Branding Lithuania | Celebrating 100 years of freedom

Challenge

Even the late branding guru Wally Olins admitted, that branding a nation is the toughest task a designer can face. It’s a multi-layered, complex and touchy assignment with increased attention from government, ministries, various institutions and media. 
 
And no matter how difficult is the process of getting it through the gates of different commissions, boards and advisors, the biggest challenge arrives in the form of public opinion, which at best is divided but quite often – simply damning. At least that is the case with Lithuania. 
 
In short, anything what is connected to branding the nation will be examined bit by bit. This might explain why some 20-odd years after regaining independence Lithuania stands in no man’s land when it comes to branding. We’re something, but we’re not so sure what exactly.

Task

In 2018 Lithuania celebrates 100 years of regained freedom, a big milestone for a nation of 3 million considering tumultuous geopolitical situation in the region in the past centuries. It is going to be a long string of concerts, cultural events, social activities and a chance to remind the world about the ambitious Baltic country.
 
We were briefed with a task to show Lithuania as a forward-moving, contemporary-thinking nation, not the look-how-great-we-once-were kind of nostalgic ideal. So no more heraldry, we agreed. 
 
Also, we were told to keep in mind that, as for the time being we don’t have any official signage of our country, “Lithuania celebrates 100” must be eligible to be one of the most used logos, hence, it should be easily adaptable, dynamic.
 
Add an official website Lietuva.lt, run by government, which was last updated in the previous decade and suddenly we found ourselves with a handful of challenges.  

SOLUTION

Knowing that over complicating things and over explaining it all can lead to a confusion, we tried to keep it super simple. LIETUVA, which is the local name for Lithuania, became the basis for a unique illustration style — where every element is formed from letters L, I, E, T, U, V and A. Meaning, that our achievements in gaining freedom were made out of what Lithuania was and is. The same goes to the events that we will host. All made from us.
 
We’ve designed dozens of hand-built icons to be used in various forms of media. We’ve made the website as efficient as possible and as easily and beautifully navigated as we could. In addition we have designed various merchandising items and prepared the logo to be used in dynamic media.
 
 
Most importantly all of it is easily accessible and green-lit to be used by anyone willing. This system of Lithuania’s 100 years of freedom is free for all of the citizens, not only governing bodies. Because the branding of a nationwide event is only great as long as there is goodwill to use it.

 Visit www.lietuva.lt to explore the website in full detail.

This project was created as part of New! Creative Agency.