IBM: TechXchange brand identity

Category: Brand Identity, Launch; Entrant: Athletics

Graphic posters for IBM Techxchange attached to pillars

The IBM TechXchange engages current clients and partner practitioners through technical events and experiences to promote community building and education across a diverse portfolio. The initiative offers a wide array of opportunities in all shapes and sizes – from global user conferences and regional experiences, to online technical communities and client advocacy programmes. There’s also a loyalty programme for third-party user groups.

The brand needed a flexible identity system that was scalable yet relatable to a broad audience mix with varying levels of expertise and outcome interests.

Stage featuring bee logos and other icons on the backdrop

Its premier technical learning event is the IBM TechXchange Conference. Attendees connect with leading engineers and product experts, gaining an in-depth understanding of recent IBM announcements. In collaboration with Athletics, IBM created an elastic, adaptable and interactive brand system built with components that are designed for longevity. The system’s modularity allows it to easily incorporate new elements or remove outdated ones.

The system’s primary constructs reflect the initiative’s goals of learning
and community. Its core identity is a grid of elements, where every component carries its own symbolic significance, much like a software UI.

Poster for IBM Techxchange shown outdoors at nighttime

These include reductive illustrative shapes that represent connection; individual elements from Paul Rand’s iconic rebus that represent IBM; pictograms from IBM’s existing library that represent core technologies
or focus on specific technical tracks being discussed; photography that represents the technologists and attendees interacting with each other or relevant software and hardware to celebrate human interaction,
collaboration and learning; and animation, which embodies the dynamic and ever-evolving essence of technology.

All of it is built into a dynamic tool that marketers around the globe are using to create relevant compositions, using sliders to randomise layouts. The tool’s flexibility invites reinvention through the addition of new libraries of elements.

Design Studio: Athletics