So the very first HeyThere – Juiced event happened on Thursday 7th April 2016.
Ian here, founder of HeyThere – I’m just going to give you a quick recap of the night – for posterity! We were lucky enough to have Lauren Wickware, Polyester Studio and Underline Studio come down to talk. We had a decent turnout at Shopify’s wonderful office (can’t thank those guys enough). Oast House Brewery were on hand to dole out some of their delicious beers (the Saison was so popular I didn’t even get one). And there were snacks and gummy bears to boot.
At 7pm I decided to kick things off with a terrible joke – I’ll never be a comedian! I gave a brief overview about what HeyThere is before getting out of the way for the really talented people.
Lauren got up and spoke about what design was to her; channelling some memorable quotes from Donald Trump to much amusement. Firstly she explained how she fell in love with books, and shirked boybands! She gave us an overview of her journey into design highlighting some key student projects and onto working with Gilbert Li. Lauren went on to go through some projects which were rich in detail and scope. Her work in the cultural sector is second to none. We got to see the effort, time and passion she brings to her projects. She spoke about pushing clients to do braver things – and the joy at the client actually picking her favourite option – a rare event! What I love about getting people out to talk is that they often share the ‘behind the scenes’ stories like that.
Next up was Polyester. During my intro I described them as a small studio punching way above their weight. And they delivered. Bob and Jeremy were great speakers, funny and honest. Jeremy told us about how they landed a huge project because a client received some cookies he’d baked, right as he was commissioning an ad for a cookie manufacturer. Besides the humorous anecdotes, they showcased some stunning work and ‘premiered’ a beautiful project they just finished. They took us through the process of creating style frames and how they relate to the final piece. Their showreel is a testament to the talent these guys have.
Lastly we had Claire and Fidel from Underline up. They dovetailed presenting, each offering their own perspective on projects. They focused their talk on two projects with small to tiny budgets – which was refreshing – we got to see how they worked creatively within the financial boundaries. Claire spoke about University Affairs Magazine, had how Underline managed to squeeze every drop of value out of the budget to create a cover, 2 features and a ‘surprise’. They also had a funny story about awol turtles. Fidel then took us on a journey when a project has zero budget. They spoke about goals, challenges and expensive mistakes while producing a piece celebrating Oscar Romero – a Archbishop who was assassinated during El Salvador’s Civil War. It reminded us why Underline are considered one of Canada’s top design studios – they bring care, craft, imagination and inventiveness to their work. I’m a great believer that creativity is born out of tight restrictions and Underline showed how true that was. It was a great climax to the event.
Many thanks to all who came down. It’s great to meet new people and meet old friends. Don’t forget to spread the word… We will be doing more events in the future, so stay tuned.