Publicis Seattle has been selected to lead all branding and imagery initiatives for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games to be held in Seattle. The agency was tapped to create the games’ brand and identity strategy. It’s already created a logo and umbrella tag line: “Rise With Us,” and will create ads and other messages for print, TV, social, digital, and outdoor.
The promotion of these games will occur nationwide, in all 50 states. While some national elements will be managed by the Games staff, local Special Olympics chapters will also have a budget for promotional efforts within their own regions.
The logo is inspired by the iconic torch shape and represents the water around Seattle as well as the "sweat and tears of joy from the athletes, volunteers, families and fans," says the agency.
The logo colors represent the water and landscape that surrounds the Pacific Northwest. The flow of the design is meant to convey the unity inspired by the Games.
The logo's key challenge was honoring both the event and city, each having long histories of identities and logo designs behind them, says Jason Lucas, executive creative director, Publicis Seattle. "We wanted to come up with a new mark that didn’t retread any of the areas that were already strongly connected other events or Seattle itself. Beyond that, we needed to balance the event and the city within the final design, so the power of the games came first and the city second."
The Special Olympics selects a new agency every four years to collaborate on its projects. This is the first time the Games has worked with Publicis Seattle.