With the latest installment of PAX (formerly known as the Penny Arcade Expo) winding down last weekend at PAX South in San Antonio, we thought it would be neat to reminisce about one of our favorite projects.
PAX began in 2004 out of a desire to give fans of gaming a place to gather to share their enthusiasm for games on all types of media. Events such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) already existed and were immensely popular, but they were geared mostly to industry members and press. PAX was designed to cater to the people at home who were actually playing those games on their kitchen tables or video game consoles. Gaming culture is at the forefront of everything at PAX, from the musical guests and speakers, to the vendors and exhibits.
The first event was in Bellevue, Washington and had 4,500 attendees. Today PAX literally spans the globe with four annual shows in the United States and Australia, and it’s still growing. It’s hard work getting everything ready for tens of thousands of gamers to come to your show, so it’s important to have materials to use for the events that can be easily updated and modified for each expo.
We helped with a redesign of their PAX guide, a printed booklet handed out to attendees to provide maps, schedules, information, and advertisements from exhibitors. To mesh with the gaming culture, PAX wanted a retro arcade design that matched what players might see in classic titles like The Legend of Zelda or Super Mario Brothers. We designed the PAX Prime 2015 guide with assets that could be rearranged and duplicated for each of their venues, and schedules that could be customized for each unique event. If you happened to attend a PAX event since then, you probably have one of the guides we designed!