The grand Schermerhorn Symphony Center was brimming with creative talent earlier this month. With Nashville as home to the 2016 Brand New Conference, our design team couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hit the road and brush up on branding.

The conference welcomed some of the profession’s greats—Charles Anderson, Clara Mulligan, Mackey Saturday, Matías Duarte, and many more.

Anderson started the day discussing his love for nostalgic illustrations and imagery, which he channels into his modern designs. He detailed how powerful the client-agency relationship can be. For years, he’s partnered with French Paper company, and the trust he's gained from owner Jerry French has allowed him to take some great risks with the company’s promotional materials.

Dirk Barnett, the design director on the Global Design Team of NikeWomen, reminded the audience it’s fine to fail. After repeatedly falling on his face when he transitioned to Nike, he advocated not quitting and just keep fighting through the failure on to success.

Mackey Saturday spoke about the search for simplicity in branding. In all his work, he seeks to distill concepts down to the simplest form that a company can still own as its brand’s signifier. His philosophy is that simple: Effective designs can withstand the test of time.

Matías Duarte, head of Material Design at Google, discussed how his team collaborates with the Google creative team to help them solve Google’s branding problems. Rebranding a company as large as Google is no easy task, as they had to come up with a brand system that worked across many platforms, got buy-in from internal employees and had to replace 10,000+ instances of the old logo floating across the web.

And that was just the first day. You can learn more about the conference on its website—where you can already find tickets for next year’s conference—and follow the conversation using #BNCONF on Twitter.