NationSwell Summits, held on the East and West coasts, are curated convenings of a diverse 350+ group of inspiring and influential purpose-driven leaders at work today in the public, private, and social sectors, to discuss and accelerate the work that make our communities and planet stronger. As NationSwell's design lead, I collaborated with our Creative Director to conceptualize and produce an experiential design around each Summit theme.
Summit East 2019's theme, "Caring For Each Other" looked to reimagine a more just, inclusive, and caring society with an eye towards bold ideas in a time that can be uncertain, combative, and gritty.
The design system we created brings together three key elements to successfully portray the Summit theme and house the necessary event content. The system incorporates prominent, bold text in NationSwell's brand typeface, prioritizing key information like speaker names, wayfinding, and sponsors. Second, bold colors were applied to invigorate a sparse, white space, and create energy throughout the day. Lastly, the watercolor motif, mixed together an elegance and reimagining of the day's themes, while possessing a grittiness and tactile feel.
In addition to the three key design elements of prominent text, bold colors, and the watercolor motif, the program imagery featured black and white isolated photos, creating a central visual moment for each panel that framed the speaker(s) on stage. Spray painted flourishes were added to the designs to fill out the extra wide space, and add a layer of depth to the compositions.
While developing the visual concept that would embody "Caring for Each Other," our team researched styles and variations in response to the creative brief, ranging from collage to emotional line work, which led to four directions that were presented to stakeholders for review.
In addition to designs for the Summit programming, environmental designs were created in the form of wayfinding, digital signage and schedules, and table top materials, all incorporating the design system.
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