Brand New Debris Quilt

While you would expect a conference on identity design to sport a half decent logo, the Brand New Conference has gone all out with “The Brand New Debris Quilt”. It mixes Gotham, overlays and patterns, plus an extra vital ingredient

While you would expect a conference on identity design to sport a half decent logo, the Brand New Conference has gone all out with “The Brand New Debris Quilt”. It mixes Gotham, overlays and patterns, plus an extra vital ingredient…

Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio (the founders of UnderConsideration which operates Brand New Conference in New York) explain how they came to “the Quilt” on their website alongside new details on the conference schedule for September 7. Massimo Vignelli, Simon Manchipp, Miles Newlyn and a host of other designers are lined up to speak.

The starting point for the identity project, write UC, was a cheeky nod to three of the year’s most frequently used tricks in identity design. First up: “The Gotham trend led us down a path of creating custom geometric letterforms with counterspaces filled in and lots of trendy triangles and circles,” say UC.

Then they worked on incorporating another trend: overlays. “We picked two colours that yielded a nice third one; blue and red to render purple. We didn’t do a true overlay because a) it would be trendy and b) we wanted more control over the color palette, so we just used it as a starting point.”

At the next stage the craziness really kicked in. “The geometric letterforms looked a little lame just like that, not adding anything new,” UC write. “So we established a concentric grid of circles and vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines to break down each letter.”

But the results were still missing something.

So UC turned to history and identified a few of the most famous logos ever created and honed in on particular elements within them: the Apple stem; the FedEx arrow; the AT&T ampersand etc. From the assembled bits, or “debris”, UC created a series of tight and loose patterns with which to fill the Brand New 2012 identity with.

Other elements used in the quilt include (above) a “2” from the London 2012 Olympic logo, the bowtie from the Playboy mark, and the bowed string from the old UPS identity.

“Each segment of the letterforms has its own colour and pattern, giving it the sense of a pretty crazy quilt,” say UC. “You can see all the letterforms on the splash page of this conference’s website.” Which looks like this.

Full details on the line-up, registration process and ticketing for the Brand New Conference 2012 at


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