What do a Latin word and a Roman goddess have in common with a brand new world junior golf tournament? Robert Brown.
“It was to be a brand imbued with the ideals of golf—namely Truth, Virtue and Friendship.”
Pulling together resources and connections and fueled by a passion and a plan to make the junior circuit more feasible for players, parents and supporters, Robert has struck a new idea that’s hitting all the greens in Los Angeles. Almost literally. But starting small doesn’t mean he’s starting small. Disneyland® Sports and the Dodgers have already teamed up to support the tournament, along with dozens of other national and local businesses. Set for the first tee-off in July of 2012, his roster hosts over 280 players from 18 countries. And it’s growing.
The Challenge: When Robert first approached me to design an identity for the Veritas World Junior he was already envisioning its success. In the way of most entrepreneurs he knew it would be big. Yet the potential for influencing the future of the game, or in discovering new Tigers on the greens of junior golf, were focused more on the results of the brand than the brand itself. Trying to design for those beforehand is like trying to fly a Cessna plane with the wings of a B-52 mounted to the hull.
I’m often asked to design for the brand that will be and not the brand that is, so it was exciting to engage with Robert on the home-grown Vertias that really was. For Robert, the core elements of Veritas highlighted a quality experience focusing players back into the best traditions of golf. It was to be a brand imbued with the ideals of golf—namely Truth, Virtue and Friendship. For him, the challenge to maintain integrity and the character-forming decisions of the game spoke loudest. The very word Veritas is both Latin for purity and idealism, and the name of the Roman goddess for Truth. These were purposefully chosen associations and needed some form of representation in the final design, which was focused both toward parents and the young athletes. It was a complicated design, but after enough waggling, it was time to tee off.
The Solution: To grab the attention of the young brand bearers, we intended to use a strong and iconic element—presumably in the shape of a dynamic ‘V’. The abstract name with its Latin roots could be distant and vague to a younger audience, and we believed that a stylized and unique V shape could bridge the gap between the youthful players and their adult parents and supporters. Youth could embrace a colorful and bold execution, while adults could identify with the gravity and ancient purity embodied in the name. The balance rested on creating just the right synergy of elements, and it took some time to distill our ideas into shapes that didn’t feel too traditional or too overdone. We finally agreed on a series of designs that were bold, but not too edgy, with a bit of flare yet still traditional. Trendy colors could also help unify our audience, and we selected a somewhat contemporary palette to achieve this. Over the weeks allotted for design, we navigated water hazards and sand traps to construct a mark that worked for all our objectives. And we were on the green.
The Result: From its inception, Veritas stood for much more than a game. It represents an experience laden with significant meaning. At first glance, one sees a golf ball poised before two paths, symbolic of life’s choices. It also shows a strong, dynamic shape, easily identifiable and clearly seen from afar. It’s youthful yet established, trendy but traditional. Elements fit together and work together in all scales and mediums.
Weeks after sending final files I received a call from Robert. He was ecstatic, and mentioned that other parents and supporters were already seeing the new brand mark in just the way we had hoped they would. They got it—immediately. Some read their own ideas into the mark (as is normal for first-time viewings), but the stories of people seeing bats and angels didn’t discourage us, because they ultimately still sensed the unique quality and attention to character embedded in the brand. And they embraced it.
Finally, here’s a video made by the promo team for Veritas showing off the first annual event: Enjoy!