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The Observatory

Four Key Takeaways from Brand New Conference

October 16, 2023

Our Carimus designers recently attended the 2023 Brand New Conference in Chicago.

For two days, our team rubbed elbows with some of the most active and influential brand identity experts from around the world. The conference presents a unique and illuminating lineup of perspectives to discuss their glories and defeats, as well as the practices and techniques that form the creative process.

Our key takeaways from Brand New Conference:

People have had enough of the bullshit. It’s time to design brands that let people make up their own minds.

Gone are the days of trying to control how people feel about your brand. Audiences have tired of being force-fed. We have to show our respect by trusting them to make up their own minds. It’s been said that brand is what they say when you leave the room. We will always share our clients’ stories in intuitive, coherent, and authentic ways to promote sincere engagement.

Identity and equity can and should inform studio practice, business goals, and subject matter.

We have to be conscious about the work we do. We are committed to caring—Care I Must is in our name. We will continue to surround ourselves with people—colleagues and clients alike—who challenge our assumptions and lend their unique perspectives to the work we do. We are driven to create meaning and ply our skills in the service of the good.

Fear and failure are part of the game. Sometimes you just have to shit your pants and move on.

Mistakes make us better. The creative life often leaves one’s heart exposed. We came away from the conference knowing that we are not alone. It will never stop being scary, but we returned from Brand New, ready to fail again and fail better.

It’s just design. Have fun with it.

A resonating theme throughout the conference was to remember the joy in what we do. We take our work seriously. We put everything into it. But if we stop having fun, we lose our edge. 

The insights and experiences we gained at Brand New have invigorated our entire team. We’ve returned to our work, ready to look at things differently and try out new approaches. Thank you to all those who made the Brand New Conference as great as it was, and see you next year!

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