Top, the stage background from TEDxRiodelaPlata 2011, designed by media firm imagenHB. Below, imagenHB’s icons from TEDxRiodelaPlata 2012, representing speakers’ topics of interest.

Gustavo Contreras Dvorak is a designer in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For the past two years, he and the firm he works for have collaborated with TEDxRiodelaPlata in Buenos Aires to craft a visual identity for the event that expresses the culture and spirit of the city, and — most importantly — the event’s dedication to give a voice to the talent, drive, and ideas of the citizens of Argentina.

imagenHB, where he works, has created beautiful, playful and inspiring images to do just that — playing with the idea of “ideas that transform you.” From anatomical hearts that break into cartoon ones, to lightbulbs that flicker with ideas, the team that works on the TEDxRiodelPlata graphics are dedicated to creating what Gustavo calls a “visual language,” a vocabulary of illustration that should speak as loud as the talks.

"Visual language allows you to have a unique identity, to create a visual experience for each person and to link the audience to the speakers and the event," he told TEDx. Just like the event, Gustavo believes, art allows audiences to interact with complex concepts in interesting ways. “[The things we’ve created with TEDxRiodelaPlata], have also led to incredible experiences,” he said. “For example, during the last event (TEDxRiodelaPlata 2012) some of the speakers identified so much with the [personal icons we created to represent the fields of work of each speaker] that they asked us if they could use them as a personal symbol to represent themselves [outside of the event].”

For the first event, imagenHB created a trailer that featured hyper-realistic icons juxtaposed with their colloquial, stripped-down counterparts, designed to, as Gustavo put it, “communicate the transformative spirit of the event.”

This concept filtered into other visualizations of the event, like these pixelated portraits of speakers matched with the video trailer’s icons of ideas:


But in 2012, things were changed a bit. Still exploring the idea, "ideas that transform you," TEDxRiodelaPlata released a playful, visually-captivating trailer that reduced the modern world to small, chunky icons. Buildings, plants, cell phones all make appearances, representing the things that inspire innovation in modern times.

In the trailer, these forms of inspiration lead to switched-on minds and new ideas, like attendees after speaker’s talks, whose messages were represented through illustrations of each speaker’s area of expertise, seen in the second picture at top.

Such well-thought-out design deserves applause, and we are happy to give it to TEDxRiodelaPlata as we look forward to seeing more of their visual language in 2013.

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