Harvard Business School Digital Initiative

The Project

The Harvard Business School Digital Initiative Team came to exUrban, inc. in search of a way to rebrand their annual conference, and create a “future-proofed,” reusable design system.

The Challenge

The Harvard Business School is one of the most recognized brands in the education space, and as such has a strict brand guideline — under which the Digital Initiative group also falls. that said, the DI had their own variation on the brand as well. We needed to thread the needle and balance these two brands in our solution.

The Solution

We collaborated with the HBSDI to understand the brands and their business needs, and visited spectacular Klarman Hall — site of the annual conference — to see the space and understand how it would impact our designs. With this knowledge, we created a lasting logo design for the event as well as specific design elements for the 2020 summit. This work included a new event logo, a variation of the HBS/HBSDI brand that we applied to invites, emails, a series of reusable social media post designs, landing pages, and the video backdrop for the huge screen behind the stage. We also revamped their social media icon. Additionally, we created the title for this years conference (“Brands and the Disinformation Reality”) and wrote copy that set the tone for the event’s marketing emails and social posts. In a first for us, we worked closely with the HBSDI team to extend the brand into environmental elements such as table settings, cookie decorations, and cupcake frosting to be served at the post-conference networking event.

The Lesson Learned

This project was a great example of our versatility — from logo design and copywriting, to environmental design and event planning. This engagement allowed us to utilize all of our skills while delivering  thoughtful and strategically driven work.

(Unfortunately, the conference was forced online by the COVID-19 pandemic, so we never got to try the cookies.)

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