The Combine lives and breathes the five C’s (Creativity, Capital, Culture, Code and Community). One of the biggest components is creativity and how we establish the event branding each year. The event’s brand has evolved over the years, and we have had the pleasure of working with some talented individuals to make that happen, including Larry Buchanan, Kurtis Beavers, Maggie O’Conner, to name a few.

This year, Mike Trotzke and Kyle Caird (from our Combine team) lead a design case study with the B.F.A Graphic Design program at Indiana University, taught by Senior Lecturer, Jenny El-Shamy.

Four student teams spent three months diligently working on their case studies, while periodically sharing their progress with the Combine team. The student led teams conducted research, generated ideas, went on site visits, and proposed visual brand systems that iterated on previous conference branding. The case study came to an end on December 6th, 2018 with a “Design Showcase” of the student work at the Dimension Mill in Bloomington – where the winning design was announced to the student teams in the presence of industry and community professionals and partners.

The judging criteria included originality of the concept, flexibility of the visual system, brand evolution, and ease of application. The “Green” team, comprised of Eliza Becker, Kyle Monteilh, and Carly Graham, created the winning brand proposal. You can see their work and vision here on our website, and will be able to experience it first-hand at the event in April.

Upon completion of the case study, we reached out to Jenny El-Shamy to ask about the experience. She explained how much s he loved the opportunity for her students to have collaborated on this project, and then reflected on getting to see them present all of their hard work to the volunteers at The Combine.

“When Mike and Kyle said their work was on par with any professional agency in Bloomington, and seeing the students recognized for their hard work was incredible. I can’t thank Kyle and The Combine enough for planning such a memorable event.”

Check out the video HERE to see and learn more!