Camp Contributions

When you sit down and think about how to contribute to WordPress as a designer, your first thought is most likely: ‘How can I work on the core software using the skills I have?’.

In the WordPress community we are lucky that there are plenty of opportunities for designers to get involved that don’t involve code, trac tickets or a love for UI/UX design. This year alone there will be 106 of these opportunities.

Volunteers on stage at WordCamp Europe
Photo by Florian Ziegler

For the last five years I have been involved with organising WordCamps and volunteered my time as a designer. This year I was fortunate to be part of the team responsible for organising the largest WordCamp on the planet. WordCamp Europe 2017.

Given the size of this WordCamp, we created our own mini design team of six people to tackle the wide range of tasks that we faced. The team included developers and designers distributed across the planet. We began working together last August and by the time the event came around this month we had not only completed a huge amount of work, we had become good friends too.

What is involved with designing a WordCamp?Β 

  • Branding
    • Logo design
    • Colour scheme and β€œtheme” for the event
    • Wapuu (every WordCamp needs a Wapuu!)
    • Banner image for WordCamp Central
  • Website
    • Website setup and site customisation (CSS mostly)
    • Post and image templates
    • Social graphics and avatars
    • Sponsor logos
    • Website badges (I’m volunteering, speaking etc)
  • Print / Signage
    • Name badges
    • Information booklet
    • Posters
    • Venue banners
    • Venue signage
    • Registration signage
    • Contributor Day signage
    • Swag store signage
    • Expert bar signage
  • Stage Design
    • Stage layout, accessories, slides and projections
  • Swag
    • T-shirts for attendees and volunteers
    • Attendee swag
    • Speakers gifts
    • Stickers
  • Other
    • Slide design (opening/closing remarks, in-between slides, default slide)
    • Video graphics
    • Press kit design
    • Banner ads
    • Assets for media partners
    • Dietary requirement stickers

Crazy right?! but also a huge amount of fun and no matter what your design background is, there is something you can get involved with.

As a bigger team we also set ourselves some goals of giving back to the community with the hope that next years team (or any other WordCamp) can take what we have done and build upon it. As WordCamps continue to grow in quantity, size and scope the idea of sharing back is super important. This year we managed to develop a new WordCamp theme, accompanying style guide and logo generatorΒ (which developed some ideas from the previous yearΒ in 2016).

Your designs might end up benefiting the community in other unexpected ways too. The Wapuunk! design I created for WordCamp London in 2015 continues to generate revenue for the Foundation with sales of t-shirts via the swag store. That money is fed back to the WordPress Foundation to support other WordCamps and community initiatives.

As planning gets underway for next years WordCamp Europe I wholly recommend getting involved with your local or international WordCamp of choice. Organising teams need all the help they can get and the WordPress community needs great WordCamps.

p.s. If this is all new to you then I also suggest watching Andrea Middleton’s WordCamp Europe talk: How WordPress communities are built.

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