Inspire Oakland 2014, 3rd place design

Inspire Oakland Billboard Design

Inspiration Behind My Design

When I arrived in Oakland two years ago, I was surprised by all the diverse ethnic groups that I met in the streets and public transportation. Many of them would smile to a perfect stranger, like myself. In Burkina, where I am from, you don’t normally smile at strangers. I was also impressed by the beauty of the city: the number of parks, Jack London Square and, of course, Lake Merritt. I am one of the many Sunday joggers who runs around Lake Merritt, and I also take part in the annual Oakland Running Festival.

While brainstorming ideas, two words came to mind: Welcoming and Diversity. I have been in cities across Europe and Africa, and I can say without any doubt that Oakland is the most diverse city that I have been in. I tried to synthesize  this concept in a single and expressive design.

set of sketches 1
set of sketches 2
I like the idea of people in a friendly atmosphere. I wanted typefaces that say the expression “Inspire Oakland,” so I created this script typeface and this building-shaped typeface, that I thought would better express this idea.

Since Oakland is a really busy city, I wanted to express this idea with people moving; with people heading somewhere. I decided to remove the idea of cars that I first imagined in a previous sketch, because I know that the city Oakland is doing its best to go toward green energy.

And this leads me to my final design with a general arc shape that gives the idea of a portion of the globe, because I believe that Oakland, by its diversity, is like a microcosm of the planet. The general blue color, which I believe is tech-like, modern, pleasing to the eye and supports the idea behind my design.
© 2019 Elisee Sare