Building X

Building X, Grand Opening

The grand opening of Redwood’s 20th building, Building X, is a week-long celebration with multiple surprise and delight activations scheduled for campus employees. Affirma Consulting developed the core branding and art direction, while collaborating with several other event planning organizations to provide full event design support. The event needed everything from digital collateral to share on social media, to in-person event support and everything in between.

It took nearly 600 days to create the Redwood Campus’s 20th building. Construction of this 350K sq ft. building was a long time coming. Originally kicked off in September 2021, the project faced multiple delays—from COVID-19 to the hardships that faced the tech industry in early 2023. Now more than ever, it was crucial this celebration felt as monumental as the building that stands today.

This event was a much heavier lift than previous engagements we’ve had with this client. Affirma would provide digital and print support to cover the entire week-long event. This included cohesive art direction, brand development, digital assets for promotion on social media, in-person wayfinding, print collateral, swag, and microsite support.

The Affirma team met the initial standards and elevated the quality of work to create an atmosphere that was unmatched by previous campus events.

The Affirma team is responsible for the design work on the Redwood Campus, as well as its events and activities. This creates a homogeneous wayfinding package that has scalability and flex. Eventgoers are familiar with the aubergine framing element that remains consistent across all a-frame signage. This only strengthens wayfinding on campus.

All large-format on-site signage features an interactive QR code element redirecting to the event’s microsite. The Affirma team tested the presence of the QR code and the user experience prior to print/production. Minding contrast and scale, this element can be scanned from a distance by multiple users at once.

Affirma collaborated with the event team to brainstorm a collection of illustrations that would live together on a sticker sheet that could be handed out as swag during Building X’s first week of business. Once content and conceptual direction were established, the design team illustrated each individual sticker within an environment that interacted with the content. The illustrations were then rebuilt as vector graphics to ensure the artwork could be scaled and used anywhere.

The client requested ‘merit badge’ stickers and pins that represented each of the surprise & delight activations taking place during the week-long event. The stickers were designed to look hyper-realistic—as though they were embroidered and stitched into existence. For an added layer of realism, the Affirma team deliberately mapped in ‘miss-stitches’ and loose threads.

Illustrations used for the Redwood Trail Maps match the stylistic cues pulled from the Building X sticker sheet. To differentiate the pieces of collateral, the trail maps were colored in a magenta-leaning palette. The figure in the foreground is rendered in high fidelity with shading, texture, and intricate detail. Figures on the birds-eye map are rendered in a lower level of detail with a sketchy appearance as they’re pushed to the background and viewed at a distance.

This large-format signage installation was originally based on the hand-drawn trail maps created for the event. A series of nature trails underpin the wooded area surrounding Redwood’s 20th building. The Affirma design team created a whimsical/picturesque map that leverages perspective shifts to illustrate the trails that sprout from the northern end of the campus. The design was mounted to a weatherproof frame and post sign with an attached awning to reduce glare and prevent bleeding from rain.

A tight-knit dream team of 5 visual designers worked to develop a multifaceted design system for an office grand opening. From signage/wayfinding and print collateral to digital, animation, and web design, this team ensured every touchpoint of the event felt curated.

The Affirma team designed a series of diecut, monochromatic bamboo keychains as swag for the event. It depicts a simplified version of the journal design in magenta, cyan, blue, and purple. 

Illustrated journals are a staple for the parent company. This design features a scene plucked from the PNW with a subtle nod to the launch of Building X. The color story was intended to lean evergreen.

One of the surprise & delight activations for the event was screen printing your own tote design! Affirma created 4 variant single-color designs based on the different approaches to collateral within the visual system.

This project as a whole was an excellent demonstration of the skills Affirma’s Visual Design team is capable of. We created a design system that was so versatile it covered over 30 individual assets, while still maintaining a sense of purpose and intrigue. We worked closely with event planners to deliver full design coverage and day-of support—ensuring the event ran smoothly and looked beautiful. Despite working under a condensed timeline, Affirma’s project management maintained a steady pace.

One of the major challenges of this engagement was that Affirma wasn’t able to go on-site to ensure quality ahead of time. Affirma is a global consultancy capable of providing around-the-clock support. This also means the designers had to develop all collateral and deliver while working remote. Our team kept close contact with our stakeholders, vendors, and print/production contacts to ensure all items met our high-quality standards, despite the distance we had to overcome.

Michael Graves Design

Michael Graves Design

Michael Graves Design is the official retail line of Michael Graves Architecture & Design products. During my time at MGA&D, I worked to rebrand the product line by creating a new logo, modernizing the touchpoint collateral, and designing the outdoor signage.

The new identity is influenced by the stacked letterforms in the logo. In the past, the logotype was laid out placing the most importance on the name “Michael Graves” with “Design” secondary. This new logo brings all elements up in scale to communicate that the name is just as important as the work it does.

This modern typographic approach in Gotham Bold extends into the touchpoint collateral to further solidify the identity. Bold knock-out type sits on a vibrant new color palette that echoes the hues and tones Michael Graves was famous for using in his Post-Modern architecture.

Thank you postcard

A brand identity that communicates a famous name is just as important as the design it delivers.

The system is made up of Agenda booklets for client meetings, notebooks for brainstorming sessions, a guide to Princeton, NJ for those staying overnight, and a thank you postcard.

Exterior signage