#nevicata14 Identity Design Process

Passing from the initial #nevicata14 story to the real project in the square it was clear that we should preserve the vision developed in the previous phase — that of the open and flexible new space created by a mysterious snowfall for everyone to use it in the way that they prefer — and communicate it to citizens in the most accessible and appealing way.

Besides that it was important to construct identity for the new square in order to overcome the initial resistance of public towards the pedestrian transformation and acceptance of new functions. In a way it was also about transition from the architectural dominance of the Castle in the square to the idea of open space, a new place which can be a spot of interest by itself, not only as a transition point to some important monuments around.

And of course it was also a way to link physical and digital realms as #nevicata14 was a hybrid place — always existing in material and immaterial dimensions at the same time, so we had to construct its representation.

But how to communicate a snowfall in the summer? Especially in the central public square which will be visited by millions of tourists and citizens during months of EXPO?

To begin we defined the main concepts to communicate: (snow), white, continuous, temporary, made of different elements, multiple uses, collaborative, nice/cute (simpatico), circles, piazza Castello, melting, rainbow, spring-summer.

And as it always happens in design process started with the benchmark of existing public identities as well as inspirational references that were resonating with our perception of our key values:

You can always find this inspirational library following the link.

This brought to some initial ideas of treating the letters of the name as flexible elements that can be rearranged in different ways to communicate the multiple uses of the square, some other ideas included creation of special paths around the space as everyone has their own way to approach it, fields of pictograms representing elements of #nevicata14 furniture and also some more conceptual ideas like 214 days of nevicata — the identity with melting snowflakes for each day of the square’s life.

Eventually the idea of the continuous white space inhabited by elements of #nevicata14 — both typographical and graphical pictograms representing the real elements in the square was chosen as the most promising and representing the initial key concepts the best:

The matrix of all the elements was design to proceed with their further recombination:

Numerous compositions of elements and elements with various fonts were checked to select the best ones both from the point of their consistence and applicability to the public identity outdoors:

Eventually 5 main logos were designed to be used in different occasions. All representing the same idea of #nevicata14 being an open flexible space for everyone to find their one way to enjoy and use it:

Besides the logos also the continuous pattern of elements was developed to use it in various graphic materials:

At this point the search for the perfect colour solution started. The guiding principles were the same — to communicate the idea of playful open space for everyone, but also have some compromise between “winter-ish” idea of #nevicata14 as a snowfall ans its real time frame as it was happening in the summer. We also tried to include some colours of brand of Milan (red, silver and green), and actually the selected option had a variation of them applied.

But when we started trying to apply new colour scheme to real products that eventually would have to be produced — banners in the square, social media formats — it became evident that on the big formats the selected solution was not creating the desired effect of a playful and cool space.

After the second approach to colour solutions the gradient idea finally was developed with some first trials:

It brought the new level of consistency to identity logic as the gradient of colours was supporting the idea of continuity of space created by #nevicata14 and also resembling the rainbow which was a perfect additional concept to match the melting snow and the spring-summer season. This opened the new challenge of finding the proper gradient:

Eventually some combination of pale colours inspired by the winter sunsets was selected as the most representative of #nevicata14:

The final continuous gradient was then sliced into some smaller sections in order to prevent each single product of becoming too overwhelming:

The rules of application were defined very simply — main elements of identity are: continuous white and the gradient, elements of #nevicata14, — which can be superposed one above another:

This way the number of identity variations becomes infinite, but they always stay consistent and recognizable:

The same rule of the gradient was applied to all the various product branded with #nevicata14 afterwards:

Credits — Interstellar Raccoons:

Art-direction: Marco Lampugnani, lead designer: Yulya Besplemennova, with contribution and work of all the team: Camilla Ceschi, Camilla Marini, Martina Pini, Marco Pioventini, Chiara Cicchianni during #nevicata14LAB, and coordination with Guidarini-Salvadeo studio