Sun Life
Elite Advisor Council.
Project Type
Cody LaFond

Project Manager:
F. Bertucci
My Contribution
Creative Direction
Logo Design
Visual Identity
Welcome to sunny San Diego!
Elite Advisor Council is a destination conference held by Sun Life Financial to commemorate and celebrate the top advisors of each fiscal year. The themed event takes place in a destination city over the course of a few days and participants travel from locations all over North America to attend. An invitation to the conference is seen as a great privilege, as receiving such recognition in this competitive role is a difficult achievement.

Elite Advisor Council 2017 took place in sunny San Diego, California, with the chosen theme being 1940’s San Diego and its wartime atmosphere. During World War II the city’s port served as a naval base that was home to many United States Navy ships and marines. Its duties throughout the war would come to contribute greatly to its culture and identity as the 8th largest city in the United States almost 80 years later. 

My task was to create a visual identity, logo, and collateral that encompassed and communicated the theme of the event in an aesthetically pleasing way. It was to feel welcoming, historical, and fun while also representing Sun Life and its members adequately in a professional setting. With Sun Life’s long history and presence in Québec, the internal marketing required the Elite branding to be developed in both English and French.
Report to centre stage.
Due to the large scale of the event, it was imperative that the logo and visual identity of the brand carried themselves well across print, digital, physical space, attire/apparel and many other visual avenues. This meant creating a logo that scales well, with different iterations incorporating different elements based upon its usage. Several versions of the logo were crafted with and without the descriptors in an effort to ensure the logo reads just as well on a large wall or screen as it does as small print on a business card.

The logo features a stylish mid-century aesthetic with a playful script taking center stage as the wordmark. Employing iconography of the war time era, a pair of wings don the wordmark as a nod to the history of the United States Navy and their impact on the city. A colour palette comprised of wine-red and cream hues were chosen to reinforce the vintage aesthetic while remaining bold and vibrant throughout their usage. 

The visual identity utilizes a collage of many historical photos and illustrations relating to San Diego and its role in World War II. Military vehicles, maps, period portraits, and historical photos of San Diego’s famous California Tower all make appearances throughout and sets the tone for the theme at the heart of the event.
A special agenda.
Prior to arrival attendees are given an agenda which outlined everything relevant to the trip. Arrival times, itineraries, iconic locations through the city, local leisure activities/entertainment, and even expected weather conditions — the guide served as a lifeline for visitors to maximize their time in San Diego and make sure they get the most throughout the duration of their stay. 

Carrying the theme through each aspect of the marketing was important to the impact of and overall success of the event. As such, the agenda was no different. A simply formatted document it was not — the agenda sported a scrapbook aesthetic featuring cut and paste newspaper clippings, superimposed photos and handwritten elements/illustrations. Each page was created to appear handmade, and thus more personal in its duties of conveying important information in an engaging yet organized way.
Reporting for duty.
Through the duration of the 4 day event Sun Life members were accommodated by several venues, but most notably aboard the USS Midway. Permanently docked in the San Diego harbour upon its decommissioning in 1992, the USS Midway currently operates as a museum, however in the 1940s you could expect to see the aircraft carrier patrolling the pacific ocean at the conclusion of World War II. 

Sun Life members were hosted on the ship for a farewell dinner prior to their departure at the conclusion of the weekend. Truly a unique experience, this setting inspired much of the event’s branding and messaging and served as the focal point of the Elite Advisor Council. 

Upon conclusion of the event this campaign was praised for crafting such a unique experience and really set the tone for not only this event, but future events to come. The joint efforts that facilitated this discussion and celebration of Sun Life’s top advisors became a benchmark by which all future Elite Advisor Council’s would be judged.
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