As some of you may have noticed, my LinkedIn status recently changed. I am now working as a contract graphic designer at Starbucks Corporate Headquarters. Yes, I get as much free coffee as I want. No, I haven’t met Howard Schultz.
It all started when I got a freelance gig with an ad agency called Touch Worldwide. Touch specializes in the hidden world of event design, and was commissioned to engineer the 2012 Starbucks Global Leadership Conference. Ten thousand partners (yes that’s 10,000 with four zeros) were invited to attend the 3-day conference in Houston, TX, which included workshops, product demos, Keynote addresses and various community service projects.
First, some photos to convey the sheer magnitude of the conference:
I was initially brought on board to develop a typographic system for the conference journal. Drawing from Touch’s initial concepts and Starbucks’ brand guidelines, I was charged with fleshing out the multiple tabs, worksheets and infographics intended to guide the partners throughout their weekend. I made key decisions regarding flow, navigation, and type hierarchy, and worked closely with our prepress specialists to ensure that the enormous print run went smoothly.
After finishing the journal, I was kept onboard to work on the Leaders’ Lab, a 400,000 sq. ft. space in the convention center meant to convey the Starbucks story through large-scale installations. I assisted with the 150-foot timeline, a series of walls chronicling Starbucks food and Tazo tea, and several panels depicting Starbucks’ home products such as packaged coffee, Via, K-Cup Packs and Verismo.
This was an enormous learning experience for me, and an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most well-known brands in the world.
Sadly, my contract with Touch then came to a close. That weekend I attended the AIGA Into the Woods conference (read about that experience here) and ran into a former colleague who works at Starbucks Global Creative. He asked what I’d been up to lately, and I told him about my work with Touch. Two weeks later I got the job. I guess that goes to show, it really does pay to be in the right place at the right time.
Conference Photo Credits: