One day in February 2015, I got an interesting project opportunity: to brand an organization trying to bring the Worlds Fair back to the USA.
I jumped on it since I could use my diverse skill set to provide the ambitious entrepreneur with a voice and an online identity on a shoestring budget, pre-funding. Started with a logo and ended with a landing page, database, web animations, and two videos complete with music score. I am now Director of Creative for the Worlds Fair USA.
The project scope initially only included branding and logo design, which brought a tricky design problem: the fair wouldn’t take place for at least seven years, but needed to be modern and innovative both now and then. As such, I focused my efforts on the conceptual and metaphorical aspects of the identity, knowing that the final form would evolve in the coming years.
Central to the core of the effort is progress, and innovation. Fundamentally, a Worlds Fair brings together humans from all corners of the earth to share, collaborate, and inspire. As such, I settled on an identity that resembles a DNA double helix. Our DNA is what makes us human, unites us all. One helix represents art, and the other technology. In the motion design, the helixes alternate leading the other. The place in between the two is what is so singularly exciting about Worlds Fair USA.
The mark is designed for a future state, where it can exist in all media as in continuous motion. Animated business cards, giant holographic 3D projections, and the like. The bars you see here are simply one iteration: the helixes will be pervasive, and the matter that connects them and flows through them will be fluid. Sometimes it will be particles, other times flags of the world. This would have many forms for each sector within the fair, and can be adapted on a country by country basis.
Additionally, you might have noticed the “Worlds” is missing an apostrophe. This is a decision we made early on because we wanted to change the meaning, from one fair one world, to one fair many worlds. Each country and individual has their own relative world, their culture and life. The fair then becomes a convention and celebration of these many worlds.
I collaborated with illustrator Bridgette Zou to visualize buildings constructed for previous Worlds Fairs. I briefed her on a look and feel, and she provided the line drawings and separate water color marks. I color corrected and combined them all into a cohesive set.
I also tapped Eric Zuckerman’s architectural genius for a vision of how the fair, as grand and ambitious as we are after, would look. He provided designs for each of the buildings, and I added color finessed the line quality.
I designed the site, and wrote the frontend. The site itself went through three major iterations. The logo went through four complete build iterations… learned a lot with that bad boy. I worked with Ishan Vasa who handled the backend server set up and database management, and all other Django nonsense.
Videos & Music
As Creative Director, I worked with Director Andy Koh to produce an interview video with people who remember their experiences at Worlds Fairs and a launch video. We also produced a launch video using drone stock footage, color corrected by the amazing Geoff Levy. Music score and mix by Xander Rodzinski. Script by Michael Cohen.