Digital Summit is a forum of Russian IT projects that help improve the work of corporate managers and employees of state-owned companies. The project was conceived in 2016 by the Institute of Internet Development and RANEPA with support from Mail.Ru Group, which later became our client.
Products of Russian developers are not very popular in the Russian market, especially in the b2b sector. This is due to the fact that businessmen and government officials either fail to keep up with the technological advancements or prefer Western software for some reason.
This new project aims to unite the interests of developers, business and government and serve as a meeting place for them. IT experts have the opportunity to be discovered, find new clients and better understand their needs. Top managers and government officials get to assess dozens of Russian projects, meet partners or contractors.
What’s so special about the project is that its idea and all communications should be accessible for different audiences regardless of their knowledge of the IT industry. The focus was on the key figures: progressive developers, conservative government officials and businessmen with any idea of technology. Secondly, we targeted the judging panel, journalists and observers — those who will find out about the award on the news. Everyone should be able to find something appealing.
The project is targeted at two audiences — developers and managers, and the name should address each of them. Considering affiliation with the Russian market to be an important criterion, we stuck to names in Russian.
In the first iteration, we came up with two hundred names and selected the top ten. They were further tested for compliance with the positioning, the brand’s ambitious and technologically advanced image, and accessibility. All names were checked using search engines to avoid repetition. We also looked for usable domains and consulted the database of registered trademarks.
The final version — Digital Peaks — is an ambitious name with a double meaning: for developers it means potential leadership in the IT industry, while for managers it might imply decisions that would help them move up the career ladder.
The corporate identity relies on ASCII graphics as a way of creating illustrations using punctuation marks, letters and numbers. This technique was invented by programmers to display images on the first computers. Using ASCII graphics, we devised the project’s concept.
Communication using ASCII symbols went way beyond the programming community and still remains popular. In the same way that users have adopted these symbols, so managers should seek knowledge from developers about IT products and how to use them for their own purposes. Thus, having taken an idea that developers can relate to, we created a visual image that would appeal to top managers, journalists and observers alike.
Images made of symbols can be of any scale, level of detail or subject. The image depends on the size and format of the medium. When illustrations are drawn, the focus is on such topics as management, development and efficiency. Representatives of business and government will appreciate the plots and digital style, while developers will see a reference to the informal language of their professional domain.
In order to bolster the “programming” style, we chose a monospaced font as the ones used in ASCII graphics. We eventually settled on Pragmeta Pro. It’s designed specifically for coding and has narrow letter proportions, which lays emphasis on its digital nature. Letters occupy the same amount of horizontal space and are positioned directly one below the other, making formatting that much easier.
The typeface includes non-letter characters that can be used in the text layout of programs, diplomas, and badges. Icons help draw attention to the headers or separate text blocks. This adds structure and makes it easier to perceive information.
Monospaced symbols are easy to both arrange and animate: due to equal width, they move strictly along the grid, mimicking the process of typing in the developer’s editor, and the movement of all elements is intermittent.
In the color scheme, we aimed to maintain the correlation with computer graphics and reflect modernity. We chose black as the main color, which is familiar to the programmers from code editors, but toned down its trendy graphite shade a bit. We used contrast white for the background and pages with a lot of text and bright pink to add accents.
The basic color scheme has a dark background, but its inverted versions can be used depending on the media format and the task.
The graphical part of the logo illustrates the name: a summit presented in the symbols of a monospaced font. The summit is crowned with a winning flag, which symbolizes achievement.
There are three peaks for a purpose — they symbolize the award’s three prize places. Those who take the second and the third place will see the flag move to the corresponding peak.
The media were selected considering the project’s special features. The selection included materials for event announcement and decoration, handouts, diplomas, and awards.
After the approval of the visual concept, our colleagues from the Nimax Web Division developed the website of the Forum and the award. They collected all materials, mapped out the structure and content of each page, adapted the style for the web and adjusted the website to fit on the screens of various sizes. You can use the website to sign up or apply for the Forum.
The award that is given to the winners in 15 categories is the most important medium. We produced several concepts and developed a model for production — a pixelated summit on a pedestal. The awards are made of branded pink glass. The name of the category and the logo are laser-engraved and covered with acrylic paint.
The winners of the first Digital Summit award were celebrated at the forum that took place in Moscow on November 23, 2016. Guest-starring was David Allen, author of the GTD time management method that we have also adopted.
The project’s mission is important, and its future is bright. We will keep an eye on the way the award’s style develops next year.