Internet Battle Plan is an Internet sales manager training program for retail automotive dealership owners and managers. I designed the brand several years ago and was recently asked to give the website an overhaul.
I was introduced to the concept for Internet Battle Plan in 2011. The client had already developed a curriculum, training format and agenda and was leaning toward a military/combat theme for the brand.
After several meetings with the client, considering the targeted market and doing some historical research I decided that a medieval theme would be a better fit since the U.S. Military still had troops in combat overseas.
This client has been very successful since the 80’s and his business efforts always feature him in the branding. Since each Internet Battle Plan event features and relies on multiple sponsors and instructors/speakers who are experts in their fields, we decided that a “mascot” should be the main focus. The Battle Plan Knight is not a true mascot because he has no name, but he has still been a successful brand representative.
The knight we finally selected is a 3-D rendering of a rustic knight with thick leather and hammered metal armor as opposed to the polished “Camelot” look.
I experimented with several emblem and initial-based logos, but in the end decided to go with a typographical logo. To give the logo a medieval feel, I used the gothic ‘Old London’ font for the first letter of each word and the old-style serif font ‘Book Antiqua’ for the rest of the text. The full-text logo is prominent in the website header and in print materials such as post card mailers, brochures and magazine ads. The shield, with and without crossed swords is used primarily for social media ads & profiles.
This website required some unique features:
First… up to 20-30 expert speakers must have head-shots on the home page, each with a link to a biography.
Next… up to 15-20 sponsor logos on the home page, each linking to a website.
And… event details including hotel booking information/links and registration pages for the event itself, including a “VIP” or promotional discount registration page requiring a password.
Since the website already existed, planning involved featuring existing content in a contemporary and responsive design.
I went for crisp and clean typography, using the sans-serif font ‘Open Sans’ throughout the site in different shades of grey. The color palette is based on the colors of the knight’s attire & armor.
The sitemap was designed to ensure that the website could be quickly and easily navigated. I then sketched out some initial concepts/wireframes. The main goal was to create a brochure-style website that showcased the event, speakers and sponsors. The homepage is centered around the knight and a large call-to-action. Content pages have a similar layout with a stronger focus on content.
Now that we had a brand, a website blueprint and content, it was time to push some pixels around in Photoshop. I wanted the aesthetic to be simple and focus on content and typography. Much of the hard work had already been done creating the wireframes. It was time to experiment with colors and layout and to begin creating image assets. All images were optimized to the smallest file size possible via TinyPNG.
Internet Battle Plan now has a contemporary, responsive home on the Web. This project has been evolving since 2011 and has impacted hundreds of professionals from all over the country. I was quite fortunate to be a part of it.