Branding showcase: The Collab Conference

I recently worked with The Centre for Mental Health Nursing at The University of Melbourne to create new branding and collateral for their annual conference ‘The Collab’. They host the event jointly with The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Association, The Health & Community Services Union and the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

The Brief

The brief was to create a brand that could lend itself to a new conference theme each year. It was to be fun, colourful, bright, edgy and modern and needed to steer clear of medical or mental health stereotypes. It was decided that a simple logotype would work best to complement a different illustration for each year’s theme and event.

The Collab aims to promote the mental health industry, show care and appreciation for mental health nurses and bring people together for a fun two days of socialising, networking and learning. It’s values were identified as: inclusive, welcoming, fun, modern and valuable.

The theme that the client developed for The Collab 2023 is ‘Inspiring MH nUrSing…leading from where we are (with the specific typographic emphasis on ‘Inspiring US’).

The Rationale

The Collab logotype can be used in its full form with the date and year, or disassembled to just the name or the name and year only. This will allow for use in various contexts year round, without compromising on strength or recognisability.

Key concepts expressed in The Collab logotype are:

• A sense of fun and playfulness
• Lightness like a cloud or thought bubble to represent the coming together and sharing of thoughts and ideas
• Friendly, approachable and casual
• On-trend, retro bubble style lettering

Branding for The Collab includes a colour palette with five colours including greens and oranges and a grey.

The colour palette chosen for The Collab’s new brand were chosen because they are:

• Vibrant and open
• Friendly and collaborative
• Nurturing and growth oriented.

The Collab 2023 theme was reflected in the branding illustration. The theme is 'Inspiring MH nUrsing...leading from where we are'.

Key concepts expressed with The Collab 2023 brand illustration are:

• Inspiring MH nUrSing…leading from where we are
• The sense that everyone is on a journey, both personally and professionally
• Flying the flag of leadership from wherever you are on that journey
• Acceptance and inclusivity
• A sense of fun and adventure

An ipad featuring the exhibitor manual eBooklet which was a vital piece of the event branding.
Conceptual image of The Collab brand appearing on a calico attendee tote bag.
An iPhone displaying the new website created as part of The Collab's new branding.

Collateral for the brand included promotional flyers, website, exhibitor booklets, conference program, directional signage, 3D stage props and lanyard. 

Feedback has been positive with attendees commenting on the bright colours and sense of fun the new branding has created.

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