Student Leadership Development
Leadership Conference Branding Development
Indian River State College, 2014
Rochelle Popp-Finch, the IRSC Student Activities Coordinator, approached me one day seeking some help in developing an identity, incentive, and itinerary for the 41st Annual IRSC Leadership Conference. In all the years that the conference had existed, it didn’t have a definable identity tied to it’s concepts, unique features and inherent experiential value.
Since the conference is one of our most prestigious events, including an appearance from our College’s President, I wanted to use textures, colors and symbols that were related to the concept of prestige and exclusivity. I began my research with finding an incentive – something that was long-lasting, exclusive to the event, and would incorporate whatever identity we created for the conference in equal prestige. It became clear that the best incentive was going to be a pin. Pins are small, wearable, made of metal, can incorporate elaborate designs and last nearly a lifetime.
With an incentive in mind, it was time to create an identity for the conference – a symbol to tie to the concepts held within the program. The identity had to be strong, something that felt exclusive, and helped to motivate students to want to be a part of the experience.
As I contemplated the design, I sought new ideas away from the typical IRSC graphics. My inner child shouted in reminiscence of Disney’s Gargoyles and a few episodes where Detective Matt and David Xanatos were involved in the elusive and exclusive Illuminati. The Illuminati members wore small gold pins with the Illuminati insignia, allowing others to quickly identify their membership. This is similar to the Free Masons Ring and a plethora of other secret societies.
So, in my mind, the Leadership Conference was to be branded like an exclusive club whose attendees were inducted at the event and received pins as proof of membership – as if in some secret society – how exciting, right?!
I created the symbol based on values of the conference, and then designed the pin for the conference. I decided it best to reveal these symbolic meanings on the itinerary, so I developed a new template for the Conference’s itinerary that included a location for the pin, the event’s schedule, and an explanation of the symbology used in the logo for the event.
To this day, it was one of my favorite projects while working at the College.