Cool Concept

Cool Concept is a talk series about design-y passion projects. We highlight creatives and their personal, non-client projects and give them space to share their work and ideas with the world.

Passion projects are where creatives often do their most thoughtful, conceptual work, since they’re not hemmed in by client preferences, timelines, or budgets. Our mission is to bring attention to these creatives and their ideas, who often otherwise go unseen.

Next Event

Industry awards and publications do a fine job of sharing great corporate work. We're here to celebrate great work that creatives conceived of and built on their own.

Diamonds in the rough

This industry is good at awarding good client work - but you only get to make that good client work if you're lucky enough to work for the cool agency with the cool client who's open to doing something different. There are many talented designers out there, but very few of those opportunities. Hence, you have a lot of talent that's buried under layers of social posts and email templates. We highlight these designers and share their incredible non-client work with the world.

Upcoming & Previous Talks

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July 18, 2024

Cool Concept 8

After the Tone
Meghana Ravi & Simran Dadlani
Feels Zine
Hannah Browne
Gagné Contemporary
John Gagné
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November 21, 2019

Cool Concept 7

Kru Jac: A Year in Thailand
Jacqueline Lai
All Gold Everything
Jesse Watson
Forget Me Not
Emily Woudenberg
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September 12, 2019

Cool Concept 6

The Scaries
Nicola Hamilton & LeeAndra Cianci
Idiot Watch Savant
Matt Smith-Johnson
The Spirit of Imperfection – Mak
Cat Lamora
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July 11, 2019

Cool Concept 5

The Year of the Waltz
Jennifer Phelan
Do Not Xray
Dominic Ayre
Raccoon City
Emily May Rose
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February 28, 2019

Cool Concept 4

This Type Life
Mike Lopez
Tiny Blades Project
Annyen Lam
Here's My Book
Kaila & Michael Jacques
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November 1, 2018

Cool Concept 3

Ephemera Magazine
Maegan Fidelino
Toronto is my Boyfriend
Rob Shostak
Matt Greenwood
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August 23, 2018

Cool Concept 2

Canada Modern
Blair Thomson
Tin Canyon
Andrew Foerster
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April 6, 2018

Cool Concept 1

Everybody Newspaper Series
Fidel Pena
The Loneliness Project
Marissa Korda
Equal Parts Studio

Speak at Cool Concept

who you are
what you did
why you did it
Cool Concept is a talk series about non-client creative passion projects. We're looking for unique projects, interesting stories, and new perspectives. Cool Concept talks feature projects that took months or years to complete, or required the artist to learn new tools and be creative in a different way, or help the designer understand and process an emotional experience. The best projects are ones that help and inspire people.

Tell us the story about what you've created, and include a little information about yourself and why you did the work. We'll be in touch if we think your project is a good fit.
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