Courage: Creating The Concept

Courage is about choice. It’s about choosing to do something bold or brave. We tried to hold this at the heart of our design process; choice.

Monday 12th June, our Visual Communications team got together to plan the identity for the TEDxYouth@Brum theme ‘Courage’ to be launched on the last day of July. A daunting prospect when the team have full time jobs and one is even doing a Masters degree! We got the best brain power of the whole team on it; we started with mind mapping our ideas, ranging from a simple image of light in the dark to likening the philosophical complexity of the concept to a rubix cube. As time moved on we realised that courage means something different to everyone. It’s a multi-dimensional concept. We find our brave more than once.

Our focus group exploded online into a board of graphics, colours and images on Pinterest (you might be surprised to see how much our ideas varied so feel free to have a gander). Rishi Bhardwaj kicked us off by exposing us to the Memphis Group; an 80’s design style that utilises patterns, shapes and colours to create interchanging abstract designs. When combined, these  patterns and shapes creates limitless compositions to represent the diverse nature of how courage is built. This became the core of our design narrative; layered perspectives of courage mirrored through layers of pattern, shape and colour.

This narrative guided us to selecting a pastel colour scheme built on 6 core colours. The soft colours are not only a representation of the light found in courage but also complements our spirited, retro aesthetic. Think Saved By The Bell with a tiny taste of Fresh Prince.

Feeling solid in our concept, we wanted to find the right icon on which to hang the concept. We kept coming back to the power symbol of a lion. Digging a little further into the word courage, and it’s origins meaning ‘from the heart’, we began to add detail and nuance to the lion symbol playing with playful colours and patterns to contrast the power that the lion represents.

We chose to be led by a strong iconic identity rather than a typographic one, but in fact, this made the font choice one of the hardest! We wanted a bold but elegant font, one that was sophisticated and understated but that could hold its own next to the lion. We chose to go for Cera Pro.


Looking at TEDx designs online, you might say this one is a little different.


We’ve chosen to only go for a flush of red in the TEDxYouth@Brum logo and we’re going to get really bold in how we play with the design in weeks to come. We stand by our choices, but we’d love to hear your thoughts. Just like the design, our team is built up of many different styles, skills and ideas. Meet Rishi, Lily, Paris, Bradley and our newest addition, Malikah - we can’t wait to hear what you think.

Visual Communications Team

Rishi Bhardwaj - Twitter: @6FT5NRISING / Instagram: @TheRiseOfRishi
Lily Wales - Twitter: @LilyWales / Instagram: @LilyWales
Paris Walker-Barnes - Twitter: @Paris_Miami_X / Instagram: @Paris_Miami
Bradley Morrison - Twitter: @Typicalbrad / Instagram: @Bradmoji
Malikah Holder - Instagram: @EmKayHaytch