KOTESOL 2018 Busan Regional Conference Poster

Toward the beginning of 2018, the President of the KOTESOL Busan chapter contacted me to work on designing a poster for their Regional Conference.

In November 2017, I’d just finished listening to Ernest Kline’s bestseller, Ready Player One, that was being made into a movie due to come in the first quarter of 2018. I had been really enthralled with the book and loved the marketing – particularly the new logo – for the movie. So when Rhea told me the name of the Conference would be “Game Changers in ELT” I knew I wanted to do something along the same lines as the movie poster.

Logo Design

The font I used is literally called “Ready Player One.”

Poster Inspiration

  • I started researching the location because I’d never been to, nor seen the campus before. It turns out one of the buildings is quite famous and easily distinguishable. I thought I might use that in the poster design – I even made a line drawing of it.
  • And because the logo was a bit “techie” or “video gamey” I thought it might be cool to incorporate some Tron style background effects into the poster. I did some looking and found a nice tutorial on Abduzeedo.com that showed how to do some of those kinds of effects.
  • I also found some really unique designs on the 2017 SyntaxCon website and considered how I might use a similar effect in this design.

First designs

After some playing around with the Ulsan university building – especially in the line drawing format, I decided that it would be too “dull” as blue glowing outlines. There wouldn’t be enough real “substance” – it would feel just like a glowing line drawing and not a true location. So, I started playing around with some more backgrounds and found a cityscape at night that looked really nice. But I thought I might still need something else to help complete the poster, so I tried two ideas:

  1. I used a 3D Space Invaders creature in the center – as if it were approaching and “attacking” (seen above) – but ultimately we decided that, though cool, it wasn’t really appropriate for the tone and message the chapter wanted to convey for the conference.
  2. The other idea was to have a hand at the bottom of the poster holding a notebook of some kind with a map or list. But ultimately, we decided again that this would overcomplicate the design – so we decided to just remove everything else and focus entirely on the logo.

Final designs

After removing all the excess, the poster still felt a bit empty, so I added a glowing oval around it like the original Ready Player One’s glowing easter egg. This was also a nice reflection of the KOTESOL logo which makes use of the red-blue yin-yang of the Korean flag. I created a black and a white version. The final versions removed the “video game” style overlay of horizontal lines.

Rhea then also put together a Conference website that included the design.

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