Back on the 15th January of this year, I took part in a Co-Creation day at the Co-Creation Hub, London. We couldn't post about the day until after the Co-Creation Hub had gone live - now it has and I've got some time to post about it.
A group of abut 15(ish?) of us got together, via Headbox, and spent a day thinking about what the Hub stood for, it's values (we picked them apart pretty good and proper, it had lots of marketing speak which gets on my nerves a bit and other people all felt the same too - values in plain english please), it's brand, it's name, and it's logo. Everything really, it was an intense day but really fun.
We were shown logos that had been sent in by Jo Public as part of a crowdsourcing competition - as their blog says, some were good, some were... not.
But some bits were quite good so we took a bit of inspiration here and there, and also sat down with our amazing marketing minds and come up with some more, in groups. There were 3 groups I think:
To kick us off, each group was given a few different words to inform the logo and drive us forward - words like Diversity, Communication, etc etc. Top left 1 and 2 were mine :) Hurrah. I think that was based on conversation/exchange, I can't quite remember - I just drew a circular object with a back-and-forth line to represent a back and forth conversation and we all kind of went 'yeah... quite like that!' As so happened with lots of other ideas that came out of our group. We had some good thoughts I think. The fish came out of our group too. Oh Em Gee that fish caused some controversy. Let me state right here that I wasn't keen on it from the outset - but as should be done in group brainstorms, no-ones ideas should be shunted. I'm sure some of my ideas weren't liked by everyone either. Anyway everyone else in the group loved it so I'm not one to dampen people's ideas... I just way wasn't keen on the cartoon fish. I liked the thinking behind it though, it was all about Evolution, you know evolution of ideas through co-creation etc, and a sea-creature coming onto land and evolving.. etc. It's just I hate cartoon-y logos, especially ones with animals. And I think the meaning would be so lost. Normal people would be all 'What's co-creation, and what's a fish got to do with it?' But I think this point was lost on people.
Anyway it got to presentation time and it was definitely a Marmite moment - some people liked it some really hated it. Being part of the group that presented it made me feel like I had to like it but I really didn't. Maybe this is a lesson in telling people if you think the idea is bad. And just sucking it up. But I kind of believe co-creation is all about letting everyone put their ideas on the table without scorn or ridicule or whatever. Hmmm.
Our group also took the typographic approach and started from one of the competition logos, where they had made the word 'HUB' and joined the letters together - we liked that, but simplified it without the speech bubble etc. This was my favourite I think, and I'm glad they took the initial idea and used that as the final chosen logo after we were done:
I think they also took ideas from other groups where they made another version of the logo using loads of different coloured handprints:
Which I really like. It upholds the spirit of Co-creation too :) Here is the blog post they wrote about the whole process.
I really enjoyed the whole day, I love brainstorming and collaborative thinking, especially when it comes to branding and marketing projects. I miss it actually, did it a lot at my placement at Open and don't get to do it so much anymore. Hopefully in the future.
The Hub are now implementing an initiative called Co-Create London where they ask a very simple question: ‘What Would You Do To Make London a Better Place?’ By gathering ideas, solutions and fresh thinking about the city the site hopes to address issues that are important to people of London and give citizens the platform to make positive changes. It's a nice idea and it's gaining momentum - follow them on twitter for up to date examples of what people are saying.
A bit about the background of the Co-Creation Hub London:
"The Co-creation Hub is a collective of organisations, academics and individuals who believe in doing things ‘with’ people rather than ‘at’ people.
We currently work in the branding and communications industry, but we think our approach can be applied to any number of industries and organisations in order to solve almost any problem.
We believe great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. And that means there is a huge untapped resource of creativity out there that co-creation can allow to flourish."You can get involved with the Hub here.