TechFreedom saw the election of a new administration in 2017 as an opportunity to take stock of our digital future and whether we have the policies and government structures to take advantage of opportunities while honestly confronting the challenges ahead. With a new Executive Director and a new vision, TechFreedom decided that they’d be the organization to step up and spark the conversation. In addition to crafting the event’s programming and securing high-profile speakers, the Glen Echo Group was tasked with creating compelling and memorable event branding and messaging for TechFreedom’s first-ever summer policy conference in Washington, DC, showcasing the organization as the think tank that makes tech policy ‘cool’.
The event’s overarching objective was to help answer the question: “How should the laws of yesterday adapt to the technology of tomorrow?” The visual identity was built around seeing both the future and the past, analyzing any preconceived notions about the future of technology, and reflecting on how (and through what lense) we are looking at the future.
To ensure that the event’s branding was both memorable and compelling, we employed a retro-theme in line with the event name and pulled heavily from 80’s style movie posters in our visuals. Our color scheme was based on the original 3D glasses (think paper frames with one blue and one red lens). The rich, patriotic colors that were too crisp to use as-is were tweaked to have a faded, retro feel. We then added an ‘ivory’ to complete our nostalgic, primary color scheme. The conference featured a number of individual gatherings throughout the week—a VIP party the evening prior, a day-long policy summit and a closing party afterward—each receiving its own treatment of the brand. This allowed us to make each leg of the event feel unique, yet distinctly part of the conference.
The triangles used in the logo are pointed left and right, symbolizing the past the future, and double as play, fast-forward and rewind icons. The diagonal stripes, which are echoed in the font, filter any colors or shapes that appear behind them. Layering these shapes of varying colors and opacities not only created visual interest, but also provided a tidy visual metaphor for the multiple layers and levels at which we must engage with tech policy.
The event saw standing-room only crowds throughout the day with a high-level of audience engagement including the event hashtag #B2TFsummit trending in Washington, DC. Laptop stickers with Glen Echo-produced custom illustrations from the day-long policy summit were incredibly popular at the event and can still be seen on laptops around the Hill.