The Calumet Conference Center is a facility hosting seminars, corporate functions, weddings and many other professional development events. It is on the land owned by Purdue University, but operates as a community outreach venture to bring in additional revenue and build community relations. Even though it is on Purdue land, it is not academic based, therefore it operates somewhat independently and has an entirely different target market. That said, the Center needed its own brand identity that would stand apart from other campus marketing.
A good number of possible identities were designed based on the interior design of the facility and an attempt to align with other facilities doing the same kind of business. This brand was supposed to set the facility apart from campus marketing, but make additional revenue for the university. The final outcome was a complete surprise. The university had just undergone a massive exterior signage ‘wayfinding’ overhaul and the look was consistent all over the 16-acre campus. Sadly, the facility opted to go with their exterior signage as the brand identity (the upper left image that looks nothing like any of the other identities developed).
Although the client was content with the outcome, the logo they chose to go with was not particularly logo-ish in nature, it is just campus signage with no real impact. The reason this story is important to tell is because — it happens. Because the design world has its successes and occasional failures, this story is interesting to note. It isn’t a success, but it isn’t a failure either. After all, the client did like the final outcome. Designs are created with the clients best interest in mind and sometimes such outcomes leave the designer scratching their head thinking, ‘it is what it is.’