Monotype, a typeface design company, had previously engaged a research facility to help them conduct a scientific study testing people’s reaction to type. The study and its findings became the focus of their marketing message for the year, including for their presence at Adobe MAX. While the show goals for Monotype centered on generating booth traffic and lead generation, the booth goals were to share the scientific study with a personalized experience that would engage a highly creative audience and inspire and excite other creatives via typography.
The success of this interactive component would be reported via the daily active user count and the content reviewed.
We designed a custom rental solution for Monotype’s 20×30 booth space. We met their spatial requirements for certain demo/workspace areas, conversation space and ‘make your own sticker’ activity utilizing rental inventory, so we could focus the use of their budget on a few custom-built assets and the major engagement experience to draw in crowds of people over the three-day show.
One of the custom assets was a larger-than-life “M” that we situated between wall panels on the outer edge of the island booth—the conference attendees could walk up and draw right on the “M” as a unique group mural activity that would be fulfilled over the show. The “M” would then be installed in one of Monotype’s offices post-show, as an art installation to inspire employees. This ended up being a huge draw for the attendees, from graphic designers and illustrators to advertising creatives and other artists, and the “M” was filled with custom artwork within the first few hours of the show opening.
The main experience was in essence a recreation of the study, allowing the attendees to become the test subject of the experiment and recording their own emotional reactions to type. In true scientific fashion, a closed off area was designed to control any external stimuli that would affect the person’s reaction to what they were seeing. (This lab setting within the Monotype booth created a further opportunity within the design to convey the science behind the art of type.) The attendee would step into the area and stand in front of a monitor, entering in some basic information (experiment content doubling as lead data collection and consent form). Placing an EEG-reading wireless headset on, they would then see their name in various fonts, played on-screen one at a time for 30-seconds, while the EEG headset recorded brainwave activity—cataloging the emotional response output of each typeface viewed. At the end, the attendee reviewed all their responses and chose one to print out as a generative art take-home piece. The personalized art depicted their brainwaves in various colors, representing differing values as recorded by the EEG headset that could be equated to emotional responses such as excitement, engagement, relaxation, interest, stress and focus. In total, the experience lasted five minutes per person.
The booth design was inspired by the “Why Fonts Make Us Feel” marketing campaign for the aptly named study and incorporated the lead messaging and bright purple colors on panels facing the aisles to attract further attention and create a cohesively branded exhibit.
Initially planned as a 20×20, we made the case for a slightly larger footprint to house all the structural requirements of the Monotype team as well as to create ample spaces for the branded experiences, the “M” group mural and the “Why Fonts Make Us Feel” study.
We helped the client to maximize their show budget by designing a booth made of rental inventory with custom graphics, so that they could invest more of their funds into bringing the experiences to life. Their investment paid off; in total, 234 people participated in the “Why Fonts Make Us Feel” study experience, with an hour-plus waiting line that wrapped around the booth for all three days of the show. What’s more, the Monotype booth was packed with people across their various workspaces, demo stations and conversation areas, effectively achieving their goal of becoming a thought leader in the typeface industry by creating a space for collaboration and dialogue on the importance of type.