Building a Visual Voice
For this project, a branding and asset system had to be created that centred around the exhibition name "Afterdark". The phrase was deconstructed and analyzed, pulling symbolism and meaning to then build a purposeful visual voice. The branding had to be communicative and applicable to a wide set of assets, and act as a base for the exhibition work being showcased while being able to visually stand alone.
branding / wayfinding / asset creation
A complete branding system for a graphic design graduate exhibition. Afterdark's purpose is to communicate the process of design, representing the abstracted journey of creative progression. It illustrates complex connections through the use of bold forms and meaningful simplicity, seen throughout the brand identity. Selected as the final branding for the 2019 Conestoga College Bachelor of Design graduate show.
Designed in collaboration with Chloe Reynolds.
The Afterdark logo uses abstracted elements to reflect the complex meaning behind the exhibition, while highlighting the primary stages of design ideation. The abstracted mark can be seen as a capital A or a lowercase d, while referencing the importance of connections within designers lives. Inspiration for the mark’s connections relates to neuron mapping, computer circuitry, abstracted subway maps designed by Massimo Vignelli, and the idea that "all design starts with a dot and a line".
Three gradient colour palettes were created for the exhibition, promoting greater visual interest and diversity. The gradient style and bold tones are modern and bright (while simultaneously surrounded by darkness), thus becoming a metaphor for students nocturnal creative process. A ligature between the f and t reflect the importance of connection. The period found at the end of the word mark mimics the logo, while signifying the end of the graduating students educational journey.
Cultivate and connect
The key challenge for this project focused on cultivating a unique brand voice, pushing the energy drink product to a broader category of consumers rather than the more traditional hyper-masculine sector. The goal of Catalyst is to target both an untapped energy drink market as well as the traditional consumer audience, all while building strong brand recognition and strategic brand positioning.
Setting the tone
Promotional assets for the event combine motifs and text elements from the branding, with dynamic layouts to catch and guide the viewers eyes towards key information. Varying colour ways assist in peaking interest through variety, and the "dot and line" motif showcased ties in the logo, branding, and rationale of connection.
Cataloguing the event
The catalogue created for the event features each student, a small blurb, and pertinent contact information. The students are divided by number and colour, allowing for ease of navigation within the booklet, corresponding with the events wayfinding. Pictures were excluded to aid in ease of navigation and communication digestion, and to remain consistent with the existing established branding.
Mapping the journey
Wayfinding elements were created in the same style as the promotional assets, while pulling inspiration from Massimo Vignelli’s signage and wayfinding techniques. A floorplan was created for the event, maximizing space and creating a flow for foot traffic. This was then extrapolated into an event map, used on the back of show catalogues and as signage to guide visitors through the physical experience.
Navigating the brand
Locating and navigating the exhibition with ease was a main focus with wayfinding efforts. Each student was assigned a number, and placed in one of three rows outlined within the floorpan. This information was then dispersed to the audience through signage, catalogues, and other identifiers.
Name tags were given to each student, identifying their name and individual identifying number. Bright colours and large, simple graphics keep communication clear and concise.
Table tents were created and placed with each individual graduate, connecting the name tags and map way finding to the students physical presentation of their work.
Overall, Afterdark is an example of bold, purposeful exhibition design. Simple yet effective in its portrayal, the branding and assets remain memorable through symbolism while acting as a support for featured work. Justification is everything within this system, a dot and a line acting as a jumping point for a strong voice and a lasting impact.