International Retail Design Conference 2009, Dallas

Audience: Retail designers and visual merchandisers
Items Produced: Print/Online Campaign

On a retail research visit to Dallas, the site chosen for IRDC 2009, I was struck by two things: money (the proliferation of luxury stores was even greater than I expected) and optimism (everything seemed big, bright and bold). I suppose it’s easy to be optimistic when you’re flush with cash—and retail was being hit hard by the recession. Nonetheless, that Big D attitude inspired a happy color palette for the campaign and a fun surprise for the conference brochure: a (very) big “D” photo collage on one side, made of mannequins, fixtures, lighting and a gazillion more pieces of retail design paraphernalia.

We applied the cheerful palette and collage elements to the rest of the campaign—from the IRDC website and E-Newsbrief to spreads in VMSD and a personalized URL registration giveaway. The message to accompany all that happiness? You’re either hunting (looking for ways to come out stronger on the other side) or hibernating (battening down the hatches and riding out the storm). What’s it going to be?

Design: Becky Mengel Freund

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It’s the great differentiator. The not-so-secret weapon of legendary brands. Big budget or small, it’s the single most powerful tool in the retailer’s arsenal.

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Nothing to excerpt from this bowl of candy. Nothing was said. And yet, I so want to go to this conference. Don’t you?

That’s because it actually says a great deal. It says this is no ordinary conference. There’ll be no boring sessions. You’ll see and hear interesting things. You’ll meet talented architects, designers and visual merchandisers you’d like to have in your LinkedIn network. They’ll be wearing black. And cool eyewear. The parties will be fun. Your muse will be fed. And you’ll leave inspired and refreshed.

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