Visual Branding for a Presidential Event: U.S. Air Force Academy Graduation

I was recently assigned the project of a lifetime: designing the backdrop and stage visuals for the United State Air Force Academy’s 2016 graduation ceremony. President Obama spoke to the class of 812 graduating cadets and as a result, the backdrop has appeared in countless event photos, videos, social posts, news articles and TV segments. I am honored to have been part of such an incredible event, as part of a team with Apogee Engineering – the entire experience was invaluable!

Project Goals:

  • Create a branded backdrop that would capture the USAFA logo at a variety of camera angles – including during President Obama’s speech and in every on-stage photo of every graduating cadet


  • Designing for large-scale (the backdrop alone is a total of 76 feet wide and 16 feet tall!)
  • Finding a material that would stick to existing powder-coated aluminum panels
  • Extending creative to front banners that flanked the stage, to create a visually unified and dramatic stage design

Project Solutions:

  • Calculated an appropriate size for the logos to ensure visibility in photographs
  • Produced a step-and-repeat design that would ensure logo visibility
  • Designed a blue gradient that would stand out, featuring USAFA’s unique branded blue (PMS 486), and visually representing USAFA even further by evoking the sky
  • Partnered with EAS Wraps to have the existing aluminum panels wrapped with vinyl – a product that will last for years to come


The Colorado Springs Gazette was able to capture some incredible shots from the event. You can view them at the bottom of this page.

Whether the president of the United States is speaking at your upcoming event or not, you’ll benefit from strong branded visuals! Let’s talk about your options -– many exist for staging and environmental design that can help elevate your brand!


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