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San Francisco Design Week

Since 2006, AIGA San Francisco has organized San Francisco Design Week as a way to reach a diverse community of over 20,000 Bay Area design professionals, entrepreneurs, students, and the wider public.

With each year’s graphic identity being distinctly different from the last, the AIGA saw the need for a consistent logo that would appear alongside the visual campaigns for future years. AIGASF commissioned Manual to design a logo that would be established as a consistent mark for all future SFDW events and create a campaign for the 2012 event. The logo initially took its inspiration directly from San Francisco’s urban landscape: boxes on a hillside. It also carried visual associations of ‘highlighting’ and ‘emerging’ which seemed appropriate for an event that highlights design and emerging talent.

In creating the 2012 marketing campaign, we set out to visualize San Francisco’s diverse design community. Rather than focus on design as a finished state, we explored the idea of design as an ongoing process of exploration, inspiration, and application of technique. Borrowing materials, prototypes and samples from various design studios, the campaign features an array of design “stuff”, captured in a deliberately polished photographic assemblage. The unfinished nature of the materials coupled with sophisticated visual execution provided an unexpected contrast. The resulting visual elements were then ‘re-mixed’ in the creation of limited edition screen-printed posters.

Photography: Michael O’Neal