Branding Philadelphia’s next mega event
Vision 2020, the National Women’s Equality Initiative, is an effort to make measurable progress toward economic, political and social equality by the year 2020. That year will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
More than a year ago, Vision 2020 assembled a committee to begin planning a multi-purpose, multi-faceted, multi-month 19th Amendment centennial celebration. In March, U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. introduced a Senate Resolution designating Vision 2020 as the host organization and Philadelphia as the site for the national commemoration. In May, the planning committee delivered a draft outline of potential events and programs, and the name Women 100 was chosen.
With 2020 scarcely three years away, Vision 2020 engaged Hollister Creative to assist in branding the celebration and developing materials that Vision 2020 could use to begin promoting Women 100 to potential partner organizations, donors and corporate sponsors. The two biggest challenges were to simplify – yet not diminish – a celebration that will exceed the Welcome America festival in scope and scale, and to balance the fun aspects of celebration with the serious underlying cause of women’s rights.
We began with design of the Women 100 logo. While the celebration will have myriad parts, its reason for being is women’s voting rights. In brainstorming and sketching, we kept coming back to that core idea.
With the client, we decided the logo should have a patriotic American color scheme, without looking like a political campaign sign. Vision 2020’s dark blue was an obvious choice, as was a flag-like red. The third color, a light blue, tied in a related Vision 2020 program, the Shared Leadership Campaign.
To represent voting rights, we extended the right side of the W and highlighted it in red to suggest a checkmark. With that tweak, the logo text doubled as an icon. But the client also wanted a boldly visual branding element that could be used with the logo or separately. We agreed that it should represent women of different ages and ethnicities. The result was overlapping silhouettes of four women, all facing toward the future.
With the look and feel established, we next worked with Vision 2020 to turn the draft plan for Women 100 into a colorful booklet that would provide an overview for decision makers being approached to partner, donate or sponsor. Once the booklet was approved, we used the content to populate the website pages devoted to Women 100 on the Vision 2020 website.
“It was a real pleasure to work with the Hollister Creative team on this project. In addition to their skills in graphic design, copy and layout, team members were immediately responsive and accommodating in making last-minute changes and meeting deadlines. The Women 100 logo and the booklet produced by Hollister Creative are colorful and classy. Both are receiving rave reviews and will help Vision 2020 describe our ambitious national plans for the year 2020!”
– Lynn Yeakel, Founder and President, Vision 2020
Three Quick Tips
If you are faced with the challenge of branding a multi-purpose, multi-faceted, multi-month event, here are some tips to help you:
- Pare down to the core purpose. When an event has myriad parts, the temptation is to create a collage that hints at the variety. Resist that temptation. Powerful branding demands simplicity. Ask yourself: What is the event’s reason for being?
- Explain with a tagline. If the event name is short and punchy, that’s a good thing. But a short, punchy name is rarely self-explanatory. By incorporating a tagline, you can add enough information to give people a strong sense of the event’s purpose.
- Hold a mirror to your audience. A bold visual that represents your intended audience is a simple and effective way to tell the audience this event is for them. People emotionally connect with an event when they self-identify as members of the group being courted.
If you are facing a marketing challenge, call 484.829.0021 or email Kim Landry.