Brand USA is the nation’s first public-private partnership established to promote international travel to the United States, nurturing an industry that supports more than 2 million jobs across every corner of the country. When it became clear that their efforts to organize conferences and collaborations would be severely limited by the Covid pandemic in early 2020, they set out to create a virtual meeting space where US destination and industry partners could still come together with international partners and collaborators to plan for the recovery of the global travel industry. Citizen Creative was brought in to develop the branding and content formats for this online space.
Our goal was to create a brand for the “venue” that could work in conjunction with a wide number of branded events that would take place on the platform throughout the year, tying the look and feel into that of the parent brand, while bringing a fresh update that demonstrates the advanced level of thought leadership represented on the platform. We also had to develop a visual system for branded online presentations, speeches, and panel discussions that could be filmed remotely from participants’ homes and also cut through the noise of the now daily Zoom calls. In addition to creating the look for virtual films, we also developed a way to film and edit remotely, in real time. Challenge(s), accepted!
Most conferences and trade shows feel like a steady stream of rushing and chaos. And when they’re held online during quarantine, you can add additional layers of email alerts, homelife interruptions, and Zoom-fatigue.
We wanted to create an identity that felt soothing amidst the activity both onscreen and off, and so we centered on that core focal point of meditation: the breath. With a globe animation that rises and settles, gently expanding and contracting, viewers are invited to slow down, and take in the new environment, old friends, and current information with mindful presence. Namaste!
With the requirement to maintain the client logo in the identity, we worked to create a balanced logo that could mark the online venue elegantly. It’s simple enough to not compete for attention with event, programming, or sponsor logos, while effectively communicating the global nature of the international venue.
To emphasize the relationship of the venue to the parent brand, we borrowed Brand USA’s blue tonal palette. This enabled us to develop unique online wayfinding, navigation features and content graphics without clashing with the other brands of the client ecosystem.
Because this online venue will host myriad of events and presentations, particularly in the economically perilous time of Coronavirus, we adapted a font pairing that comes loaded on all devices. Out of the box and free to use, this type system is universally accessible, which supports the mission of the venue.
Our graphics were created to emulate the globe in the logo design. When we looked at the wider space of a venue, even an online venue with many screens, we decided to carry the global metaphor through with the conceptual horizon line. When working with multiple screens, we strategically placed photos that emulated a warm embrace by drawing your eyes to the center using a curved horizon line, starting from the upper corners and sloping towards the centerpoint. Photos on the graphic in the far left and right will always slightly curve in to embody the globe. The blue line below every graphic is our horizon, and maintains a consistent look across all screens. This design softens the virtual experience and creates a harmonious appearance.
To assure health and safety during quarantine, we used vMix software to remotely record our presenters online from a socially-distanced location of their choosing. This software allowed us to film individual presentations and multiple-member panel discussions with virtually connected, off-camera directing.
We also created a branded “wallpaper” that was used as a background for presenters and panelists, along with branded pre-rendered animated name supers and lower thirds to tie together the look of the speaking engagements within the venue, even though all were provided from the individual speakers’ homes and offices.
With 5x the number of attendees participating in the live events of years past, and many more events planned within the virtual venue, the project proved to be a success. The 17 hours of content we produced remotely has created the foundation of the content library available to participants; informative content that will grow throughout the year. Due to the success of the project and the extended ROI on a virtual venue, the client team has decided to make the virtual venue a component of future live events to increase participation and decrease barriers to attend.
V-MIX TECH & EDITOR