Uncommon Fellowship

Catalyst Conference 2016 Branding

Services: Branding, Visual Brand Identity, Core Messaging, Naming Development, Logo Design, Illustration, Graphic Design, Marketing and Promotions Design, Event Collateral Design

Photograph of Mike Foster on stage at Catalyst Conference 2016 in Atlanta in front of screen design showing the visual branding identity for the Uncommon Fellowship event theme.

Photograph (above) by Phil Sanders, for Catalyst Conference.


For the conference theme of its 2016 events, Catalyst chose to focus on a call for unity – a timely message in a divisive year. But not unity in the sense of a striving for sameness. Instead, a collective of unique and different people – a celebration of our diversity. This is a fellowship most uncommon: the story of a family filled with differing backgrounds, but discovering its unity through its pursuit of a common purpose.

Uncommon Fellowship logo design and branding for Catalyst Conference 2016 uses multiple font weights and typography in a single word mark.
Woven pattern built off of the shape of the Catalyst logo icon for the conference and event brand identity of Uncommon Fellowship.
Up and down gradient fade arrows for Catalyst Conference 2016 event branding and graphic design icons and marketing materials.
Swirling background pattern and liquify and smudge line art for Catalyst Conference 2016 branding marketing materials.

Core Visual Concept:

The logotype is a mishmash of varying weights and typesettings of Catalyst's brand fonts – Flama and Plantin – to create a patchwork lettering system that highlights the message of a collective of unique and different people joined as one.

The visual assets are a combination of a series of woven line work that create interlocking tapestries; shapes that show dramatized gradients made with halftone lines to illustrate a gathering and coming together to create a whole; and swirling patterns that creates a messy and imperfect sense of one-ness.

The bracket in the Catalyst "C" icon was also used as a pointer to indicate community – turning in on itself, separated by a thin line, it became an icon for the theme, a symbol of overcoming division.

Marketing and event collateral designed for Catalyst Conference 2016 conference theme Uncommon Fellowship. Name badges and attendee lanyards, brochures, notebooks, and embroidered badges.

The visual identity design was carried out across a promotional mail campaign – a box of goods shipped to key influencers and group leaders to tease the event's theme – as well as the materials and collateral for the actual event as well.

Conference namebadge and attendee lanyard designs for Catalyst Atlanta 2016 Uncommon Fellowship shows single color badge with spot UV pattern overlay.
single color conference attendee name badge with clear coat spot UV pattern overlay for attendee lanyard designs for Catalyst Atlanta 2016 Uncommon Fellowship.

Box Design

Promotional Direct Mail Campaign

Promotional shipping box exterior blue container with logo across cover for promotional marketing and direct mail materials.
"Open" message and pointing hand to edge of Catalyst influencer kit direct mail box.
Inside top lid of Catalyst Conference Atlanta 2016 direct mail box shows in, up, and out chevron bracket icon and Brought In. Looking up. Reaching out. message in blue on white.

The box was a simple corrugate mailer that was flood-coated with a design so that we could reduce packaging materials and shipping costs. Inside of the box was promotional materials for the event as well as fun items that encouraged participation and some sweet swag. 

Opened Catalyst 2016 marketing box direct mail kit reads "Welcome to the family."
Conference event logo design on the bottom of the direct mail shipping box design for marketing Catalyst Conference to influencers and group leaders.

Family Meeting Newsletter

Like an old bulletin, the family newsletter included a welcome letter from the executive director that outlined the theme and invited the viewer to participate. It also included a "What's in the Box?" section which detailed all of the box's contents and what to do with them.

Uncommon Fellowship "What's in the Box" illustrations for direct mail kit. Single line art of badge, pennant, shirt, bread.
On the back of the newsletter design is a letter from the Catalyst executive director and a reveal of the conference theme logo.
Promotional design of speakers for the 2016 catalyst conference on the bottom of the direct mail newsletter.


The brochure uses a printing and binding technique that seeks to further illustrate the idea of small things coming together to create a whole. The spreads of the brochure increase in width progressively throughout the layout. The result, when bound, is a cover image that is completed by all of the spreads lining up and sitting next to each other.

Creative fold brochure with spreads of variable width complete a cover image when it lays flat for the design of the Catalyst Conference 2016 Uncommon Fellowship event marketing brochure.
Hand opening the first flap of the conference event promotional materials for Uncommon Fellowship.
Side view of fanned out pages of catalyst conference 2016 marketing event brochure branding and graphic design.
catalyst conference uncommon fellowship brochure
Event theme description for brochure design reads "Something that invites in, something that transforms up, something that sends out." for Catalyst Conference uncommon fellowship theme.
Conference marketing brochure design "uncommon experience" shows event photos and theme copywriting for introducing the new theme brand identity and promotion.
The back of the catalyst conference 2016 uncommon fellowship brochure design shows the pricing information and catalyst university promotion.

"Uncommon Family" Portraits

In order to encourage some immediate interaction on social media, one of the items in the box is a small booklet that "educates" the viewer on creating their own "uncommon family portrait." The viewers gather their friends, don some vintage gear, strike a weird pose, and post the pictures to social with a hashtag that helps assemble an uncommon family photo album online. This is just a playful way to encourage participation and reinforce the theme.

Social media interaction promotion campaign encourages viewers to create their own awkward family photo and upload it to the online hashtag gallery of our uncommon family photo album.

"Never underestimate the value of a set of clasped hands placed oddly on a friend's shoulder."


Gift Items: Catalyst Pennant and Embroidered Badges

Catalyst Conference felt pennant black and white design in the direct mail giveaway box.
Embroidered patterned badges and patches designed for marketing swag materials and giveaway for Catalyst Conference 2016 event theme Uncommon Fellowship
Diagonal diamond pattern embroidered onto patch with Uncommon logo typography overlay for Catalyst Conference
Embroidered woven pattern graphic design on Catalyst Conference 2016 Uncommon fellowship badge for marketing collateral.

"Share Your Story" Recipe Card

Leaders pursue unity back of recipe card graphic design for catalyst conference uncommon fellowship theme branding.
Family Bread recipe card encourages viewers to plan a share your story night and get together for a family meeting to break bread together for Catalyst Conference group leader kit promotional materials

Event Collateral


The event's lanyards use a clear coat, spot UV layer to overlay the solid color namebadge (each color corresponding to a different level of security and/or permission). The overlay effect is the warped line work pattern created as a part of the overall visual identity system.

Animated conference namebadge and attendee lanyard graphic design shows a clear coat spot UV pattern on a bright color background for the event branding uncommon fellowship at Catalyst Atlanta 2016
Conference namebadge and attendee lanyard graphic design shows the schedule of events on the back and a clear coat spot UV pattern on a bright color background on the front for the event branding uncommon fellowship at Catalyst Atlanta 2016
Security matrix sheet is a guide to the levels of conference badges by color to help identify attendees, labs, special guests, volunteers, exhibitors, and all access passes.

Main Event Notebook

The event notebook, or "notezine," is a soft touch aqueous-coated black book so that, while it features the speakers and some of the sponsors, it functions less like a magazine and more like a personal journal for the attendee to use and take notes throughout the conference. The cover has a debossed, spot UV-coated logo, and the bracketed ">/<" icon across the spine.

Conference notezine designed like a small notebook like a moleskine with spot uv clear coat logo on the front cover of a soft aqueous finished black cover for Catalyst Atlanta 2016 Uncommon Fellowship branding identity design.
catalyst notebook design spine
catalyst notebook design clear coat spot uv cover
Editorial and layout graphic design of the welcome letter for the Catalyst Conference 2016 uncommon fellowship event notebook branding design.
Custom logo pattern of Catalyst icon for Uncommon Fellowship reveals the event branding in this editorial and layout spread design with columns of photos of diverse people and a message of welcome to the family.
Editorial graphic design of conference notebook features speaker Andy Stanley at Catalyst Conference 2016.
Editorial graphic design of conference notebook features speaker Brenda Salter McNeil at Catalyst Conference 2016.
Editorial graphic design of conference notebook features speaker Mike Foster at Catalyst Conference 2016.
Editorial graphic design of conference notebook features speaker Propaganda spoke word artist at Catalyst Conference 2016.
Editorial graphic design of conference notebook features speaker Judah Smith at Catalyst Conference 2016.

Editorial graphic design of conference notebook features speaker Judah Smith at Catalyst Conference 2016.


Labs (Pre-Conference Sessions) Notebook

Cover design of the labzine, a pre-conference workshop notebook for Catalyst Conference 2016 event branding identity design Uncommon Fellowship
Welcome to Catalyst Labs editorial layout design and graphic features extra tall modern letters weaving in and out of a pattern for Catalyst labzine notebook for conference attendees.
Editorial design listing the catalyst workshop speakers photos and bios in the event notebook.


Client: Catalyst Conference

Executive Director: Tyler Reagin

Marketing Director: Lindsay van Zyl

Content Development and Copywriter: Jason Haynes

Art Director: Russell Shaw

Designers: Russell Shaw, Corinne Kutz, Garrison Smith

Event Operations: Amberly Sykkes

Promotional Mailer Production Partner: Reflex Blu

Namebadges and Notebooks Printer: Lawrence Ink