Xerocon is one of the world’s most inspiring and innovative in-person events for cloud accounting leaders.

The Xerocon events are an annual series of accounting industry conferences held across major global cities

In 2022 Xerocon hosted over 6,500+ attendees across events in London, Sydney, and New Orleans

The events help push significant market activity for Xero, with a share price rise from $80 to $92 in 2022

The events are sponsored by major financial services companies, hoping to align themselves with the Xerocon brand. Previous examples are: Stripe, Paypal, Expensify, Go Cardless, and Amazon Web Services

A vibrant new expression for Xero's premier event

After almost a decade of successful and ever-growing Xerocon events, Xero was looking to reimagine the event's core identity and brand. I was the lead designer on this project, collaborating with other internal creative teams and stakeholders.

I first looked to update the Xerocon logo itself. The existing logo felt dated, using a retired company font, and needed a more modern direction. Below you can see the final expression of the Xerocon logo. During this process we introduced the short form logo (V SYD 20) for the first time for  use on the ground at events where the full letterform wasn't needed.

More about xerocon
The Xerocon Sydney logo
The shorthand Xerocon 2020 logos
Stylized Xerocon theme words: Focus, Innovation, Pivot

The Xerocon pin becomes a hero character

I looked to update the pin icon with a more abstract, geometric approach, envisaging that the pin would become an iconic symbol. The symbol morphed into icons and words that represented different themes and aspects of the event. This pin shape and iconography also evolved to create a bold oversized base grid for the wider brand identity.

A hero screen design showing the new Xerocon brand

Standing out in a sea of convention center grey

One of my goals during the project was to bring a significant amount of color into the brand identity. Having been to several Xerocon events, I often felt that limiting the brand to just Xero blue and dark navy felt underwhelming and meant the brand was lost within the often drab, grey event spaces.

The resolved identity incorporated the full spectrum of the Xero color palette, and expanded on the work I’d done exploring the Xerocon pin. We brought in partner photography that gave a sense of the energy and fun that people have  at the conference.

In the examples below you can see how the identity was applied to several event deliverables as a proof of concept.

A collection of Xerocon themed icons
A mockup showing the Xerocon lanyard design concepts
A mockup showing the Xerocon way finding concepts
A mockup showing a Xerocon poster concept

Defining a grid to generate balanced layouts

During the design process I relied on a grid system to generate the artwork. The grid helped to create balanced layouts at a low fidelity before I  added the pattern work, photography, logo, and type. The grid also proved useful in onboarding others to start working with the new brand.

For pre-event advertising, we leaned more on the energetic faces of our partners, and featured the dark navy blue. These elements helped connect the new brand to its previous iteration. At the event itself, the photography was dropped and we went all in on the energetic full-color direction.

An overview of the grid system used to generate designs

Xerocon's colorful new expression

Throughout the design process, we continued to iterate and refine the new  brand, pausing for almost an entire year due to Covid-19 before we could see the design at an event.

Here are some examples below of how the brand looked across the 2021 events in New Orleans, Sydney, and London.

A photo showing someone holding a Xerocon lanyard
A photo showing the entrance to Xerocon London with branded pillarsA photo showing conference attendees posing in front of a Xerocon branded wall
A 3D branded Xerocon installation