Another incredible Brand New Conference is in the books, and Domtar is thrilled to have had the opportunity to be a sponsor for a second year.

This year’s Brand New conference took place in Chicago at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park. If you’re not familiar, the Brand New Conference is a two-day event organized by UnderConsideration, focusing on the practice of corporate and brand identity — a direct extension of the popular blog, Brand New. The event is thoughtfully organized by UnderConsideration co-founders Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit. This year marked the conference’s eighth year.

This exclusive event attracts a wide variety of creative professionals from all over the world. At our booth this year, we were thrilled to have conversations with creatives from a wide variety of markets—from higher education to healthcare, to nonprofit, to financial, to advertising. One commonality seemed to be the love of print and Cougar paper. Our Make Your Mark on Cougar® promotion was highly sought after and appreciated at the event.

A common thread I noticed this year was the focus on process—and how, even though the process may vary greatly from one creative to another, a well-defined process is still critical to achieving the desired result. Joe and Joseph Duffy emphasized the importance of partnering with clients and other firms, a philosophy that has obviously served this iconic duo well. Mike Reed, who now holds the distinction of Brand New’s first presenting copywriter, reminded an auditorium full of graphic designers that words and messaging have an incredible impact on a brand. Iván García of Futura reminded the audience that constant experimentation would lead to creativity above and beyond everything you think is possible. Both Mig Reyes, particularly the Threadless portion of his presentation, reminded the audience how having fun with your work can lead to exciting results that motivate your audience. No matter what process each presenter took, they resulted in outstanding brands that resonated with their intended audiences.

Speaking of outstanding results, it’s not possible to talk about the Brand New conference with talking about the conference materials. Bryony and Armin take great care in applying their creative process the materials and creating unique materials that reflect both the subject matter and the unique attributes of each year’s chosen host city. This year, they found inspiration in the Chicago flag and one of the city’s most well-known sculptures. The Cloud Gate (commonly referred to as “the bean”), located in Chicago’s Millennium Park, has grown to be an icon of the city of Chicago. Each day, the reflections and distortions in the sculpture delight visitors and residents alike. The reflections, of course, are a perfect way to represent the results of a successful brand.


To all the attendees that the “Blueline Crew” had an opportunity to meet and all the remote viewers that engaged with us on social media, thank you for making this year’s Brand New conference such an exciting event for us! We can’t wait to see you next year!