.

As a result of the downsizing of the event, the branding that went across the posters, programmes and signage was rejigged under the theme "Unplug. Reconnect."

TedxChristchurch director Kaila Colbin said the new look and feel had to match this theme, which was all about unplugging from digital noise. 

“So​ ​the​ ​challenge​ ​for​ ​Strategy​ ​was​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​an​ ​identity​ ​which​ ​looked​ ​sharp​ ​but​ ​less​ ​clinical than​ ​traditional​ ​Tedx​ ​executions.​ ​It​ ​had​ ​to​ ​feel​ ​more​ ​organic​ ​and​ ​a​ ​touch​ ​grungy.​ ​What Strategy​ ​came​ ​up​ ​with​ ​absolutely​ ​blew​ ​us​ ​away.”

The new look drew inspiration from the unplugged music scene, with the posters resembling lo-fi band posters rather than a traditional glossy publication that would accompany Tedx.

Strategy design director Chris Flack says the slightly rough around the edges look was deliberate.

“I​ ​intentionally​ ​designed​ ​the​ ​programme​ ​to​ ​be​ ​deconstructed​ ​—​ ​with​ ​no​ ​staples​ ​or​ ​binding​ ​to keep​ ​the​ ​pages​ ​together​ ​—​ ​so​ ​it​ ​could​ ​be​ ​reused​ ​as​ ​a​ ​series​ ​of​ ​stand​ ​alone​ ​posters.

“In​ ​effect,​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​programme​ ​is​ ​really​ ​a​ ​series​ ​of​ ​posters​ ​folded​ ​together​ ​into​ ​a​ ​booklet form.​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​have​ ​some​ ​fun​ ​with​ ​the​ ​arrangement​ ​of​ ​words​ ​from​ ​one​ ​poster​ ​to​ ​the​ ​next and​ ​mash​ ​up​ ​the​ ​message​ ​on​ ​each​ ​poster.”  

Everyone knows Ted's usual tagline is "ideas worth spreading". This became a more risque "ideas worth stealing, while "we are a tribe" became "we are a cult". 

The event was sold out, with 200 people in attendance. Next up is TedxAuckland in early December.

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