For 65 years, AIA Chicago has hosted Designight — a celebration of Chicago’s architecture community through the Design Excellence Awards and their Lifetime Achievement Award. AIA Chicago brought on Span to design a celebratory event identity system. As the event shifted from an in-person gala to a digital affair so did the communication.
The system is based on the square unit, relating to the AIA logo and to the foundational grid of Chicago-style architecture. The event’s current year is the principal expressive gesture, marking the moment in time, avoiding overtly architectural themes, and conveying optimism for times ahead. Our 2020 numerals were inspired by traditional, striped bunting often used as decor at formal galas, setting an initial typographic palette to evolve for each new year of the design night awards.