Someone once said “A good metaphor will hold the most truth in the least space” and I would add, that when it comes to ASE events, it is the combination of a good metaphor and the right graphic facilitation that allows us to realise its full potential.  

In July 2015, a large multi-organisation representative joined us in the London ASE to address the fundamental changes that will impact their industry and develop a vision for the future.

The clear emerging theme on this event was “collaboration” and what better way to bring it to life than using “chemistry” as a metaphor: we had various companies with their individual strengths and characteristics (elements) which combined, would make something new and unique.


We came up with our own formula for this, which allowed us to be innovative and deliver some outstanding outcomes

Initially, we created some visuals which were deliberately kept quite abstract to allow for flexibility:

This then very rapidly grew into a design template with a series of shapes, colours and icons which became the basis for all the visuals and documents we developed throughout the two days. Here are a few examples of how the theme was manifested:

(Experience) We started the event with an immersive experience to land the theme with participants

(Input icons) Series of icons developed around trends that will impact the industry, these were used on documents, through the space and in the output document.

(Input infographics) Infographic posters created to display information for various modules throughout the event.

(Writing templates) Templates developed to illustrate different assignments

(Other) food menu, plaques, postcards


Using a simple, but well thought through metaphor, such as chemistry allowed us to develop these powerful visuals and experience that not only helped the participants navigate their way through the two day design shop, but will also live beyond the event.