A little viking can go a long way
Since 1993, the European software testing community has gathered at the annual EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference for 3-4 days of knowledge sharing and networking. The EuroSTAR Conference is a truly international event and down through the years has visited Amsterdam, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Barcelona, Brussels, Cologne, Dublin, The Hague and Munich to name but a few. In 2016 Stockholm was the chosen venue.
The challenge was to create collateral to engage Eurostar’s existing customers and attract new ones over a twelve month period. The design had to be sympathetic to the Nordic location and had to appeal to software testers and software suppliers.
The design had to be super flexible, as so many touch points were involved from web to large scale print. Online advertising was the main promotional vehicle in addition to a healthy content marketing strategy - lots of free PDFs and web ads for Eurostar’s own website. Social media ads featured heavily too. In print, a timetable style mini-brochure (to be worn on a lanyard) was also to be created along with pens, t-shirts, backpacks, water bottles and more.
Idea generation and selection
So we did what we always do. We threw the challenge open to the whole team and discussed at length various different options - taking into consideration flexibility, ease of production within tight time frames and other possible technical barriers. We sketched, created mood boards, researched on and offline and even watched some Scandinavian box sets.
Based on all of the considerations above we whittled it down to just two options and presented to our client
The winning solution was our ‘Viking Head’ as a very adaptable icon coupled with clean simple typography (a nod to Scandinavian design in general - did you know there are no bad logos anywhere in Sweden? It’s true, we checked.). The colour palette was a muted and earthy affair too - not unlike that part of the world in winter time.
As we needed to create a huge amount of animated GIFs for full AdWords suites simplicity was key. We sketched, drew, illustrated and simplified a lot. We adapted ‘Viking Guy’ into all sorts of situations with simple clever three screen animations in lots of different sizes and scales. The simplicity of the original illustration and the decision to keep it simple paid off.
After 12 months of interaction culminating in the Conference in Stockholm - the client loved the design and execution as did the attendees and exhibitors. The overall feeling was that we brought to life what was previously perceived as possibly a not-very-exciting subject matter and we added a little fun where maybe it wasn't as obvious before.
It was the most successful conference Eurostar had staged in their 20+ years.