HackUTD VIII
Graphic Design - Marketing
Promoting and designing an intuitive experience for the largest hackathon in Texas

Responsibilities
Graphic Designer: Posters, Merchandise, Online Posts, Website Design
Marketing Coordinator: Social Media Strategy

Project Details
May 2021 to November 2021
Student Organization
Tools: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Figma

Background
HackUTD VIII was the 2021 iteration of the classic UT Dallas hackathon. Organized by the Association of Computing Machinery, HackUTD's goal is to provide a space where students can solve real-world problems through the lens of technology.

Graphics
As the marketing coordinator for the event, I was responsible for developing the branding and identity of HackUTD VIII. My designs would be used in promotional materials, merchandise, and across the hackathon website. Having not used Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator in the past, I learned the ins and outs of the programs while working on these designs.



After extensive research, I drew inspiration from movie posters and video games from the 80s for the colors, typography, and general design language of the hackathon. Something about the bold neon, excessive chrome, and retro aesthetic pulled me in, and I decided to create a design system based on trends I saw throughout my research.


Many of my graphics were used in Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts leading up to the event. Others were printed as physical posters and hung up around campus. For example, these designs were posted across our social media pages leading up to the start of registration for the event.


To ensure a cohesive experience for hackers, I also designed graphics that were used throughout the event website and on participant merchandise. My designs were printed on over 1000 t-shirts, bucket hats, coasters, shot glasses, and sweatshirts for the hackathon.

Outcomes
My marketing work generated over 1400 online registrations. On the day of the hackathon, we checked-in more than 800 participants, making HackUTD the largest university hackathon in Texas. For context, this event was limited to UT Dallas students, while the previous in-person HackUTD was open to students from any university and recorded just over 700 check-ins.

Learnings
While working on marketing materials, I was in constant communication with our logistics, experience, industry, and development teams. I saw how valuable their feedback was and how necessary collaboration is in creative endeavors. Leading up to the actual hackathon, I realized how much preparation goes into such a large event. Planning 36 hours worth of ceremonies, workshops, and socials for over 800 people is an incredibly involved process. As logistical issues arose during the hackathon, I learned how to improvise large-scale plans to adapt to dynamic situations while under pressure.