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Activation + Engagement Campaign // “I AM”

In the months leading to Grace Hopper Celebration 2017, where the new brand I’d designed debuted, I brainstormed with the team ways to increase attendees’ personal connection to the brand and mission. We came up with an “I AM” campaign, where women’s self-presentation—whether it was definition beyond a job title, their intersectional identity, or intention-setting—would be written on the reverse of the new, uniquely-shaped “Brilliant” logo mark.

The video promo for I AM, which seeded the activation played at the start of the keynotes and introduced the new logo’s personal side. The respondents’ diversity and their responses coming together to form the logo helped make concrete some of its intent.

Every keynote speaker was told in advance about this campaign and asked to come up with an “I AM” phrase that they’d show on an oversized sign onstage. They walked out bearing a giant version of the logo, then flipped it around to show the hand-lettered phrase. I lettered nearly all of these onsite, careful to offer a variety of lettering styles so each felt personal and individualized. While any attendee could fill out and keep one or several smaller — sized to fit in a folder — versions, I gladly handed over the large keynote ones to the bold fans who wanted them during teardown.

Overall the campaign was a success in reaching a broad swath of the show, from enthusiastic selfies to the signs attendees brought back home as keepsakes. Whether attendees kept their statements, put it on a wall for others to read, or only saw the inspiring ones held by keynote speakers, the new logo and this collection of bold affirmations were continuously linked throughout the show.

I was thrilled that the Senior Women’s Leadership Group did a group exercise writing out I AM cards. I was very curious for any anecdotal, qualitative data on how the brand was being perceived, and the senior audience was one I wasn’t sure would take to it. Thankfully, they filled the cards together as part of the session. My coworker in that session reported that they not only loved the new branding but were excited about this exercise.


As a follow-up, in 2018 the GHC theme I successfully pitched was “WE ARE” and “WE ARE HERE,” with many touchpoints, photo opportunities, and activations. Please see the separate project for Grace Hopper Celebration event design for more details.