A grid of 4 blue and green logos, titled 'Commnicating COP26', with an illustrated microphone, octopus, plant and graph within each O.

Communicating COP26

2 min read
An illustrated graphic icon by Ed Harrison of a hand wriring with a pencil.
Studio updates

In a short one-day design 'sprint', I create a dynamic brand for Wildscreen's critical climate event.

It’s always a joy to work with Wildscreen.

So I was overjoyed to receive an email from the team about the launch of a one-day event that they were calling Communicating COP26.

They were in need of a brand for it, and they needed it fast.

Wildscreen is a world-known film festival that celebrates the best in natural-world storytelling.

I have worked with them twice in past, creating a brand for their Wildscreen 2020 event and laurel design for their film awards.

A graphic outline logo of a world with factories and trees growing out of it, overlaid onto photographs of different environmental impacts.

One of the initial, unused logo ideas for the event.

The brief (from Wildscreen)

  • We are launching "Communicating COP26" to interpret key messages from COP26.
  • We will be using the graphics to raise awareness of the conference through our social media channels.
  • The BAFTA and OSCAR award-winning Craig Foster (the human star of "My Octopus Teacher") will open the conference in an interview with an Indigenous Leader.
  • We will have attendees from all over the world.
  • The brand has to work digitally (we will not be printing anything).
  • We have a tight deadline. We are launching an event next Monday!
A grid of 4 circular blue and green icons; a woman riding a bike, a microphone, a bar chart and a girl planting a tree.

The final icons, hinting at the key themes within the event.

The idea

Time was ticking, so after smashing a coffee and getting a few ideas into my sketchbook, I had two initial concepts that I was relatively happy to pursue.

The first idea was a thick-line icon with trees and pollution flowing out of the world. This route had a more serious visual tone. The second route was more playful - a series of circular 'spotlight' illustrations based upon key themes of the event, which spilt out of the O's within the logotype.

I dived into Adobe Illustrator to bring the visuals to life and sent screengrabs over to the Wildscreen team.

They loved the designs and asked me to develop the second route.

The 'Communicating COP26' logo being designed, with rulers and a grid behind it.

Typesetting the logo in Adobe illustrator.

A blue and white 'Communicating COP26' logo with a whale illustration breaching ot of the 'O'.

An early idea for the logotype. I later changed the colour scheme to make the text more legible and replaced the breaching whale with an octopus.

The process

After a few hours of typesetting, colour exploration and getting feedback from the team on the themes for the illustrations, it was time to take my graphic design hat off and get into illustration mode.

I had four circular illustrations to create, and of course, I had to include an octopus as a nod toward Craig Foster (My Octopus Teacher) who would be opening the event.

A grid of 4 blue and green logos, titled 'Commnicating COP26', with an illustrated microphone, octopus, plant and graph within each O.

The end result. I can imagine this working beautifully as an animated logo!

The result

The Wildscreen team were delighted with the end result. I can imagine the logo working beautifully as an animated 'sting', with the characters within the O's being brought to life through motion design. If only there was more time!

Anyway, I'm super happy with the turnaround of the graphics, and I'm excited to see them out in the wild where they will be used to promote and sell their important climate event. Job done!

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