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A Contemporary Take On 'Museum'

A Contemporary Take On 'Museum'

austin tx

The Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) and Arthouse, a contemporary art museum, merged in 2011 and became AMOA-Arthouse. That unwieldy name and their combined logos contributed to general confusion about the new entity. It didn’t help that the institutions were housed under two separate roofs in different parts of the city. The museum’s new executive director, Louis Grachos, enlisted Pentagram for a new name and original brand identity. The chosen name – The Contemporary Austin – and its sleek new look were unveiled recently. Partner DJ Stout and lead designer Kristen Keiser in Pentagram’s Austin office began the project by compiling a list of every art museum name they could find. From that exhaustive survey, they rejected the idea of yet another acronym (think MOMA or MOCA). And they decided to steer clear of the term “Museum” as well since neither AMOA and Arthouse were known for large or permanent institutional collections. Instead, Stout and Keiser opted for a simple, direct name, The Contemporary Austin, that clearly states the focus and mission. The identity system is built around a simple wordmark, a sans-serif typographic solution that highlights the “A,” which can sometimes be used by itself as symbol. The system also allows for an abbreviated version, The Contemporary, which seems to be gaining momentum on the street.
new.pentagram.com

Go (North)West Young Talent

Go (North)West Young Talent

portland or

For years, Portland has sought to attract the “creative class.” Key elements include urban renewal and higher education, and Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is a major player in both. To expand its campus, elevate its profile, and become a hub for youthful creativity and entrepreneurship, the institution has purchase the historic landmark 511 Building located in Portland’s “creative corridor,” and turned to brand and design firm MetaDesign to create a capital campaign identity and design system to raise money for the renovation. MetaDesign’s solution – a logotype for PNCA’s campaign “Creativity Works Here” along with an advertising system, web design and a case statement – uses the core concept of transformation. The concept is depicted through a vibrant color palette, a modular grid system, and line graphics. Says MetaDesign Creative Director Stan Zienka: “The challenge was in developing a system that felt young and energetic enough to personify PNCA’s culture, but sophisticated enough to resonate with potential campaign donors.”
metadesign.com/clients/pnca-pacific-northwest-college-art

Google Maps Send Their Best

Google Maps Send Their Best

mountain view ca

To publicize Google Maps and its new capabilities, the internet search giant has tapped New York-based graphic designer and illustrator Matt Delbridge. The campaign is dubbed “Hello World” and features a series of promotional print pieces with illustrations that incorporate recognizable Google Maps graphics such as the well-known red location marker. The campaign also uses images commonly associated with popular destinations such as ramen for Tokyo, scooters for Rome, bicycles for Mountain View, and those little three wheel Tuk-Tuks for Bangkok. The campaign launch coincides with an update to the service which now “allows” brands and marketers to show relevant ads.
www.behance.net/gallery/Google-Maps-Hello-World/10072981

Nathan Benn's Neighborhoods

Nathan Benn's Neighborhoods

brooklyn ny

An America of vibrant regionalism teetering on the cusp of the information age’s cultural flattening is captured in a new volume of photography by renowned photographer Nathan Benn. Traveling the globe for National Geographic magazine, Benn embraced color photography before it was considered an acceptable medium for serious documentary expression. In revisiting his archive of nearly half a million photographs, he discovered hundreds of previously unpublished pictures that appeared immaterial to editors of the 1970s and 1980s, but now resonate with empathic perspectives on everyday life and everyday people in forgotten neighborhoods. Thus, Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990, was born. In his forward, Richard Buckley comments: “Kodachrome Memory celebrates the significance of American regional diversity as it was 30 or 40 years ago, before the advent of Internet culture and before the country became one vast strip mall stretching from sea to sea. The seemingly inconsequential subjects of Benn’s photographs … act as metaphors for American culture and values.” The publisher is powerHouse Books. (Go to blog.gdusa.com/my-very-own-kodachrome-memory for some personal reflections about the photographer from publisher Gordon Kaye.)
www.powerhousebooks.com/?p=16235

A New Pet Project

A New Pet Project

los angeles ca

Ferroconcrete has crafted a new brand for Reviver Pets, a daily, reusable way to eliminate unwanted odors that cling to pets and their owners. The key to the project, says Yolanda Santosa of the Los Angeles design firm, is an appealing tone-of-voice, positioning the product as a friend who can make life with a pet a little easier and a lot fresher. Graphics were developed for all three varieties: Dogs, Cats, and Pet Parents. Says Santosa: “Reviver Pets makes freshening an extension of playtime – so we crafted bold, playfully engaging graphics for all three varieties of Reviver Pets: Dogs, Cats, and Pet Parents. We designed their packaging, retail environments, and digital assets – making sure that the brand would stand out and make friends anywhere that it went.”
www.ferro-concrete.com/reviver-pets/

Bottles and Cans Aspire To Be More (Or Less)

Bottles and Cans Aspire To Be More (Or Less)

new york ny

Who knew bottles and cans aspire to be upwardly mobile? San Francisco-based Pereira & O’Dell clearly does, in an advertising campaign on behalf of Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council that seeks to boost recycling. The two organizations are collaborating after a 30 year hiatus; in the distant past, they worked together to promote iconic anti-littering campaigns which spawned memorable slogans such as “don’t be a litterbug” and “every litter bit hurts,” and poignant images such as the “crying Indian” featuring a Native American distraught over the pollution around him. (This latter ad debuted on Earth Day 1971.) The current campaign, “I Want To Be Recycled,” features plastic bottles and aluminum cans who want to be more than their discarded selves ‒ to end up as part of useful and socially redeeming products such as plastic benches, blue jeans, sports stadiums, computer casings, and the like. Pereira & O’Dell use television, radio, outdoor and online advertising to promote the recycling agenda; underwriters include the American Chemistry Council, Waste Management, Nestlé Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and the Alcoa Foundation.
iwanttobercycled.org

NPR Home is a Media Mosaic

NPR Home is a Media Mosaic

washington dc

Poulin + Morris has made what is described as a “major graphic design contribution” to NPR’s new Washington DC headquarters in the business improvement district NOMA (North of Massachusetts Avenue). A landmark-status 1920’s warehouse was renovated and an adjoining seven-story structure built to create the LEED-Gold certified headquarters. Poulin + Morris developed a comprehensive environmental graphics, donor recognition and wayfinding sign program that influences the interior and exterior of the building. This includes a 52 foot tall LED-illuminated icon tower; a “ticker” ribbon that wraps the building displaying up-to-the-minute headlines culled from NPR feeds; a 2-story-high, digital “media mosaic” composed of a series of LED screens that display programming, headlines, popular emailed stories, and member station information; and custom large-scale numbers that reverberate like sound waves to help identify broadcast and production studios in the newsroom. Rounding out the project: a permanent lobby exhibition, murals, and a branding and identity program for the store and cafeteria.
www.npr.org

All Aces And No Faults

All Aces And No Faults

new york ny

The Women’s Tennis Association has teamed with Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv for a logo and ad campaign to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Plans to promote the milestone began during Wimbledon, and will continue in tv, online and print through the remainder of 2013. Playing on the ideas of motion and the passage of time, the ads feature some of the most famous women’s tennis players – past and present – in parallel poses. Through these juxtapositions, the ads pay tribute to the foundational work of athletes like Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, and Martina Navratilova who continue to inspire players today. A special anniversary trademark was developed as well. Explains Sagi Haviv: “The 40 Love pun paired with the WTA primary trademark highlights the anniversary while keeping the focus on the core identity.”
cgstudionyc.com/newwork/wta-40th-anniversary-ad-campaign

One Size Doesn't Fit All

One Size Doesn't Fit All

washington dc

Websites, the gateway communication tool for any law firm, need to contrast the ‘one size fits all’ norm. With over 800 lawyers, 18 practices, 14 industries in 7 regions, premiere D.C law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP needed a website to reflect the spirit that drives their success. Translating their renowned approach to law on the web required radical thinking.” So says Carbone Smolan Associates in explaining their solution to the challenge. The design firm capitalized on the law firm’s distinct characteristic: entrepreneurship. Previously, the many different practice areas were represented as visually the same on the site. CSA, partnering with Rubinstein Technology Group, created a modular design – under the global Akin Gump brand – that allows for customization around each practice area to best represent that specialty while “future-proofing” the site by allowing for continuous updates by each area.
www.carbonesmolan.com/work/akin-gump

Campaign Sparkles By and For Women

Campaign Sparkles By and For Women

new york ny

Zambezi has developed the inaugural print campaign for fruitwater. The product is the newest brand from glacéau, which is known for marketing vitaminwater and smartwater. Executed by an all-female creative team, the brand launch campaign for the zero-calorie fruit flavored sparkling water features Christina Applegate as the personification of the brand – a busy modern working woman. Credits to: Creative Director Madeleine Grandbois; Designer Tanja Caduff; and Print Producer/Art Buyer Kim Lansill. The full-service creative agency, based in Los Angeles, specializes in sports and entertainment.
www.zambezi-la.com

Essays That Illustrate Humanity

Essays That Illustrate Humanity

new york ny

Debbie Millman’s latest book is due out next month. Entitled “Self-Portrait As Your Traitor,” it is a coffeetable-book sized collection of visual essays and poems that run the gamut from love to forgiveness to the Super Bowl. Maria Popova of BrainPickings describes the title as “blending the deeply personal mesmerism of a memoir with the profound, universal resonance of philosophy on our shared human triumphs and tribulations.” With an introduction by the inimitable Paula Scher, the book is available for pre-order.
www.amazon.com/Self-Portrait-Your-Traitor-Millman/dp/1440334617

Civilizing Seattle

seattle wa

Stefan Sagmeister, David Carson, April Greiman, Ken Garland are among the speakers in a free design lecture series presented by creative agency Civilization. The series is intended to bring world-class designers to Seattle to engage with the creative community and enhance the current conversation on design application and innovation. All the talks and related events are open to the public, and are being held at the Rem Koolhaas/OMA designed Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Central Library. The upcoming schedule includes Sagmeister on November 8; David Carson on January 24, and Ken Garland on April 18. (April Greiman will have delivered her talk by the time this issue of GDUSA reaches you.) The lectures are moderated by former Adobe Creative Cloud Product Manager Jody Rodgers, and the audience is encouraged to post questions via twitter by tagging #designlectures. Civilization explains that it “believes in design as a means of social change, and is passionate about communicating the greater social, cultural and environmental value of our client's projects.” Clients include Adobe Systems, The MasterCard Foundation, Microsoft, Sub Pop Records, and The United States Department of Energy.
designlectur.es

Visual Connections Returns To NYC

new york ny

Visual Connections New York returns on October 23 to the Altman Building in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. This annual education and networking event is for buyers and researchers of creative and editorial photography, footage and illustration. The one-day program offers an opportunity to: gain knowledge about sourcing, licensing and using imagery, to discover new sources of stock media, meet the people behind the images, learn about the latest trends and pick up tips, network with peers; and enjoy a free lunch, beer or glass of wine. The morning begins with a two-hour Q&A Session that explores many aspects of sourcing, licensing and using photography, footage and illustration. Panelists include Nancy Wolff, industry expert on copyright and digital media law and Max Segal, Licensing Director at HBO, among others. In addition, with 40% of stock image buyers now also buying footage, the event includes special focus on footage, with an afternoon program of roundtable discussions organized by ACSIL, a trade organization representing footage agencies. The exhibit floor is expected to include more than 60 different image and footage agencies from around the world many of which, say the organizers, are new this year. Entry is free though restricted to professional image buyers and researchers.
visualconnections.com/gdusa