A World Expo is an event that captures in amber a specific moment in time, through architecture, technology and culture. Dressing this event was essential to creating the once in a lifetime atmosphere and for building a strong sense of time and place for audiences celebrating the first World Expo held in the Middle East. We developed a creative strategy for the Expo 2020 Look Programme and applied it across the entire 1,083 acre site.
The heart of Dubai 2020 lies Al Wasl; the innovative architectural show-stopper that also serves as the world’s largest projector display. The core assets of the Look Programme drew inspiration from Al Wasl, forming an exciting and dynamic series of master graphics which were consistently applied across thousands of dressing items, from banners and flags to huge custom supergraphics.
Mobility. Sustainability. Opportunity.
We created additional visual systems based on the themes of Expo; each theme marked out a specific area of the site, crowned with it's own thematic pavilion. The graphics inspired by these themes create a sense of place, energy and celebration - affording each section a unique identity that fits into the overall brand. We also designed the visual system for all retail units, alongside a paired back aesthetic for VIP.
A World Expo is remembered for both the new technology it introduces to the world, and for the unique architecture it encourages and showcases. Participating countries have the option of showcasing their homeland with an architect designed pavilion inspired by their country of origin.
The 2020 Expo featured a pavilion that represented a falcon taking flight; a sustainably designed pavilion that produced more energy than it consumed, and one that projected a continuously changing message generated by AI, inspired by Stephen Hawking.
We worked with over 120 countries that did not have the means to design, fund and build an architecturally unique pavilion. Instead these countries were afforded space in simpler pavilions that nonetheless featured stunning façades and sculptural details.
We created a visual system to personalise these structures, featuring images that reflect each country’s culture, showing off incredible landscapes, traditional dress and customs and, most importantly, the people of each country.
Our Look Programme did not stop at the Expo site perimeter. We also dressed strategic locations throughout all seven emirates as well as wrapping buses and other vehicles that travel to and from the event.
Given the unique circumstances of a World Expo, with its long period of activity compared to other global events and its specific themes to impart to a global audience, we had to go beyond the usual parameters of a typical City Look programme. Our city branding educated audiences about the nature of the event and gave a taste of what to expect on site.