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N-Catt Data Workshop

A photo of a key shaped usb drive on a leather keychain, both with the N-Catt logo imprinted on them. Printed collateral and a bus is in the background.

We had the pleasure of collaborating with with the National Center for Applied Transit Technology (N-Catt) and their workshop facilitators Enterprise Knowledge on a recent in person workshop entitled Harnessing Data to Get on the Right Track. After our initial consultation where we established the budget for the project, we schedule a creative brainstorming session. This is where we start to lay the foundation for the theme of the kits and what potential content could make sense. We make use of an online collaboration tool called Miro to facilitate these creative sessions.

rating design inspiration from meh to awesome
Collaborative rating of design inspiration from one of our creative session.

We then go back and do some more internal brainstorming and dig into the details around sourcing and costing out the potential items as well as production details that can impact cost and lead time. We also begin to ideate around the aesthetic design of the kits and how swag, workbooks and other supporting content may look.

The next step is a follow up meeting where we present our findings and ideas. We facilitate some collaborative brainstorming around what we bring to the table along with encouraging ideas from the client. The goal of this meeting is to walk away with a clear vision for branding and content and a more clarified budget based on real costs. At this step we identify what makes the cut, what doesn’t, what are the “need to haves” and “nice to haves”.

We uncovered in our session that the attendees were primarily likely to be middle aged and may struggle at times with newer technology. So we suggested we apply a retro futurism approach to the look of things. We felt that by appealing to a sense of nostalgia, that would help subconsciously break down mental barriers to new information. 


We also wanted to use some basic gamification to infuse a bit of fun and reward into the workshop. In this case we dug into the overlap between transit and data and arrived at a mash up of a transit map and a circuit board into a “gameboard” as the primary idea.

From there we developed some light branding in the form of a wordmark and style sheet of colors and fonts. Once we got approval on that, we began to design the individual assets.

A printed piece designed to be a mix of a transit map and circuit board.

Here’s what ended up making the cut into these kits:

  • Stress bus
  • USB Drive shaped like a key (with support materials loaded onto them.)
  • Embossed leather keychain for the USB drive.
  • Printed double trifold brochure “gameboard”.
  • Pocket sized notebook with custom printed cover.
  • Persona worksheet cards
  • Icebreaker bingo activity card
  • Sticker
  • Pen
  • Wooden “Challenge coin” Bus Token
  • Imprinted lunch bag
A close up of a branded notebook, stress buses and a lunch bag.

All of the items we’re packed up into the lunch bag to create the look of a brown bag lunch. Again this was intentionally tailored based on the demographics and psychographics of the audience. 

Every kit we do also gets an explainer card. This serves to welcome the attendees to the experience and explain what is in the kit and why. 

The client reported back these Connection Kits we’re a big hit and really helped drive engagement and fun! We’re now working on two more workshops for them as well.