Branding an event for the world's top intelligence leaders

Palantir, according to The Wallstreet Journal, "is best known for its software that lets government agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation quickly visualize relationships among large amounts of data." As a member of the design team I worked on everything from recruiting materials to digital portals for our deployments.

One of my primary tasks was to brand Palantir's external events, the largest of which was the company's eighth annual government conference. The event brings together over a thousand of the world’s top leaders and is the key opportunity to introduce product capabilities for a company now worth $20 billion, so the presentation needed to be top-notch.

Challenges

It’s not every day you get to single-handedly brand the annual conference for the world’s fourth most-valuable privately-owned tech company. Given Palantir’s mission of providing organizations with data connections that have the power to stop terrorism and end major financial fraud, I wanted to create an identity that conveyed a sense of continuity, stability, and balance to the event’s unique audience.

Sheer scale was another challenge inherant to preparing for the event, which was set to stretch over two days, accommodate over 1,000 attendees, and required coordination with multiple third-party vendors to produce all the collateral needed.

Early concepts for the stylized "8" symbol, which I designed to convey continuity, stability, and balance

Approach

To accommodate the application of so many pieces of collateral at such a large scale I created two logos that could be used interchangeably on different materials. The standalone "8" symbol worked well for dark surfaces, while containing the symbol within a solid block was a stronger composition for light-background materials. I also created a simple brand guideline to ensure all materials produced by third-party vendors were consistent, and

personally art directed the design agency that produced the motion-graphics introduction for each presentation. The most important application of the branding was the prominent main stage signage. Inspired by the lighting of bars in San Francisco, I chose to backlight the identity so it would remain visible without being distracting while speakers like CEO Alex Karp were presenting keynotes.

A simple style guide helped keep the production and application of all materials consistent across multiple third-party vendors

Results

GovCon 8 was Palantir's largest and most successful conference to date with over 1,500 attendees from government, military, intelligence, and financial sectors.

Final deliverables included the identity, promotional website, take-away collateral, program guides, maps, environmental signage, attendee lanyards, and presentation motion-graphics.

Postcards with a list of sessions—including talks like "The Syrian Uprising," "Responsibly Engineering the Future of Privacy," and "Biometric Analysis at the Tactical Edge"—were strategically mailed to appropriate parties to promote the Govcon event. The full event program was a 24-page booklet, the cover of which used a matte latex-infused paper with a black foil debossed logo that was only visible when it reflected the light.