Waza is the Japanese word for art and technique. Heroku's Waza is a developer event that celebrates the art of software development through technical sessions and unique happenings. 

Art and Creative Direction, Brand and Experience Design
Event Planning: Courtney Chaves
Event Production: George P. Johnson and PBJS

Waza in Wired

"Getting Crafty: Why Coders Should Try Quilting and Origami" by Sara Mitroff

Waza 2012

The inaugural developer event featured large-format photography, architectural origami, musical performances, and hacking sessions.


Waza in Print

Extending the central themes of craft and technique through printed ephemera at the event was a natural direction. From debossed and die cut event badges, on-site linocut printmaking, bookbinding, and the hand-silkscreened poster, the theme was not only present throughout the event, but desirable as art that could be shared and enjoyed by attendees afterwards.

Art Direction, Design, and Badge Beta-Tester
Linocut: Marissa Marquez


"A badge has heart. I included the Waza badge above because of its heart. It’s not sturdy; their badge is comprised of three layers of paper and cardboard, which likely won’t survive in my back pocket, but look at that badge. You likely have no idea what the Waza conference is, but does the badge give you the impression that they care? If you could hold that badge in your hand, you’d feel the rice paper they used for the top layer of the badge as well their soft and silky lanyard. Waza’s badge has heart because Waza has heart."

Michael Lopp (@rands), Rands In Repose


Rock Poster

Inspired by the 13" x 19" rock posters handed out after shows at the Fillmore, Heroku honored the speakers, artists, developers and organizers who helped make the 2012 Waza event possible. The stars of Waza are listed within the cliffs of a waterfall and amidst the water below. Musical guest, DeVotchka, headlined the after party.

Design, Illustration, and Hand Lettering
Screen printing: Monolith Press


The Three Friends of Winter

Pine (Matsu) represents strength, bamboo (Take) represents longevity, and plum (Ume) represents beauty and optimism. These three plants do not wither in Winter, and are a common symbol of the New Year in Japan. I found inspiration in these symbolic plants, which became the motif for the Bamboo, Blossom, and Bonsai stages. As an alternative to standard signage, we married the iconography with paper lanterns throughout the event space for a unique, yet intuitive experience.

Illustration, Iconography, Research


Using Format