For Converse’s Fall 23 Campaign, we worked with the global brand team to define a seasonal strategy and campaign expression that fully embodied the brand’s muse this season: skate culture.
Converse has always had one foot in the counter-culture landscape — a passionate contributor to the creative conversation — and this initiative pays homage to that dynamic in a new way. Informed by a robust strategy phase, our key insight was to lean away from the traditional skate tropes: hypermasculinity and grit, for a more engaging, irreverent and playful temperament that was no less audacious.
Together, we distilled the boundless freedom and spirited perseverance of skate into every visual touchpoint: imagery, design, and even a suite of webtools that allowed the Converse team to create assets on the fly.
- Creative Direction
- Branding & Identity
- Motion & Animation
- Digital Design
We created a type system that was flexible, emotive and could be used to elevate all accompanying elements. We began initially with the new Create Next wordmark, creating a balance of audacity and irreverence, masculine and feminine while promoting forward movement consistent with the Converse brand.
Vibrant but slightly desaturated colors — as if they had been left out in the sun and faded — embody the audacity and irreverence of our strategy. Our color system established a few key colors, but could be expanded for any application by standardizing saturation and brightness. This ensured both flexibility and cohesion.
To pull elements together, we devised a comprehensive layout system that carries the spirit of our campaign, leverages the color palette and connected naturally to newly designed motion languages. Our key concept in layout was layering — the idea of building on top what has come before, and leaving your mark on the world. These layouts were conceived as a playground — offering a flexible system for any aspect ratio or type of message — resulting in endless expressivity.
Our key concept for photography was to have the brand’s images never feel too far from — or not easily repeatable by — our audience. After all, Converse is a brand for cultural participation, grounding ourselves in everyday life was paramount.
From there, we created non-traditional images within that sandbox, evoking our take on having a skate mindset. Vibrant, personality driven portraiture live alongside product hero shots seamlessly, all within our layout system.
For a campaign at this scale, one of our challenges was global cohesion. By working cross-functionally with Converse’s brand and social teams, we devised a robust toolkit of design elements created specifically for the ever-changing landscape of digital brand communication. These enabled our design systems to live beyond this specific campaign and stretch into the future.
We designed a bespoke generative web app, dubbed nextStudio, that allowed the brand team and their global partners to create motion and still assets on the fly — with no additional software. nextStudio was designed specifically to simplify and expedite the creation of on-brand creative. It offered eight versatile functions, ranging from background image makers to flipbook-style motion tools and generative pattern makers.