The International Reading Association* is an extensive non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy worldwide. Their annual conference is attended by thousands of educators and administrators. They asked Glib Communications to create a bright, modern logo for their 2015 Annual Conference.
Here is a peek into the process: messy at times, but always enjoyable and challenging.
The design brief called for three initial concepts with a dizzying number of required text elements, subtitles, tag line, dates, etc, and "should be vibrant, modern, edgy, fun, and exciting yet professional."
Logos also needed to work in all manner of signage, collateral, web, email, print, etc.
These are the first concept sketches nicknamed........Bright Idea......
.... Making History....
I like to include a wildcard in the mix. This was a small fourth entry with considerably more contemporary and clean visual features.
They did get a good reception with the team, but as I expected, were too big a leap. Large organizations move forward slowly.
You can clearly see, though, how reducing the colors to two analagous hues with black and white goes a long way to quieting down the noise of informational details.
The Conference Committee team in Delaware opted for the first comp, and the real work started. At one point they wanted to have little people under the tree reading. You can see my notes on the pdf. They would be very little indeed!
The client was inflexible about the number of text elements. The difficulty was balancing them with sufficient size contrast to guide the eye while keeping everything legible. These were early iterations of the horizontal logo.
This element came to be known as the date block. I thought this big slab serif had a scholastic atmosphere and a kind of booster vibe. I paired it with the wonderful tall, thin Simplifica.OT and it seemed to work.
After several weeks of brisk collaboration, a ten page style guide was developed with graphic guidelines for all applications.
The basic font mix. I had specified a retro font for the tag line that had a 1950's reference, supporting the 60th anniversary piece. In the end, they dropped the tag line after all.
Vertical banners proposed. I was passionately trying to protect and preserve whatever white space I could. I thought each of these had strong points.
Some mock-ups of devices to visualize online possibilities.
A round logo badge was also listed in the deliverables.
All the designs had to work in black and white and reverse as well. These are roughs shown in the style guide.
I was also asked to develop preliminary interface structures and visuals for the conference site, subsequently developed in-house by their team. This was one of the screenshots.
The following year, the organization was rebranded as The International Literacy Association.
I am delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in this important work. Thank you Anette Schuetz, Jean Wright, and IRA!