The task was to create an advertising campaign to promote Dubai's first creative conference, initiated by local design community -ING (Inspire, Network, Generate). It was important to consider the organisation's broad creative audience; from designers to illustrators, typographers, photographers and strategists. As a not-for-profit community we needed to produce a high-quality response with a low-budget approach, that stll gave justice to the exceptional speakers such as Astrid Stavro, Snask, Foreign Policy and Kelli Anderson.
After experimenting with various approaches, we choose to deconstruct the organisation's abbreviation into subtle visual-metaphors. Inspire, Network and Generate are communicated using symbolism within the composition. 'Inspire' was the series' central focus and recurring theme, this was represented using the explosive coloured dust. 'Network' was represented by using iconic United Arab Emirate landscapes. We photographed in three major locations including the Hatta Desert, Dubai's Kite Beach and an empty construction zone behind the much anticipated conference venue 'Dubai Design District'. These locations were identified as areas that would resonate UAE residents, avoiding the typical 'touristy' Dubai spots. 'Generate' was visualised through the recuring pylons in the background of the images.
The images were created on a very low budget by photographing exploding powder-filled balloons, suspended by nylon above the frame. Multiple takes were layered to create surreal compositions of floating explosions. A minimal typographic treatment balanced the heavily stylised images, creating a dramatic yet sophisticated composition that successful connected with our broad creative audience. The results we're extremely well received; we believe this is reflected by the world class speakers that accepted our invitation to present, and by the ticket sales of the first ever -ING Conference.