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LogoLounge 6 by Bill Gardner, Catharine Fishel

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LogoLounge 6
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Design Firm
Office
Ogilvy & Mather/IBM
Branding Campaign
Client
Project
“The year 2008 was one of the most volatile years in history, from the
meltdown of our financial system, to the ongoing consequences of a global
energy crisis, to a health care system teetering on the brink of collapse,”
says Greg Ketchum, executive creative director for Ogilvy & Mather (New
York), IBM’s advertising agency. In this extremely challenging marketing
landscape, many companies chose to retreat. “IBM saw it as an opportunity
to provide new leadership where leadership was urgently needed.”
Using its global reach and influence, IBM decided to address the world’s
biggest problems through its unprecedented Smarter Planet campaign.
“It isn’t about marketing products,” explains Tom Godici, executive creative
director for Ogilvy & Mather (New York). “It’s about educating the world
that the technology and thinking needed to make the world work better
exists today.”
With this in mind, IBM’s Smarter Planet plan began to take shape in late
2008.
Ogilvy had developed the original globe icon internally, and Godici asked
Office (San Francisco) to build on it by developing a visual vocabulary for
the campaign.
This involved illustrating a series of lengthy, provocative essays about
making the systems of the world smarter, in areas such as energy, traffic,
food, banking, and health care.
“Our challenge was to create a graphic language that illustrated these
complicated concepts in simple, engaging ways,” says Jason Schulte,
founder and creative director of Office (San Francisco). The ads included
significantly more content than typical print ads, so the accompanying
illustrations had to be visually arresting, to draw people in and encourage
them to read.
Office was asked by Ogilvy & Mather on behalf of its client IBM to
create a visual vocabulary for the Smarter Planet campaign, which
began with a series of lengthy, provocative essays about making
the systems of the world smarter in areas such as energy, traffic,
food, banking, and health care. The result was a series of twenty-
one smart, simple icons.
It isn’t about marketing products, it’s about
educating the world that the technology and
thinking needed to make the world work better
exists today.
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These process boards show many of the icons/illustrations in development. The familial shape, color, and basic personality of the icons
are evident.
The full suite of IBM Smarter Planet icons. Although the content of each is very different, it’s clear that they all are part of a greater effort
but that each is a separate and cogent point.
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