The Asian Development Bank (ADB), based in Manila, Philippines, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through loans, grants, economic research, policy dialogue, technical assistance and equity investments.

ADB conference room

ADB holds annual meetings for governors of member-countries to provide guidance on administrative, financial, and operational directions. The events provide opportunities for member Governments to interact with ADB staff, nongovernment organisations (NGOs), media, and representatives of observer countries, international organisations, academe and the private sector.

The annual meeting changes location every year, and the host city would create its own emblem to use alongside the ADB monogram. But ADB wasn’t convinced that asking each host city to design an emblem was the best way forward, so I was hired to develop a specific annual meeting identifier — a symbol to either sit alongside the host city emblem or replace it.

Here are some of the previously submitted host city emblems and type lockups.

ADB Annual Meeting symbols

Some emblems were too detailed, sometimes submitted to ADB at the last minute, adding undue pressure to the preparation of marketing materials.

I looked at what was already in place for ADB and followed my usual step of mindmapping relevant thoughts.

ADB logo mindmap

The main ADB logo (below left) holds many years of brand equity, so I used the organisation’s logo as the structure for the new symbol (below right).

ADB logo and Annual Meeting symbol

ADB logo sketch

The short animation (embedded below) shows my idea that the annual meeting acts as a unifying event emanating from within ADB, yet ultimately surrounds every aspect of the organisation.

With this new direction, instead of ADB needing host cities to design and submit their own emblems, ADB can select a variety of photos showcasing the host country/city, then offer the host a choice of which photos will be used. Alternatively, hosts could provide ADB with a selection of their most impacting photographs. These images will then form a backdrop to the symbol, with the symbol framing a particular section of the photo, acting as a window into Asia.

This unifying symbol saves the expense of a new emblem every year, puts the event organisation back in the hands of ADB, creates a more cohesive visual identity for the annual meeting, yet keeps the event touchpoints unique to each destination.

ADB symbol
Delhi, India (host city 2013)

ADB symbol
Delhi, India (host city 2013)

ADB symbol
Delhi, India (host city 2013)

ADB symbol
Manila, Philippines (host city 2012)

ADB symbol
Manila, Philippines (host city 2012)

ADB symbol
Hanoi, Vietnam (host city 2011)

ADB symbol
Hanoi, Vietnam (host city 2011)

ADB symbol
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (host city 2010)

ADB symbol
Bali, Indonesia (host city 2009)

ADB opening session

Credit to Premium Animations for the symbol animation. Photos from Thinkstock and ADB.

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