As we’ve shown before in our backstage series, every little detail matters when we’re trying to create atmosphere and affect the moment. But one topic we haven’t talked about in this backstage series is the role our design and branding takes.
Sarah Linebaugh Rivero is our SALT Creative Director. And though every aspect of SALT is very team driven, Sarah guides our entire creative process and the vast majority of the visual look/feel of each of our past conferences is because of Sarah’s leadership. Her process always begins with the overarching style and brand. In this process, she will work to create a style guide for our entire team to execute. Within this guide she will make sure it outlines the exact colors, margins, fonts, font-weights, spacing, photo use, etc. This is key because she doesn’t make every single design that our team puts out, as we have several key designers and marketing people creating digital assets. So Sarah sets the tone by crafting our style guide every year.
From the style guide, many of the large central design anchors are put together. With a team, Sarah oversee’s the design of the websites, the promo videos and the key social media “templates”. In this, she is very involved to make sure that the brand is being implemented through all the key visual pieces that begin to tell that year’s story.
After these key anchor designs are in place, she lets the designers on the loose, knowing that she has guided and ignited a direction for everyone to design within. These parameters and these finished designs become the foundation for everything else. When Sarah finishes this part of the process, she immediately begins working with Nick and the Experience team to begin early discussions of the set design. Though, set and production are largely Nick’s area of focus, design and theme always play a role.
Last year, our SALT Team wrote the following principle that gives importance to the process Sarah executes for our team. It’s been a rallying cry in many environments to realize the importance of design (both digitally and environmentally):
“From the way a cable is laid, to the look and feel of restroom signs, everything needs design. Design derives from intentionality. It is inviting, engaging, compelling and beautiful; all characteristics of our God. He designs even the tiniest detail, so therefore we become most like Him when we design everything.”
– SALT Conferences Principle.
Design is critical for any atmosphere, because atmospheres don’t just happen. I hope that seeing this video, learning from Sarah’s process and the SALT16 brand guide (that you can download for free here), all help you figure out ways to increase the creative effectiveness in your own organization.