Since it is impossible to anticipate every possible use for the identity we developed for the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, our hope is that these guidelines will suggest an intent and provide a framework for making decisions. When there are questions about a specific situation, please contact Communications for additional insights.
We revised their identity in 2010, choosing to emphasize “for” to help people remember their name correctly and reinforce a critical component of their mission — that the foundation is “for” the communities and people they serve, not simply “of” those communities.
With our decision to italicize the word “for” in the name, we accomplish two important goals and objectives:
- We visually break down a very long string of words, making our name more digestible and memorable; and
- We help people remember our name correctly (that we are The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, not “of” Greater New Haven).
Though the italicization is a subtle device, it is important that it be incorporated into all of the foundation’s written communications — even when the name is simply used as part of a sentence.
Architecture: Celebrating the Past, Designing the Future is a 408-page book that attempts to summarize the history of the architectural profession and The American Institute of Architects. Published on the AIA’s 150th anniversary, and launched at its annual convention in Boston in 2008, it is simultaneously historically and visually captivating. Complicating the process of creating a compelling narrative spread was the fact that much of the content had been assembled over a period of 2 years and was either incomplete or dated by the time it was given to us — just the kind of situation we relish. In addition to designing the book, we participated significantly in identifying and sourcing the material needed to complete the content development, a role we enjoy regularly with our clients.
Pickard Chilton specializes in the creation of tall, iconic, modernist buildings. Mirroring this aesthetic, the vertical proportion and dust jacket image give a strong first impression. Uncharacteristic of typical monographs that intersperse text throughout the photos, this book gives only an introduction leading into an uninterrupted series of images. All images are 17 & 3/4″ square, creating an overwhelming impression of the scale of Pickard Chilton’s work through lush architectural photographs displayed on over-sized pages.
During our four years working with NewStar Financial, a Boston-based financial services company, we designed a new identity and print collateral (including stationery system and annual report). Working towards an effective and memorable identity, the star and custom font we developed distinguish the marketing name from the overall corporate name. The decision to treat ‘financial’ in a more straightforward manner was established using strong geometric characters creating a distinct connection to the star.
Personal Sanctuaries is an anti-monograph we created for a Los Angeles-based design firm that provides integrated architecture, landscape, interior and graphic design services. By conducting two culture workshops where the firm explored its work, how people felt about its work, its strengths and weaknesses and the future of the firm, we were able to complete a cohesive and dynamic book.
Leadership Artistry Hope is a book made for the Trillium development corporation showcasing their values. Through twelve projects, a reader can experience the Trillum Corporation’s guiding principals of leadership, artistry, and hope. Photo essays appear in a mix of rich duotones and four-color to reinforce the environmentally responsible message behind each story.
The intention of the new Bar identity was to stay away from a hip, stylized, designed identity, and instead create something seemingly generic that would, if anything, mask the singularity of the club. The identity is consciously as typical as the park sign for the parking garage next door.
The symbol for Naugatuck Valley Gastroenterology Consultants playfully allows an unmodified letterform ‘g’ to depict the subject matter of the same word. The intention was to inject a little bit of humor into a visit to a specialist. Although some people never notice the correlation between the pictorial aspect of the mark and the word itself, as with all of our work, we design for different levels of audience. People who don’t “see” the digestive tract still understand why the ‘g’ was selected, and those who do see it get a much richer experience.
The identity for Level, a furniture and interiors firm in New York City, plays against the expectation created by the name. While the work of the firm is functional, it also changes the level of the playing field by being conceptual and investigative, shown in the identity with text on many levels. The secondary typography is kept intentionally light and non traditional in its organization.
Neighborhood Music School is one of the oldest and largest non-profit music schools in the country. As part of an update to their building (originally built in 1977) the school created a new entry sequence. The banners and entrance “canopy” is an abstract representation of a piano with its lid open. These environmental graphics intend to animate the buildings exterior while the circular aluminum skinned column in the lobby transforms a structurally necessary column into a lyrical focal point.
The information kiosk for the New Haven Museum takes its visual cue from the keystone that appears in each of the brick arches on the front facade of the building. The kiosk torques and reinterprets this form, creating a contemporary image that is in counterpoint to the neo-Georgian facade. The sign, and the information contained in its changeable display areas is intended to emphatically communicate that the organization — considered by many to be a private enclave with little interest in engaging the public — is, in fact, a public institution that invites visitors.
Our relationship with Yale Athletics began with the development of display cases to house memorabilia for the Lee Amphitheater in Payne Whitney gym. Though we have a tendency to create clean and modern solutions, these cases draw from the details of the John Gambell Rodgers designed building to produce cases that seem as if they might have been there from the beginning. A very different project of ours was the renovation and relighting of the Smilow Field House where we designed a highly secure display case for one of the Yale Hysman trophies and associated memorabilia. In this case, rather than creating a new object in the space, we took advantage of an existing doorway and lobby. We established a self effacing display, allowing the Hysman trophy to get all of the attention. In addition to the display case, a series of photographic collages representing all of the teams that play in and around the Yale bowl was made. Wall sconces were removed and new ceiling lighting was installed. Lastly, the record boards and large track display in Lapham Field House were designed to be updatable and large enough in scale to be read from virtually anywhere in the field house.
Our role in the development of a one-million-square-foot development in Calgary ranged from the cultivation of the identity and design of the core wrap (important given the eighteen-month long construction phase of the project), to the development of the typographic and formal vocabulary of the wayfinding system and signage package for the building. This project was done in collaboration with Cygnus.
The L.W. Beecher School is one of several schools in the city of New Haven for which we’ve done signage in the last ten years. As with the others it is an opportunity to create singular objects that complement the school’s architecture and create icons for the local community.
EYEBEAM is the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the United States. In 2001 they sponsored an open-source architecture competition for a new facility to be built on West 21 Street, Manhattan, NY. The competition resulted in an exhibition, for which we created a catalog.
We chose to print the piece on one-sided translucent Yupo, compromising the legibility of any individual page, so that only when a page is lifted off of the others does the information come into clear focus. In order to access the information one has to interact with the piece. The paper also suggests the opportunity to access multiple layers of information simultaneously.
The strong presence of the grid in the design of the website is in reference to the architecture of the landmark Louis Kahn building in which the center is housed. The experience on the site is very similar to the experience of being at or in the building, where the regulating lines of the grid organize the location of objects and information. The site incorporates a content management system that allows for efficient updating of information on the part of the museum staff. We are gratified that after eight years the site still feels current and appropriate and that the custom content management system, something that was not routinely developed at that time, is robust enough to continue to serve their needs.
The redesign of this quarterly publication took what had previously been a publication that lacked clarity about whether it was primarily geared toward an external or internal audience and clearly repositioned it as an external communication vehicle targeted at senior management (decision makers) in client and potential client organizations. Although there was concern on the client’s part that the repositioning would leave the internal audience feeling less important, we were able to convince them that the increased sense of pride in the commitment to quality that the new publication would engender would more than offset any sense of abandonment.
The print collateral for Primix, a web-solutions company, was created at the height of the dot com bubble. A signature element of much of their work, one radial corner, was established as part of their identity —it appears both on the metal covered brochure as well as the annual report. The scale of the images in the brochure and the diagrams we created were intended to increase memorability. Our interest in engineering objects is present here through the metal case customized by Group C.
Littlejohn & Company, a private equity firm in Greenwich, wanted to create a document that could be used with both potential acquisitions and partners, one that would create an impression of quiet authority. The content presents case studies of portfolio companies as well as profiles of senior management, creating an opportunity for a sense of personal connection. The design of the brochure has informed other branded communication tools, most notably the website.
The format of this annual report to the community is a double gatefold that measures 7×10’’ when closed. Driven by the ability to create a compelling document that can be produced with only one set of plates and a minimal amount of bindery, we utilized a standard press sheet. Observing these “constraints” allowed us to create a compelling report very inexpensively, which is important for an organization that tries to minimize its expenses and maximize the money it gives to non-profit organizations. The latest issue incorporates a subtle adjustment to the cover image strategy, shifting from an explicit focus on hands and plants to one that still contains the same information but focuses on a person instead. In this way, the focus is subtly shifted from the foundation to the recipient audience.
Saint Thomas More is the Catholic Chapel and Center at Yale University. Our goal was to create a web presence that communicates the vibrancy of the St. Thomas More community. Though the Center has a diverse following, the primary audience for this site was identified as the student body at Yale, which informed the decision to create a more visually dynamic and complex website. The greatest impulse behind the design is to express the dynamism and richness of Catholicism, especially within the academic community.
Working exclusively with the art community country-wide, IMAGING4ART provides museum quality high-resolution digital photographic documentary services. In creating not just the website but the identity and the print collateral, the challenge was to maintain the firm’s credibility, range of benefits and necessity of working at the high level of documentation that they do. The technology that they use allows them to capture images that are simultaneously visually striking and capable of being reviewed at incredibly high levels of magnification. This approach creates opportunities for museums, galleries and institutions to employ the images from high-end catalogues for Internet use. Tim Nighswander, the backbone of the company, utilizes his skill set and breadth of knowledge for capturing fine art collections on a macro and micro scale in unparalleled quality. With Nighswander’s innate creative eye and passion for art, he captures both stunning details and archive-quality images. Our approach with the website was to show both of these scales at one time, with the image (the full piece) inside an image (a detail shot). A point of reference with this project is Charles and Ray Eames famous “Powers of Ten.”
The work that we did with SagerMonti, like much of the work we do with our clients, is invisible. This may seem strange for a design firm, but it’s the case. The development of the identity, with its ‘framing devices’ and the splitting of the positioning line so that it counter intuitively “starts” mid phrase, begins to suggest the role that SagerMonti plays with its clients within the design profession. The samara, which will be continually utilized as the site is further developed, was chosen as a visual device because it is organic, falls from trees in seemingly limitless quantity, is carried on the wind and suggests renewal. In this way, the samara represents an idea.