Nashville Design
Week 2020

Nashville Design Week is a non-profit and annual festival that seeks to promote idea sharing, engage and educate the public, and strengthen the city's design culture and impact. Each year, the organization selects a brand partner to craft a new brand identity, and in 2020 they came to Lasso. We partnered with the organization's Board of Directors to craft an identity that could encourage industries and individuals to come together in a spirit of learning, optimism and growth, and to focus on the formative power of design to shape our world.
Creating the System
We started with a family of simple shapes. Each shape was meant to loosely represent a unique, individual creative field in our city.
We then began to bring the shapes together in varying combinations, playing with scale, proportion, color and motion, to create a series of striking compositions. This allowed us to show how the different creative industries in Nashville are unique and important individually, but can also come together create something special and unexpected. This approach provided a vibrant playground for creating visuals that could stand out and communicate the message of Nashville Design Week 2020.
Putting it into Action
Ambient motion brought the compositions to life and set the stage for creating the appropriate energy: fluid and optimistic. The moving compositions became the backbone of brand and allowed us to create endless new variations by cropping and expanding them, while remaining cohesive and recognizable as a system. The identity really began to take shape as we introduced typography. We expanded on the idea of bringing unique things together to create a new whole by pairing visibly contrasting type faces. This would serve as the glue that would hold all of the varying compositions together.
Custom Art for Every Event
As the events were announced, one of our compositions was assigned to each day of the week so as to clearly distinguish the days from one another. We then developed a system of cropping into the original compositions as a way to generate additional compositions out of them.
Every event featured its own unique artwork, a unique feat for a week-long series of distinct programming. The cropping system we developed allowed us to leverage lots of visual variety while remaining coherent and systematized when creating the calendar of events. Individual hosts were then able to use their event's artwork from promotion. These cropped compositions were also applied across the virtual event platform as backgrounds, banners and more.
A Call to Our Community
In the midst of shaping the concept for this brand identity, Nashville was dealing with the aftermath of a deadly tornado, the country was reckoning with racial inequities, and the world was being shutdown by Covid-19. With all of this, it felt even more necessary to provide a platform for hopeful energy while acknowledging and responding to the chaos and the tragedy of these events.

Knowing that design has the power to reshape communities and to actively promote equity, NDW leveraged its platform to put this power to good use. The Community Project “How Are You Reshaping Design?” emerged as a call to artists of all disciplines and levels of experience to share their response to this question through a visual medium. We crafted a video to support this call featuring a bold use of the brand colors and typography along with new ways of implementing the system.
Making a Virtual NDW
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event was required to be fully virtual. This created a unique challenge for Nashville Design Week to create a space where connection and dialogue could still thrive. The challenge was met by leaning into the benefits of a virtual event and bringing in over 70 speakers from Nashville and across the country. The week provided 15 curated featuring panel discussions, film screenings, small group discussions, spoken word performances and virtual gallery shows for an audience of over 3,800 people — nearly double the audience of the previous year.
Lessons in Branding: When the
World Turns Upside Down
The stress dreams may have passed, but no one can forget the anxiety the pandemic brought to individuals and brands alike. The Directors provided their trust and partnership in Lasso for the full year, and together we pivoted and responded to the realities of living in a pandemic and shifting focus to what was happening in our world and culture. It was an honor to support our design community in this way. In fact, we enjoyed the partnership so much, we decided to do it again. Check out what happened in 2021.
Nashville Design Week
Creative Direction
Lindsey Laseter
Allen Laseter
Lindsey Laseter
Allen Laseter
Lindsey Laseter
Kate O’Neil
Elliot Roche
Lindsay DeCarlo
Maria Meyer
Mary Melissa Taddeo
Allen Laseter
Lindsey Laseter
Design Support
Kaitlin Barton
‍Grace Evans
Ann Katherine Vitti