PARSONS showcase the identity that wasn’t to be for start-up conference Bits&Pretzels
Bits&Pretzels is an application-only three-day conference for business founders that runs annually alongside Munich’s Oktoberfest. It’s evolved into a world-leading event since beginning in 2014, with 100 speakers, seven stages and 5000 guests now invited from all over the globe to connect and enjoy a little ‘liquid networking’.
Cape Town-based design studio PARSONS pitched to create the identity for the 2020 edition of Bits&Pretzels, proposing a solution that amplifies the event format and offers a rich visual experience for the global start-up community. “If negativity kills innovation, then optimism is the key ingredient that positively charges the start-up landscape”, state PARSONS. They visually expressed that truth through a combination of playful typography, geometric forms and bright colours; resulting in an approach rarely seen in the often-dull financial world.
Founders Grotesk was selected for its rounded letterforms, classic curves, subtle kicks and balance of structure and simplicity. To PARSONS, the typeface is “symbolic of the integrity of the event”. They add that “it doesn’t overpower the communication nor does it fight with the colour palette”.
The proposed palette moves the festival away from its previous single colour identity, offering a more diverse selection that aids with hierarchy across typographically-dense applications. The colours themselves are derived from the earth. “Everything must start with the planet. The contrast between the online space and the natural world is where human connections are made”, PARSONS explains. To round off the identity, the studio introduced character illustrations to enhance the speaker intros and quite simply “make people smile”.
Despite putting together a robust, thoughtful and eye-catching graphic system, PARSONS didn’t win the pitch. However, they are super proud of the work and decided to share the visuals and insights behind them anyway.
On another note, PARSONS is expanding into Europe. They’ll be based in Ireland, making it a bit easier to reach their clients throughout Europe and the US. Be sure to follow @parsonsbranding for updates.
Typeface: Founders Grotesk by Klim Type Foundry