The CCD is Ireland’s first purpose-built convention centre, located In Spencer Dock in Dublin’s docklands area. Principle were awarded the contract to design the brand mark and identity system for this national icon.
Developed by Treasury Holdings, as part of a Public Private Partnership with the Office of Public Works (OPW), the CCD is the first state-owned, public-access building to be constructed since the foundation of the Irish State.
The unique design of the building, by renowned Irish-born architect Kevin Roche, is unlike anything previously constructed in the city. The brief, therefore, suggested that the brand mark might acknowledge its form and complement its architectural attributes. However, exploration of other attributes and elements must not be forgone.
The full title in the brand mark was important but it was noted that for all intents and purposes the acronym – The CCD – had been used in day-to-day marketing and communications and would probably remain so.
As the CCD is one of the most modern buildings in Europe in terms of materials and state-of-the-art facilities, the brand should denote a contemporary look to communicate Dublin as a modern city and the CCD as its preferred convention venue.
The CCD comprises seven sub-brands for individual functions within the organisation of conventions. The brand therefore must be adaptable to meet the needs of an array of individual services.
It's difficult to ignore the atrium and foyer of the CCD, yet there were many other experiences that could be communicated in a mark. On the human side - interactions and successful meetings; on technical ability - the state of the art facilities; on environmental issues - a carbon neutral building; on external influences – conventions as a destination choice can be led by the city itself.
In our research we examined convention venues worldwide and categorised their brand identity choices into two surprisingly distinctive categories – city and building. Our research showed us if the building was architecturally significant, it invariably took the lead in the brand mark, and if not, the city won over.
We explored many avenues for initial concept development for the brand identity. We further developed three concepts influenced by the building itself; the CCD acronym solely; and a third option centred on the city’s viking history, cleverly adapting the CCD acronym to a viking longboat.
The stakeholders overwhelmingly favoured the building, as did the architect. Using a strengthened sans-serif font, we led with the CCD for the main mark. We used the rings of the atrium, insetting them to the ‘D’ with the relationship between both atrium and D mirroring the detail of the building itself.
The CCD brand has almost infinite application potential. It has seven sub-brands, each with its own material and design requirement – in print, digital media, signage and on-person. A detailed brand standards manual to direct and control the applications was required and we outlined each potential usage therein.
To meet the marketing requirement of the CCD we designed the main sales promotional tools – national and international brochures, as well as numerous supplementary collateral – newsletters, specification sheets and advertisements.
The launch was a national event, opened by the Taoiseach, with some 1,200 invited guests for which we designed a notable piece to mark the event, a variety of visitor information pieces and numerous on-screen information points.
At the time of the launch the CCD had confirmed 150 conference events worth €110m to the city of Dublin.
We continue to work with the CCD in implementing their brand, designing promotional, informational and delegate experience material, developing the brand further to assist them create the ultimate modern convention experience.
The CCD says:
"Principle were one of five design agencies who pitched for our re-brand in 2010, ahead of the international launch of The Convention Centre Dublin. They interpreted our brief excellently and delivered the most brand-aligned options for us, resulting in our current brand identity. I have worked with Principle now for a number of years and would have no hesitation recommending them for any design project, particularly related to visual identity. Andy and his team have a natural aptitude for translating ideas in design and capturing the essence of corporate brand values."
Elaine Phillips MMII MPRII
Head of Marketing & Communications
The Convention Centre Dublin