Adsarchive » Design & Branding » IBM » IBM SMARTER PLANET VISUAL LANGUAGE


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Industry IT Solutions & Professional Networks
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Office
Executive Creative Director Susan Westre
Creative Director Greg Ketchum
Art Director Lew Willig
Released February 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Small Scale Corporate Identity Schemes
Advertiser: IBM
Product/Service: I.T. SOLUTIONS
Date of First Appearance: Mar 1 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: OFFICE: JASON SCHULTE DESIGN, San Francisco, USA
Principal/Creative Director: Jason Schulte (Office: Jason Schulte Design)
Art Director: Rob Alexander (Office: Jason Schulte Design)
Designer: Will Ecke (Office: Jason Schulte Design)
Vice Chairman, Creative: Chris Wall (Ogilvy & Mather, NY)
Executive Creative Director: Susan Westre (Ogilvy & Mather, NY)
Creative / Art Director: Tom Godici (Ogilvy & Mather, NY)
Creative Director: Greg Ketchum (Ogilvy & Mather, NY)
Art Director: Lew Willig (Ogilvy & Mather, NY)
Writer: Rob Jamieson (Ogilvy & Mather, NY)
Writer: Mike Wing (Ogilvy & Mather, NY)
: (Ogilvy & Mather, NY)
Media placement: Print Advertising - Global - 2009 - Present
Media placement: Outdoor - Global - 2009 - Present
Media placement: Airport Advertising - Global - 2009 - Present
Media placement: Trade Signs - Global - 2009 - Present
Media placement: Online Ads & Site - Global - 2009 - Present
Media placement: IBM Office Building Installment - Global - 2009 - Present
Media placement: Exhibition - Walt Disney World - Epcot Center - 2009 - Present

Describe the challenges and key objectives
The campaign featured essays describing thought-provoking solutions from specific ideas to abstract concepts. Our challenge was to create a bold graphic language that illustrated these complicated solutions in a simple, approachable, but still visually arresting and distinctive way – and could be understood around the world.

Describe the brief from the client
The CEO of IBM delivered a visionary speech outlining the need to build a smarter planet to solve the world's biggest problems. We were asked to create a visual vocabulary for the “Smarter Planet” campaign that was as bold and dynamic as the solutions being posed.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We were inspired by the creative vision that designers Elliot Nois and Paul Rand developed for IBM in 1955, defining how the "most advanced electronics company" should look: “The visual representation of IBM should adopt an attitude rather than conform to a set of hard guidelines. It should express itself in the most modern manner ... as technologically advanced, yet understanding of cultural values.” We created a visual vocabulary defined by IBM’s aspiration – a company of ideas, working to build a smarter planet. The icons are as bold, modern, provocative and relevant as the ideas they represent.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

The Smarter Planet campaign has been exceeding its goals, and the series of icons have helped create a strong identity and drive recognition for the effort. The campaign has gained recognition and responses from classrooms, leading corporations, The White House, and leaders of other nations, sparking meaningful solutions around the globe.