BETHANY FAULKNER
— NC STATE CALDWELL FELLOWS

Celebrating Fifty Years of Thinking Big

The Caldwell Fellows, a scholarship program at NC State, had its fifty year anniversary over the 2017-2018 academic year. I was brought on as the Design & Communications lead to create the 50th Anniversary academic year visual brand and collateral for the 50th Anniversary Alumni Conference in February 2018.

Project Summary

Objective

Create a brand system and facilitate communications for the Caldwell Fellows 50th Anniversary Conference via social media and conference deliverables.

Audience

Multigenerational alumni, donors, and NC State University Development officers.

Team

Caldwell Fellows director, NC State University Alumni office, and alumni
Sam Linville - Assistant Designer
Annie Wilt - Production

My Role

Design & Communication Team lead: Worked directly with program director and other team leads to establish vision and direct deliverable timeline and production.

Skills & Tools

Planning in Google Docs
Branding in Adobe Illustrator
Social Media Materials in Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop
Print Design in Adobe InDesign
Conference Presentation in Keynote

Takeaways

Created a cohesive and professional conference experience through a strong visual brand and engaging communications materials.

Background

First work with the Caldwell Fellows

The Caldwell Fellows are students chosen for their academic excellence, leadership potential, and commitment to service. Founded in 1968, the 50th anniversary of the program fell upon the 2017-2018 academic year.

I was a Caldwell Fellow in my years at NC State and remained involved with the program after my graduation in 2016.

For the 50th Anniversary, the program director asked me to develop a brand for the 50th Anniversary academic year and the first Alumni Conference. I gathered a small team of fellow alumni to design and produce the materials for this important weekend.

I wanted to capture the witty, professional quality of the program with the humility and authenticity of its people.

Foundation

Phase I: Brand Development

I’ve worked on Caldwell Fellows events for over 4 years, so I was given a lot of leeway to determine the 50th Anniversary year’s brand and visual motifs. The program is defined by its people and the formative experiences it offers in college: leadership retreats, community service, wilderness trips, and those deep relationships that last for a lifetime. I wanted to capture the witty, professional quality of the program with the humility and authenticity of its people.

Logo Ideation & Development

I sought to create a mark that was simple, scalable, and able to be applied across several contexts. After some ideation and further development, I landed on a design that was critiqued and ultimately approved by Caldwell Fellows administration.

Color & Typography

In an effort to mirror the overall branding of NC State University without adhering exactly to their color palette, I introduced a rich navy to the NC State official color palette.

Typography

Colors

Imagery

A key facet of the Caldwell Fellows 50th Anniversary brand was the imagery; my team collected over 300 images from alumni to feature throughout the year and during the conference. All of the imagery posted on social media used the phrase “Fifty years of…” and the new logo to introduce the 50th year’s new image and prepare alumni for the upcoming conference announcement.

Better with a Team

Phase II: Coordination and Production

My Design & Communications team helped me plan, produce, and deliver the day’s work. Together we worked with administrators to determine affordable and valuable conference materials and takeaways for the event.

We worked with administrators to determine affordable and valuable conference materials and takeaways for the event.

Sam worked on the full weekend’s nametags and signage and facilitated coordination with other weekend teams; Annie organized production of designs and acquired materials; and I designed the bulk of the conference’s deliverables while coordinating with the Conference Planning team and speakers.

Team Google doc to plan the conference deliverables.
My design & communication team cutting out conference name tags.

Conference Day

Phase III: Delivering the Deliverables

The 50th Anniversary Alumni Conference was the culmination of the 50th Anniversary’s brand system. My team and I produced:
• slideshow
• conference booklet
• stickers
• pins
• nametags
• banner
• tote bags
• interactive conversation cards

Alumni handwriting wove through the conference booklet to echo the theme of authenticity and provide tangible voices from alumni who were unable to attend the conference in person.

Alumni handwriting wove through the conference booklet to echo the theme of authenticity and provide tangible voices from alumni who were unable to attend the conference in person.

Slideshow

Nametags

The mentality of authenticity began the moment alumni checked in. Attendees received their nametags with the question “The world needs more—” to provide a window into each alum’s personal values, hopes, and vision for the future. The nametags were great conversation starters and primed attendees for a day full of deep questions.

"The world needs more —"

Booklet

The Conference booklet contained the schedule, information on Caldwell Fellows history, and handwritten responses with each of the three core conference questions to spark conversation.

Conversation Cards

To encourage further reflection, I facilitated a “conversation card” activity where alumni answered prompts on 8x8inch cards. I posted responses  throughout the day on a common area wall. This activity provided an opportunity to see the hopes, wisdom, and revelations of fellow alums while sipping coffee between sessions.

This activity provided an opportunity to see the hopes, wisdom, and revelations of fellow alums while sipping coffee between sessions.

Takeaways

Our work for the 50th Anniversary Conference created a cohesive tone for the rest of the weekend (we also designed materials for the next day’s Selection Day and Gala). The Conference gave us an excellent opportunity to tell the Caldwell Fellows’ story through image and word: Our work was “a lynchpin for the entire enterprise”, according to the Caldwell Fellows program director.

“A lychpin for the entire enterprise.”

The branding I developed for the Conference has gone on to influence the greater Caldwell Fellows’ brand.

UP NEXT

Athenaeum

Fashion, typography, and a leap outside my comfort zone.