Seven questions with Brand Nieuwe Conference
Neon Moiré sets out to interview festival organizers and tries to find out what motivates them to organize their events and what they are most excited about.
We talked to Armin Vit of Brand Nieuwe Conference, 20-21 June 2016, the first european version of the well known Brand New Conference that Vit organizes for the 7th time this year in the Nashville, US. Next to organizing the two-day conferences, on corporate and brand identity, Armin Vit runs (together with Bryony Gomez-Palacio) the design firm UnderConsideration. On their popular Brand New blog, they share opinions on corporate and brand identity work.
What we really like about the conferences that UnderConsideration organize is that every event has its own identity, based upon a visual reseach that reflects the current state of contempary graphic design. Since the 2012 edition they give us, for every conference branding, an in-depth look at the making of the logo, identity, and event-related materials.
Why are you organizing Brand Nieuwe Conference?
We've been doing the conference annually since 2010 in the U.S. and this is our first shot at doing it in Europe. The conference is an extension of our blog, Brand New, which covers logo and identity redesigns. We thought that a conference with an equally dedicated topic would be well received. And it has! Our main objective is to celebrate the people and companies doing the best logo/identity/branding work.
Why did you choose for Amsterdam? And not Berlin, Tokyo, Sydney or Buenos Aires.
It had to be Europe, as opposed to Asia or South America, as it has the most potential for diverse speakers and attendees. Out of other European cities we chose Amsterdam because it has a high concentration of designers, it's a beautiful city, and it's fairly central. We originally wanted Berlin but we were going to be competing too closely with Typo Berlin in the Spring. We also thought about Barcelona but that starts to get less central and there is also OFFF there.
More or less 10 days after Brand Nieuwe Conference is What Design Can Do also in Amsterdam. Why is that not competing with your event?
There is a perfectly good reason: We were not aware of What Design can Do! It was only after we decided on Amsterdam and the date that we found out about it. But we are two very different conferences that each provide very different content. So, we are still competing for a similar audience and their money and attention, but there is less overlap than there would be with TypoBerlin or OFFF.
What is the biggest challenge for the first edition of Brand Nieuwe Conference?
Doing everything remotely! So far we haven't had any issues but knowing that we are 16 to 20 hours worth of travel away from the venue is very scary. With our U.S. conferences, if there is anything that needs to happen locally, we can be there in 5 hours. Also the time difference can be a challenge: unless you are emailing with someone in Amsterdam between 9 and 10 am American time, you are going to lose 1 day in getting a response. And every minute counts!
What are you most proud of or excited about if you look at the Brand Nieuwe Conference program?
As the organizer I have to say that I'm excited for all of our speakers! But I do grant there are a few highlights: I will be doing a live Q&A with Michael Wolff, who co-founded the legendary Wolff Olins, and we had tried to get him over to the U.S. versions but never could. Also looking forward to seeing Ben Bos who is one of the grandfathers of corporate identity and by email has been the absolute nicest guy!
What is the reason to make the attendees list public?
When I go to other conferences I love it when they make the lists public because then I can see who else is going and maybe it's someone I want to meet or from a company I want to know more about. Also, our attendees come from some great design firms so if people considering attending see that all these people from these cool places are already going it might be the one thing that convinces them.
What do you want your audience to take home after a Brand Nieuwe Conference visit?
Ideally, they all came back feeling like maybe next year they can be the ones up on the stage. They should fill excited about their job and profession and figuring out ways to adapt what the speakers talked about to their own practice. It's not about "inspiration", it's about hearing how some of the best in the business get business done so that we can all do our job better.
Brand Nieuwe Conference
- Michael Johnson - johnsonbanks.co.uk
- Ben Bos
- Marko Salonen - bond-agency.com
- Tnop Wangsillapakun - tnop.com
- Sagi Haviv - cghnyc.com
- Eszter Laki - behance.net/lakieszti
- Nikki Gonnissen - thonik.nl
- Brian Collins - wearecollins.com
- Aporva Baxi and Simon Dixon - dixonbaxi.com
- Fanette Mellier - fanettemellier.com
- Michael Wolff - wolff.eu.com
- Karin van den Brandt and Alex Clay - lesley-moore.nl
- Pablo Juncadella - wearemucho.com
- Alex Holmén - esseninternational.com
- Paul Stafford - wearedesignstudio.com
- Debbie Millman - debbiemillman.com
Header image ©: De Beurs van Amsterdam, 1609 Boëtius Adamsz. Bolswert, Pieter Cornelisz Hooft, Theodore Rodenburgh, 1609. Etching and engraving, 432 × 601mm. Rijksmuseum link