Every brand or organization has an identity associated with it regardless of whether a designer has visually created it or not. Some identities are born from reputation alone while others are designed visually from the ground up in order to gain that same reputation. At the end of the day, however, a strong visual identity in itself is not going to be what determines that organization’s success, but rather, the organization’s ability to live up to their word through honor and integrity.
With that in mind, the design of the latest Iron to Iron project launch – Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – should have been an easy project. Without a doubt, the Tomb Guards have not only earned their prestigious reputation through the fruit of their service but also through the visual appearance they uphold while on duty. So it was essentially all laid out for us; create a site which represents the Unknowns, the Guards and the Society that preserves the same level of quality and honor they have earned as their brand. The hard part, however, was the pressure to live up to that.
The site had to reflect the upright integrity of all three branches (the Unknowns, the Guards and the Society) while also falling in line with the identity that is associated with the guard’s uniforms and the monument itself. Besides the heart of what they’re known for, their uniforms are their trademark – their logo, if you will.
From a logistics standpoint, navigation was a factor which played a large role in shaping this design as well. The site is filled with valuable information from the start to the finish and it all had to be treated in such a way that gave proper emphasis to the heart of the matter – the Unknowns. With all these things considered, the design of the site started to take shape in my head early into the planning phases of the project. The colors, photo treatments and typography almost became obvious choices after really learning and understanding what the Society of the Honor Guard was all about. It was just a matter of polishing them until they were perfectly refined.
This project not only taught me a lot about taking the time to truly understand your clients needs but also the importance of investing yourself into the brand that you’re working with. When you’re working on a client project that you’re excited and honored to be a part of, it’s amazing how things start to take shape.
If you’ve ever visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or the Arlington National Cemetery (and you should if you haven’t yet) you’re familiar with the feeling and emotion that resonates around you as you quietly observe the surroundings. History, loss, pride and honor fill the atmosphere. Our ultimate effort was to translate this experience to the web by capturing it’s essence. It was a tall order to fulfill but we’re satisfied with the outcome and hope you can find this website to be an effective and educational resource that also pays proper tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives for our nations freedom.