Design + Illustration

Catalyst Awaken The Wonder Branding

Catalyst 2015: “Awaken The Wonder”

Services: Branding, Art Direction, Promotions, Print Design, Packaging


About the Theme, Awaken The Wonder: Following the 2014 organizational rebrand (and, appropriately-themed conference celebrating and discussing “change”), the 2015 Catalyst Conference in Atlanta focused on the next attribute identified in a Catalyst leader: creativity. A leadership conference dedicating several days of teaching and conversation on topics of innovation and vision-casting, the event invited leaders to recapture their sense of childlike wonder with the way they see the world and their work.

About the Design: The artwork style exploits the idea of creativity and wonder by treating Catalyst’s new visual brand assets with an artistic, textural application – real, handmade brush strokes and printed textures as backgrounds and reveals for photography and copy. The theme signature was designed to carry a sense of mystery – letterform designs that feel almost cryptic, and wide tracking that carries an air of whimsy.

The branding and art assets were first teased out in a creative mailing campaign sent to identified influencers. Rather than one large box of collateral coming all at once, we sent a series mailer in three progressive installments – creating anticipation as boxes arrive (1 of 3; 2 of 3…) and grow in size each time, and demonstrating the idea of the theme itself in the way that it was revealed: slowly and curiously, creating a sense of wonder as each box gives away more about the event.

The branding and art files were then packaged up in an asset library for Catalyst’s internal designer to carry into social and web graphics, event collateral such as signage, lanyards and notebooks, and will continue in use as the event holds the theme in other cities in 2016.

Client: Catalyst Conference

Executive Director: Tyler Reagin

Marketing Director: Lindsay van Zyl

Copywriters: Jason Haynes, Tim Willard

Art Director, Illustrator: Russell Shaw

Designers: Russell Shaw, Garrison Smith

Marketing Team: Aubrey Byers

Production Partner: Reflex Blu


Box 01

Save-The-Date, featuring theme artwork and teaser copy, printed on pearl card stock.


Box 02

Vintage-style alarm clock, custom-manufactured with branding on clock face. Square card featuring more copywriting suggesting the meaning of the theme. Together, they tease the event further and encourage anticipation leading up to the reveal in the third and final box.

"Wonder" Photographer: Morgan Blake


Box 03

The third and final box contained: custom minibook (thick, uncoated linen over with French flaps) that unfolds the event's theme like a story, with extra photo spreads and informational pages about the experience and value, keynote and lab speakers, and rates and sign-up information; and, a set of six postcards, each one featuring a unique design – the front showcasing a different scene of wonder, and the back containing custom designs and copy pieces unfolding the year's branding and messaging.

Licenses for stock photography on postcards acquired via Stocksy.



Featured Project in the Pantone Canvas Gallery