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USO Salute Gala 2024

Client: United Service Organizations

Discipline: Brand Identity, Event Branding, Digital Design

The USO Salute Gala is proudly known as “Chicago’s premier patriotic event.” The Gala welcomes distinguished military and civilian guests to an inspiring evening that honors military service and supports the USO. 

The 2024 event will take place at the newly renovated Old Post Office and after visiting the venue and taking in the atmosphere of the space, my client and I discussed playing off the 1920’s art deco style for the event branding. 

A particular pain point we encountered with last year’s event branding was the redundancy of “USO” when the logo played across different mediums. As you can see from the examples of last year’s event below, we had to use a number of different lockups when combining the official USO logo with the event branding. Since “USO” was part of the typographic lockup, in some instances the redundancy looked less than ideal.

This year, I wanted to eliminate that issue. My solution was to design a cleaner, simpler, more flexible logo, with multiple lockups. The challenge became maintaining simplicity while still communicating the art deco style. 

As with most of my projects, I began with a few quick idea boards with images from the web. Paying attention to what exactly made something feel art deco, I landed on two most important elements; type and geometric pattern. 

With these two elements in mind, I got to work on sketches and iterations. 

I knew that I could create an art deco looking pattern from the actual letterforms of “U-S-O.” It took me a while to get it right, but I finally landed on something that worked and was flexible for multiple use cases. It could stand alone OR be used as a pattern to give depth to a banner, digital ad, etc. 

As you can see below, the final logo is strong with the “USO” pattern, but also just as strong without it, when we need to use the official logo. 

When used as a pattern, the art deco “USO” helps to add character and communicate the vibe of the event in digital ads and banners. 

The sponsor deck is also a good example of how the logo/branding translates well in different forms. The official USO logo must be large and in the left corner, so in this instance I can use the type-only logo.

With strong branding in place, I am already excited to design the accompanying materials as the event gets closer.


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