Central Asia Forum,

An academic forum

The Central Asia Forum at Warwick University is a new academic event with big backers who want to build links between Central Asia and the UK.

The CAF’s founders recruited me to promote their nascent idea, and I stuck about for the organisation’s first two years

  • create a visual identity

  • build a web platform for marketing an annual conference and publishing academic articles

  • produce print brochures and posters

I aimed:

  1. not to look or sound like other similar conferences

  2. not to borrow thoughtlessly from the cultures of Central Asia

  3. to engage with students, not sponsors

Screenshot of the Central Asia Forum’s landing page.
Indistinct text overlaid on an image of night-time traffic in a Central Asian city.

We wound up with a look built on photography from the region, with a simple negative space logo and typography inspired by newspapers, which had an outsized role in twentieth century cross-cultural contact.

Rich Yellow
Pantone 116 C
Pantone 655 C

The site is a tidy, uncomplicated Wordpress arrangement with a carefully-optimised, lazily-loaded-image-heavy landing page. subsidiary in a print inspired black #000 and white #fff scheme, set in Libre Franklin and a Souvenir lookalike. For emphasis, there’s a rich yellow #ffde00 background option (which allows for accessible large titles in white).

Central Asia Forum logo

Print materials are set in Franklin and Souvenir

Untitled poster campaign, 2018
‘Is Central Asia’ poster, 2018

Our ad campaigns entered a crowded space and caused a small stir. In 2018 our well-received physical poster campaign poked fun at career-culture with lines like ‘Probably not relevant to your CV’, set in white block text on a rich yellow background.

Poster in which an image of a buzkashi player on horseback is convincingly photoshopped into a dowdy part of Warwick University’s campus. Text reads: ‘Central Asia is coming to Warwick’.
‘Ride’, Central Asia is Coming to Warwick, 2019
Poster in which an image of two agricultural workers from the Central Asian region appear to be seated outside the Warwick University students union. Text reads: ‘Central Asia is coming to Warwick’.
‘Rock’, Central Asia is Coming to Warwick, 2019

In 2019, we ran an all-digital campaign, in which bucolic central Asian figures cut from gloriously-staged Prokudin-Gorsky photographs were PS-ed into cinematic shots of the duller parts of the uni campus.