Pennsylvania is for workers and builders. Look at a map you’ll see it: cities with names like “Effort”, “Mechanicsville”, and “Fearnot.” It’s the birthplace of bifocals, bubble gum, and (most importantly) the slinky.
I grew up in in Collegeville, PA so I was thrilled when Tracey Welson-Rossman, CMO of Chariot Solutions, approached me to design the logotype for the 2012 “Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise” conference.
ETE is “curated by developers for developers and IT Executives.” It’s a place where creators of languages and frameworks connect with professionals who build their businesses on those technologies. The conference is uniquely Pennsylvanian, with a history of pragmatic innovation.
The logotype had to:
- Reinforce Pennsylvania’s history of work ethic and craftsmanship.
- Demonstrate that today’s tech work is an extension of that history.
- Showcase ETE’s role as a staple of that tech work.
In early design iterations I explored the Art Deco aesthetic. There’s a connection between Art Deco and America’s most ambitious engineering projects. It’s the language of the Hoover Dam, the Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center. With its strong lines and heavy symbolism, Art Deco bridges classical timelessness and the machine age. It reflects Pennsylvania’s history and ETE’s relationship with industry.
I’m also interested in the seals of organized labor unions. With their symbolism and rigid geometry, seals suggest strength and the control of natural elements. They underscore the people who build today’s technical infrastructure and the Keystone’s State’s work ethic - all at the core of Philly ETE.
Keystone: it’s not just a shitty beer.
It’s the stone at the top of the building’s arch that supports its weight. It has an archetypal association with building. Placing the keystone at the top of the circle, and “ETE” inside it sends the message: “ETE is central to Pennsylvania’s tech culture and that culture anchors the entire structure.” It’s tight geometry lends itself to the Art Deco aesthetic.
The radial flares around the logotype demonstrates contained energy. Their spacing invites comparison to gears - a nod to Pennsylvania’s industriousness and the conference’s sense of community.
Art Deco represents ambitious building, work ethic, craftsmanship, and innovation. The keystone-capped circle reinforces durability, heft, and substance. Those values are shared by ETE, its attendees, and Pennsylvania. That’s what makes ETE such a unique conference. Its organizers’ and attendees’ values are in the essence of its host city and state.