Big Omaha 2009 was Oxide’s first conference identity. Our problem-solving process is the same as any other, but conferences are unique for one reason: no matter how well you solve the problem the first year, the second year’s identity will bring some tough questions.
Even as we sat down to concept on Big Omaha 2009, we hoped (and sort of feared) that we’d eventually have to design Big Omaha 2010. Thanks to the flawless execution from the staff at Silicon Prairie News, attendees loved everything about 2009.
So, when we sat down this year to talk about 2010, our first question was: do we simply update last year’s materials with “2010″, or do we try something new? 2009′s identity was well-received, so a change wasn’t mandatory. On the other hand, an updated identity seems like the only choice when we’re talking about a conference for creative-thinkers.
In the end we decided that — no matter how grueling — the spirit of Big Omaha (perhaps, the giant cow itself) demanded something new. Our exploration last year found that the cow was the most accurate, universal symbol for Omaha. So, the question that remained was: if we’re trying something new, what else can we do with a giant cow?
If 2009 lacked something, it was extendability. Simplicity is great (maybe even preferable) for a first-year identity. But this year, we set out to find something with more depth — a concept that was more meaningful and could be extended more creatively across the collateral.
The cow has always been a metaphor for life’s big challenges. If you’re planning to do something all-important, obscenely-lucrative, life-changing, or whatever in your life — the cow represents that thing. The 2009 identity implies that everyone accepts those challenges head-on. But in 2010, we’ve taken that idea a step further.
2010′s identity acknowledges that not everyone deals with life’s challenges the same way. It’s a little more honest, and it turns that question back on the attendees: so, you’ve made the decision to do something great with your life — now what the hell do you do?
The giant cow awaits.
See more of the Big Omaha 2010 identity at 2010.bigomaha.com.
Also featured as a guest post on Silicon Prairie News.