Established as an independent country in 1918, Lithuania — Lietuva in Lithuanian — lies in Northern Europe along the coast of the Baltic Sea. Rather than try to describe it poorly in a short paragraph, your best course of action will be to Wikipedia it. Starting in 2017, Lithuania will engage in a four-year-long celebration commemorating 100 years of independence that started with the 1917 Vilnius Conference and ending with the convention of the Constituent Assembly of Lithuania in 1920. Spearheaded by the government, the anniversary initiative’s logo and identity has been designed by Vilnius, Lithuania-based New!. (It’s not that I’m excited about them designing this — their name includes an exclamation mark.)
Knowing that over complicating things and over explaining it all can lead to a confusion, we tried to keep it super simple. LIETUVA, which is the local name for Lithuania, became the basis for a unique illustration style — where every element is formed from letters L, I, E, T, U, V and A. Meaning, that our achievements in gaining freedom were made out of what Lithuania was and is. The same goes to the events that we will host. All made from us.
The concept of building the “100” out of the letters of the country name could be applied to any given country and this is not to say it’s not a good concept but that it isn’t specific to Lithuania. However, the resulting key visual of 100 is relevant and appropriate when compared against Lithuanian folk art that uses similar geometric patterns and elements. The resulting logo is unexpected and has a very peculiar visual aesthetic that’s uncommon these days. It’s not a killer logo but it’s nice to NOT see another geometric sans or minimal icon but something more effusive and festive. The logo works best in single color, where the “100” looks like a unified element as opposed to the color version where the transparencies and overlaid points don’t feel well resolved. The Reso font is not something I would use in general but here it works really well and complements the “Inspired by the Future” positioning with a quirky typeface that doesn’t look straight out of The Terminator.
The illustrations built out of letters is a great idea. Unfortunately, the execution looks cheap and rushed. The ornamental feel of the “100” doesn’t translate well into a DJ, basketball hoop (go Zydrunas Ilgauskas!), or reggae-looking dude. In an effort to appeal to a younger crowd with hip illustrations they eschewed richer historical and folkloric references that could have yielded something with more evident craft. The render applications aren’t very exciting either but perhaps in actual execution and production they will gain some traction. Overall, the project has a great logo and concept in place but needs the same amount of richness in the applications to take it to the next level.