The New Look
Allyson Chard, our managing director, began a conversation with the Design Lab at Brigham Young University. Each year, they take on an organization and develop a brand identity through graphic design. In October 2017, we learned that they wanted to work with us to rebrand the Mormon Arts Center. Allyson's background is in advertising, and she spearheaded the relationship, which included preparing an extensive Creative Brief on the Center. She met with the students and Doug Dearden, the class advisor on next steps.
By the time I sat down with Allyson and all the students in Provo, it was clear that they saw this as an exciting project. We gave them some guidance, but for the most part, they were left to explore as they chose. We did a lot of brainstorming together. At one point, I simply asked, "That does the word 'center' mean to you." And we went around the room with a lively discussion.
Months later, I returned for formal presentations. The class had divided into ten teams of two. Each one had created letterhead, business cards, envelopes, prototypes for public posters, and most importantly, a logo mark. As you can imagine, these were all over the place (in a good way). One team had developed its own type face; another generated two completely different concepts. We filmed each presentation, and I took back to New York all of the printed materials for us to review.
We reached out to design experts who sit on our Advisory Board, and then the Executive Board gathered together in my apartment. We went through the presentations one by one, and we gradually landed on two concepts. Allyson returned to the class and asked the two teams to make a few alterations. They were happy to do that, and in fact, they suggested the the two teams merge and collaborate on the stronger of the ideas.
The result is our new look. It is a vibrant M, that invokes the New York subway and rail systems, the intersections of different art forms in collaboration, transparency, and openness. To us, it felt modern, metropolitan, and Mormon (our three M's).