hackSheffield 5: A Reflection

Published: 22nd November, 2019

My thoughts on my experience as hackSheffield Design and Publicity Officer for 2019/2020


It’s been a couple of weeks now since we ran hackSheffield 5 so I think I’ve probably had just enough rest to write this post. The event may have only lasted one weekend but there is an immense amount of planning involved that started as soon as this year’s committee came into office in April.

As Design & Publicity officer I had two roles to manage. This year was an important one for Design officer as we wanted to re-brand entirely. Quite possibly the number one thing the previous committee imparted upon me was -

“Get rid of this font ” -It was time for a new logo.

Having studied Graphic Design for several years, I was well equipped for the task. However I was quick to discover the hardest challenge of designing for a committee: getting the committee to agree to a design. Don’t get me wrong, this is the reality of graphic design for a real client and so was a fantastic learning experience. After the first stages of consulting and development there was a vote on a few designs. The winner wasn’t my first choice, but I can happily say that upon reflection I am very happy with the logo we decided on.

A prototype logo
A prototype logo
The finished logo
The final logo

We also decided to re-capitalise, going from ‘HackSheffield’ to ‘hackSheffield’ so as to

  1. To put emphasis on the location.
  2. To use camelCase because it references the fact we’re about programming.

Once we had re-branded it was then quite easy to create a design specifically for hackSheffield 5; I also did a halloween-themed version to use for our spooky prize!

The hackSheffield 5 Logo
The HS5 logo
The HS5 spooky sticker design
The spooky HS5 sticker

One of the big things I pushed for this year was the halloween theme, it was a great way of boosting publicity AND design! I even bought a skelleton we lovingly named “Benjamin Bones” who I made use of for our publicity posts:

We also ran a competition for best tweet, which people really seemed to enjoy and engage with. I was monitoring the social media throughout the event so I got to see what everyone was up to!

As well as keeping an eye on the social media and discord, I was doing the photography for the event! The photos are up on our Facebook here.

The benefit of being the photographer is that you get to sit in on most of the workshops! I also got a good overview of the event which came in handy when I spoke with Forge Press (The University of Sheffield’s Newspaper) who I had asked to cover the event. The link to the online article is here.

A photo of a newspaper with the HS5 article

Overall hackSheffield 5 has been a wonderful experience, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about working as a team and what goes into such an impactful event. I remember my first hackathon back in 2016 and how it encouraged me to work on more projects, so I hope that HS5 has had the same effect on other people.

A photo of attendees all waving