Branded Environments
Team The Communications Team
Industry Architecture & Design
Company IIDA
Photography Chris Dilts

How do you convey a future—one of positivity, community, and design-filled moments with joy and purpose through design? Taking the direction from the theme The Future Of, the design team created a typographic approach informed by key words and phrases. A bright color palette was created using color forecasting trends to keep with the future theme, while a bold san serif typeface, New Order, was selected for it's upper case use with the letters having an even weight which reads better as a repeated element. Six different patterns were created for variety and different applications. For the activation, the communication team activated two floors of open space that saw 50,000 designers and manufacturers pass through, as well as tenants and visitors of one of Chicago's largest commercial buildings. In the traditional space built in 1928 with marble cream tile covering the first floor, the juxtaposition of old and new was unexpected from the moment you entered the doors. A contemporary design system was created to activate the space by covering the arches on the ground floor as well as columns on the second floor. Taking the theme of the future and using it to help inform design choices, repeating elements of the logo, colors, shapes, messages, transformed a space that felt alive, energized, and part of the event. By using the system on marketing pieces such as programs, digital, print, way finding, retail store front, email, presentations, social media and motion graphics, the outcome was a highly impactful and well received campaign coming together on multiple touch points with various programs, events, meetings, and presentations throughout this five day event. This activation allowed moments of brand recognition that didn't feel contrived, which can often happen when a number of logos are involved. Instead, attendees used the designs that included positive and evocative words such as belonging, design, creativity, experience, among others, as backdrops to take pictures of themselves which they would share and tag on social media, sometimes pointing to a word or phrase that resonated with them.