Rebranding The Chicago Urban League's Golden Fellowship Dinner / by Kevin Davis

I began woking with the Chicago Urban League (CUL) back in 2014, photographing their annual Christmas event for the community. Earlier this year, I began designing marketing materials for them. The highlight of this partnership thus far, has been working on the 54th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner. This event is huge for the CUL, and draws about 1,600+ guests from the mayor of Chicago, on down to community leaders and corporate executives. It's a bit of a who's who of Chicago type event.

The event is a big deal. Below is an excerpt from the CUL's website about the event.

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, more than 1,600 of Chicago’s most notable corporate, civic and elected leaders committed to building a better Chicago will convene for the Chicago Urban League’s 54th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner at the Hilton Chicago. Themed: Inspiration for the Next Generation, we will celebrate our dedication to inspiring the next generation of leaders by giving them access to the skills, training, and technology necessary to make lasting change and meaningful progress.

I love giving back to the community, but I often don't have time to really commit to meaningful initiatives. So, I give back the way I know best, through design. I've been doing this in organizations to which I am a member, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., 100 Black Men of Chicago for years, as well as the Boy Scouts of America.

 

I received the design brief from the CUL to create a look that would be different from the previous years, but not too far from the visual aesthetic to cause confusion about the event. I will share a few of the designs from the creative process and end with the final look and feel. I will even toss in photos of myself, wife, and friends. :-D

 

  The original concept I had was to incorporate photos from the previous year right on the cover of the booklets.

The original concept I had was to incorporate photos from the previous year right on the cover of the booklets.

  I wanted to make use of the equal sign inside of the "54", which is a part of the Urban League's logo. In hopes to escape the traditional fancy type, I used "arial black" and "futura fixed" fonts to give a clean updated look.

I wanted to make use of the equal sign inside of the "54", which is a part of the Urban League's logo. In hopes to escape the traditional fancy type, I used "arial black" and "futura fixed" fonts to give a clean updated look.

  The next version kept everything the same, but went with a damask texture background to add a bit of luxury to the design.

The next version kept everything the same, but went with a damask texture background to add a bit of luxury to the design.

  Eureka. The type and arrangement was set, the last change was to make sure the color was more of a maroon or burgundy. Boom. The look and feel was locked down.

Eureka. The type and arrangement was set, the last change was to make sure the color was more of a maroon or burgundy. Boom. The look and feel was locked down.

  Proudly standing next to one of the light boxes along the red carpet as guests entered the event. The creative direction I gave was carried out by the internal CUL design team flawlessly. 

Proudly standing next to one of the light boxes along the red carpet as guests entered the event. The creative direction I gave was carried out by the internal CUL design team flawlessly. 

  My clients, the development team at the CUL. These ladies definitely make sure their projects have the Kevin Davis Brand on it. (L-R, Erika Soria- Development Officer,  myself, Melanie Sillas- Development Officer, and Tawanna Streater- Vice President & Chief Development Officer.)

My clients, the development team at the CUL. These ladies definitely make sure their projects have the Kevin Davis Brand on it. (L-R, Erika Soria- Development Officer,  myself, Melanie Sillas- Development Officer, and Tawanna Streater- Vice President & Chief Development Officer.)

  My lovely wife (far right), Ruth Davis, of www.ruthdavisbeauty.com, provided makeup artistry to the ladies of CUL development.

My lovely wife (far right), Ruth Davis, of www.ruthdavisbeauty.com, provided makeup artistry to the ladies of CUL development.

  With my better half, Ruth.

With my better half, Ruth.