The Essence of Design

How this year’s startup weekend west palm beach branding came about

With this year’s theme centered around the keyword “L O C A L” we aimed to create a bold Startup Weekend design that would capture the essence of what local meant in West Palm Beach.

Perfect design

Startup Weekend is our marquee event and we wanted something fresh so we reached out to Perfect to help us create an inspiring and unique brand design that reflected the thriving entrepreneurial spirit of West Palm Beach.

“Perfect brings a vision for disruptive design and a passion for perfection to their projects

Mike Gonzalez, founder of Perfect set its roots in South Florida in 2004 but has successfully grown the business globally working with companies like Microsoft on Microsoft Office for Mac among other projects that help them unify their branding, technology, and UX design. “Perfect brings a vision for disruptive design and a passion for perfection to their projects,” says Mike Gonzalez.

“What if ‘local’ was the theme?”

Nicholas Mohnacky, co-founder of Startup Palm Beach, hosted a discovery session with Chris Callahan, Mike Gonzalez and Nick Pring, Perfect’s brand designer in order to kick of the conversation. Together they brainstormed ideas for a unique theme for the 2015 Startup Weekend West Palm Beach which coalesced around the concept of local.

“What if ‘local’ was the theme? Focusing on the market locally?” said Nicholas Mohnacky.

“Whenever I think of local, I think of Clematis Street, those little buildings with awning after awning,” said Mike Gonzalez. “Little fashion boutiques and coffee roasters and things.” Having discovered the theme and with some basic ideas of how to approach it, it was time to flesh those ideas out.

The second step in the process was brainstorming and collaboration: via emails and messages on a board, the team kicked around ideas, images, and colors; anything that inspired them about the idea of ‘local’. Nick Pring created a moodboard that captured their favorite concepts and colors. A motif of a cityscape began to emerge – but not just any cityscape; the team wanted to leverage the distinctive shapes of West Palm Beach’s skyline.

Mike Gonzalez took a camera downtown. “There is a stretch of Clematis Street between Quadrille and the waterfront that I wanted to capture,” says Mike. “During the day, the district is primarily independently owned small businesses, and during the night it transforms into a restaurant and bar scene. Down at the waterfront is where Sunfest happens and the outdoor farmer’s market, so this place really has the feel of being the town center.”

Starting at REGArchitects’s and then moving onto the Mandel Public Library down the street, where Startup Weekend would actually be held, Mike found a sequence of buildings with very distinctive architecture. Designer Nick Pring then took Mike’s photography and created clean, bold line drawings of the buildings on the street which stripped them down to their essence.

The third step in the design process was to iterate: Nick Pring sent concepts to Mike Gonzalez for his feedback. The refined versions were sent along to Nicholas Mohnacky. The last step was execution. When Nicholas Mohnacky gave his approval on the final design, Nick Pring went to work creating collateral for the design for applications like websites, t-shirts, social media, and even letterhead.

The new branding design has already been received a very positive response from the Startup Palm Beach community. “I believe great design comes from collaboration,” said Perfect founder Mike Gonzalez. “That’s why it’s so exciting to be working with Startup Palm Beach, which uses collaboration to jump start entrepreneurs and their ideas.


Startup Weekend is a 54-hour race against the clock. The event brings young entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds together so that they can exchange insights and know-how; they also receive guidance and input from experienced small business owners who encourage them to put their best ideas forward. Startup Weekend attracts business owners, talent recruiters, and angel investors looking for the next big idea or talent. It is without a doubt one of the premier networking opportunities for South Florida entrepreneurs.