By far the most comprehensive brand I've created to date, SmartPrize embodies everything I strive for in my designs. The project, spanning two years, is a collection of branding materials, web marketing, and and print art, culminating in a cohesive and unique look for a truely singular event.
Marketed as "Science fair meets Shark Tank", SmartPrize is a unique collection of ideas meant to push the boundries of entreprenurial enterprise. Businesses, entrepenures, or anyone with a great idea could enter the once-a-year contest. They must create a public display explaining their business idea, and that display would go into a local business in Marquette, MI. It would stand for a week, while the public votes for their favorites.
The Prizes are given out to several catagories, and Crowd Favorite, as well as a Judges Choice grand prize are awarded to the top two ideas.
The event itself lasts a little more than a week, with setup and tear-down. To fully execute this project, so many moving parts for marketing and branding had to be created. I was only the design side of things, while a dedicated team at Travel Marquette made the event come to life.
From posters to booklets, we created every point of contact material possible. Window decals, business cards, this was truely a comprehensive project, and it let me really flex my creative muscles.
SmartPrize was new in 2017. We had no photos, no brand, nothing - so we did what any good marketing company would do - we made something up.
For the visual side, I wanted to capture the description given to me: A innovative and forward-thinking event centered around business, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Marquette is truely unique in that it has all the qualifications of a city - cool bars, fun restaurants, local shopping - but it is encircled by a wilderness so untamed, so pristine, it just had to be part of our marketing.
I opted for a inexpensive route. Travel Marquette - and therefore SmartPrize - are not-for-profit. The budget was shoestring, so we used stock photos for pretty much everything we could. It was my job to take the brand to the next level and incorporate the colors, lines and shapes that make SmartPrize visually pleasing. The photos from Unsplash of the various star formations really captured the initial brief. And the colors, the bright vibrancy of life, and the cool calm of reflection, really helped sell the idea.
Teen and Jr. Events
We created branded maps for the different venues exhibiting. These helped people get around and see each of the exhibitors, so they could vote on their favorite. Once we established the colors from the initial design brief on the logo, it was easy to use analogous colors to build out maps, brochures, rack-cards, etc.
A Map to the Stars
In addition to the main event, there were two smaller events that we designed a full brand workup for. SmartPrize Jr., an event for ages 8 - 13, was designed to bleed off of the main event branding.
An extensive media campaign was developed. This featured web banners and video footage. All were carefully crafted to maintain the consistency of the brand language.