The Future

2017 Selection

Designed by Scott Burnett, Kevin Horan, Rory Bradley and Brian Heffernan at Aad

Video production: Ken Adams

Categories: Identity

Industry: Commercial


Established late 2017, The Future is a multifaceted 2 day event that gathers together thoughtful and visionary speakers from the international worlds of design, technology, media, business, advertising and more — all with the purpose of exploring the ways in which our work lives and personal lives are changing.

Three months before the event we began working closely with the Future team to design and launch their new brand, website and experience. As both teams were working from a standing start, the event formed and evolved at the same pace as our design development. In essence creating a sophisticated, large scale prototype for a new type of event.

This rapid and agile approach informed our working method. We began with a simple strategic framework that helped us align the business ambitions with the brand, content and website development. Within a week we had a minimal version of our website and we continued to push updates, elements, content and features until the weekend of the event.

The event aims to place creativity in a real world context, moving beyond creatives talking to creatives, championing ideas over personalities and finding new audiences. This informed our dynamic identity system which was inspired by breaking news graphics, with the logo, information and ideas popping up to disrupt images and film of the speakers and their work. This provided cohesion across digital, print and social channels and allowed us to undertake a wide range of conversations about the event, ideas and speakers.

We conceived and curated a series of content strands that were grouped by themes and ideas rather than areas and disciplines. This allowed us to frame the event as something for a wide range if professional audiences, while also offering a useful guide to help visitors navigate the 70+ speakers on 4 stages over 2 days.

And in keeping with both the prototype approach of the whole event and its future focus, we designed, scripted and animated a presenter bot called utu. His smart and sparky introductions got gradually more jaded as the two days unfolded. While we’d love to say this was by design, to convey his draining energy or diminishing battery, it was in fact reflective of what happens when two humans try to write 70 smart introductions over a 12 hour period.