Other than the Olympic Games, the World Rowing Championships is the pinnacle of the international rowing calendar. And, for the first time in a number of years, the honour of hosting it falls to an American State: Florida.
This was Florida’s chance to welcome the world, to show the global rowing community and the wider public that the State has world-class water, backed by world-class hospitality.
But for the event to be a success they needed to present a consistent feel to everyone from professional rowers to locals and overseas visitors alike.
To create a look and feel worthy of a global event.
We branded the event, looking at both the graphic language of the Championships and the way they communicated with spectators and competitors.
The starting point for this was the event logo. Featuring a graceful Pelican resting on a still lake it embodies the Sarasota and Bradenton region of Florida that the Championships are taking place in. Warm, welcoming and relaxed, this area is a million miles away from the touristy Florida of Miami and Disneyland.
The Pelican illustration formed the basis of the event graphic language. We added extra colours, shapes and lines to give the design a more fluid feel better associated with the energetic sport of rowing. We also created two forms of the Pelican: static and flying, to represent the competitive and spectator sides of the championship.
The two Pelican graphics were designed to be broken down and used across the entire World Championships, from signage to wayfinding, spectator areas to awards podium. So they needed to be flexible and easy to use.
We created a simple grid to help multiple stakeholders and suppliers use it effectively in all kinds of shapes and formats, from full images to abstract crops and carrying messages. This gave the event a powerfully dynamic yet visually consistent design language.
The graphic language of the event is supported by a written and spoken language too. The 2017 World Rowing Championships are set to be the most welcoming and inclusive championships ever, so our event strapline needed to reflect this: We welcome the world.
Welcoming spectators from far and near, welcoming the world’s finest athletes and welcoming a global audience watching online. But if this is going to be the most inclusive championships ever, it’s important that people actively get involved. Our event language invites people into the experience, to quite literally Feel it
Every headline, every message, every part of the event should encourage people to feel part of it. Adverts and posters invite you to come and Feel every moment. Waterside hoardings encourage you to Feel the rush, sponsors and event host cities can Feel proud and the winner’s podium should make you Feel like a champion.