GITEC 2016 Summit Conference Identity

Case Study: GITEC 2016 Summit conference identity. Logo overlaid on a summery photo of a highway.

Work for hire for GITEC by Lara Lee while employed at Potomac Management Resources with permission for Lara Lee to display for self-promotion.

Challenge

The Government Information Technology Executive Council (GITEC) is a non-profit organization that provides a professional development forum for government and information technology (IT) executives. The GITEC Summit is the premiere forum to share ideas and challenges surrounding the development, implementation, and use of IT for mission critical functions. GITEC consistently brings in high level government agency executives as both speakers and attendees.

The GITEC Board voted “Transforming Government through Better IT—The Road to 2020” as the 2016 Summit winning theme. Each year, the event receives a new conference identity to advertise the new theme. The conference identity must span across media—including print, web, and digital platforms. The event marketing collateral included: printed business cards, programs, posters, sponsor signage, and table tents; imprinted lanyards and bags; branded buttons for the website; email templates; web ads and banners; and more. As such, the winning visual theme must scale well at a vast array of sizes, with and without color limitations.

  • Previous year’s conference identity is outdated to last’s year theme
  • Needs to span cross-media
  • Needs branded collateral for new products

Strategy

I proposed several concepts for the conference identity. However, the client loved the straightforward approach: the literal interpretation of the theme won out with the highway and driving imagery.

As the creative lead, I then initiated a large cross-media design campaign, creating an email template, web ads, printed ads, informational flyers, business cards, imprinted bags and lanyards, and of course, the program.

Because the landscape photo is quite detailed, the other graphic and text elements stay clean and simple. A white color box behind the text stops background competition and improves readability. For a cleaner, open, and modern look, the white color box fades away to expose clear blue skies. The angled white gradient, blue road sign, and the road itself guide viewers’ eyes to the important elements.

Before & After

Results

  • Conference identity is unique, modern, and up-to-date
  • Consistent, branded collateral across both print and digital media
  • Individual registrations maxed out to the venue’s full capacity 2 weeks before the event date!
The winning concept for the 2016 Summit incorporated a summery photo of a road with driving imagery.
Collection of web ads used to advertise the GITEC 2016 Summit, all using the new conference identity.

The AFCEA NOVA Golf Tournament Brand Refresh is another exciting event/conference design to visit too!

Concept Exploration

I explored a variety of concepts, looks, and interpretations of conference identities to match the tagline. Some concepts, like the highway imagery, were literal interpretations and others were more symbolic and figurative.

I explored “roads” with literal roads, wavy lines of color, cityscapes, and typographic grid layouts. I also explored broad ideas like “innovation” and “transformation” with light bulbs, gears, word clouds, and connected dots. In the past, the client favored patriotic color schemes, so most concepts for the conference identity incorporate red, white, and blue.

The client favored the first concept, with literal roads, wavy lines of color, cityscapes, and typographic grid layouts.

A collage of conceptual ideas exploring the conference identity for this year's Summit theme.

Event Programming

Event programs, posters, and signage continue the highway imagery.

Because the road photo was detail-heavy and client content was also text-heavy, the layouts employed a strong grid layout and swaths of whitespace to keep the design organized, open, and inviting.

Speaker biographies within the event program included a wide but short cropping of the portraits. In the Creative Strategy, this close-up emphasis on the faces looked warm and friendly.

Likewise, the wide cropping proved ideal for in Technical Strategy too: many photos were lower resolution than ideal for printing, and many biographies have long, lengths of text. The cropped photos helped to keep the matching photo and biography within the same column, on the same page.

A spread from the event program.
The GITEC 2016 Summit conference identity extends on-site as screen-printed red bags with this year's Summit theme.
The opening spread from the conference event program.
The theme image reappears throughout the conference identity, such as this call-out box in an event program spread.
A spread from the event program features wide, horizontal photos for a modern look.
The winning concept was applied to printed collateral, such as the program and sponsor signage and posters.