When I first joined the NFL team as Senior Graphic Designer, they were already pretty far into the development o the the graphic story for the 2020 NFL Draft. 2020's theme revolved around the grandiose concept of magic and illusion associated with Las Vegas, where the Draft was scheduled to take place. This graphic story was told through custom dimensional typography, hand-illustrated patterns and graphic assets that all captured the energy and excitement of both the event and the hosting city, making this a truly unique approach to one of the NFL's biggest yearly events.
After being familiarized with the theme and scope of the event, I began contributing my own creative input to the design process. The theme and color story had already established, so the task at hand was to create graphic assets that would compliment the existing theme and enhance the magical look and feel of the event.
After collecting inspiration imagery that spoke to the theme, I began creating light, smoke and spark assets that captured the energy and mystique associated with Las Vegas nightlife. One of the main challenges here was creating assets that were comprised solely of vector elements, as they would need to be scaleable to large-format applications. This was a formidable task, as I have years of experience creating vector artwork but had never attempted to create photo-real light, vapor and atmospheric effects using vectorized elements. Luckily I always welcome a challenge and after some research and some trial and error I was able to get the hang of it.
After these assets were approved in our core color story, the assets then needed to be recolored in the team colors of the NFL's 32 different squads. Being that the NFL Draft involves the entire league, special attention was needed to ensure that each individual team color way was perfectly consistent with each team's color standards. The end results were a set of flexible elements that could be easily used for printed, digital and animated assets for all of our 32 teams.
The final step was to create a flexible system that would enable our vendors to seamlessly create assets for our entire range of 32 teams.
After working on a wide range of Las Vegas specific assets and nearing the final weeks of design finalization, the national shutdown due to COVID-19 unexpectedly shifted the focus from a live public event to a live broadcast from commissioner Roger Goodell. While the majority of the assets we created weren't used, the spark and cloud assets featured prominently as both still images and as animated elements.