Let’s build a brand and put on a show

TEDx Cambridge

Let’s build a brand and put on a show

The situation

Not only a profound advocate of the ideas and entrepreneurial spirit within New England, TEDxCambridge is also a worldwide leader among TEDx events. From its sheer scale to its quality of talks, only a few of the thousands of TEDx events held every year come close to the impact of TEDxCambridge. But TEDxCambridge did not always have this presence. The event has grown exponentially since it’s inception – previously selling out venues for a few hundred, it is now held in the famed Boston Opera House, with seating for 2,600. To reflect the growth of the event, TEDxCambridge needed a cohesive and refreshed brand identity, brand strategy, communication plan and event design. TEDxCambridge chose Tank to serve as its creative and strategic partner


Brand identityBrand positioningDesign systemsDevelopmentExperience designExperiential/printSocialUI design & development

Brand Strategy

Before embarking on the multifaceted engagement, Tank had to understand exactly what made TEDxCambridge so unique. This brand essence – the organization’s true reason for being – would then be translated into a robust visual and messaging framework.

Visual identity

TEDx belongs to the TED family. As such, Tank rooted all visuals in the classic TED red. Tank added blue to the brand’s color system as a unique differentiator. The overall aesthetic was intentionally simple, with references to science, humanities and design. We also focused on what differentiated TEDx from TED. Quite simple, it’s the “x”, of course. Tank chose this symbol as key visual element, serving as a frame for speaker-specific iconography as well as a universal anchor for each creative application.

Environmental Design

It’s not every day that Tank has the opportunity to partner with an expert in large-scale projection-mapped graphics. But that’s exactly what needed to happen to bring to life the massive 30-foot backdrop on the Boston Opera House’s stage. It was crucial for Tank to provide impactful creative feedback to the external agency so that all touchpoints – from brochure to backdrop – aligned.