The truth about design
April 29, 2008
The stage was set by Mango Media Caribbean for Petro-Canada’s very first family day
About 2 weeks ago my firm’s events team worked with interior designer Keith Miller to conceptualise Petro-Canada’s first family day.
Looking back at the photographs, I was stunned by how much of a design driven event it turned out to be. Judy, our events manager and Keith, placed colour, shapes and structures everywhere on the wide, open field at Ortinola. Even the basic things got the grand treatment. Tents, for instance, were not ordinary run of the mill, they were marquis-ed, and even the loos with their piped music were air conditioned and marble outfitted.
Judy reminded me that our client wanted an event that was “high brand” and an out-of-this-world. It was the company’s first major outing and they wanted it to be a bonding experience for employees. Judy’s concept of using design to drive the experience and create talking points worked. The company’s supply chain advisor, Craig Shand, told us the day after the event, back in their offices, hardly anyone got any work done, everyone huddled together looking at the pictures and marvelling at their shared experiences. It was exactly the kind of impact we were hoping for.
More and more organisations are using their events, their products, their services to amaze, to daze and seduce the senses of their audience, and they are turning to design to get it done. The iphone is all about design. HM, one of favourite brands, used to be known as a copy cat in the fashion industry, now they have 60 in-house designers. Nike goes a step further. Okay, several steps further. They have 360 designers on staff. When I look at our own website, mangomediacaribbean.com, and our new blog, I see how web design firm, Above Studios, captured a look that represented the quirkiness of our company. They got our feel with their first computer generated stroke.
"We gave that company a design and an event to reflect the kind of organization they are growing into," said Judy. As I poured over the photographs, I was struck by the fact that design is truly about truth, love and beauty and increasingly whether a business has a sensational strategy or the same strategy as everyone else.