In November 2018, The Samuel Beckett Bridge was illuminated using hundreds of individual LED lightbulbs to promote the draw for UEFA Euro 2020 in Dublin. The challenge was to create content which was sympathetic to the locality, legible from both up-close and far away whilst conforming to UEFA Guidelines on a scaled but very low resolution screen.
The design for this looked to focus on impact and information. We needed to create a series of flags that would represent the 32 teams participating in the UEFA cup and also advertise the EUFA title. Mindful of the bridge shape and surrounding features, we thought it would be interesting to develop a visual that looks as though it was being affected by the movements around them.
We started off creating a digital 3D model of the bridge with the exact number of real world bulbs. Using this as our base for trial and error we understood that the visuals would need be treated similarly to a very low-res screen in order to be visible and legible from along the river. The clarity depended heavily on the directional speed of the text/graphic. To be successfully read, text would need to sit in bold all caps, and move from right to left with pace.
To add more depth we used a digitised dynamic pressure to push wind through the flags. This visual gave the sense of a funnelling gust down the Liffey and added the impact we were looking for from the beginning.
The design decisions for the bridge motion graphics were lead by the theme of impact and information but deviated from the original visuals/text solutions in order to accommodate the legibility and clarity for both the people within eyesight of the bridge and also the international broadcasting media cameras that would be capturing the installation as a backdrop when reporting the event.
Testing on-site gave us the opportunity to level the colour and brightness balance of each individual bulb when challenged with the image/video capture of a variety of smartphones. This exercise helped us to optimise the content for social media posts.