The Association for Public Art (aPA) is a private, non-profit organization that promotes art and urban planning to the public via installations, preservation, and educational initiatives.
When we began working with this client, they were seeking a collaborative design relationship and a flexible approach to promoting their most significant installations where the branding must be consistent — and the focus squarely on the art itself.
Bring on the Bling
Our initial project involved the creation of a set of print materials — including an invitation, postcard, and rack card — promoting the installation of Big Bling, a temporary 40-ft mixed media installation in Fairmount Park by esteemed sculptor Martin Puryear.
After presenting three different design approaches, the client selected one that conveys the openness and approachability of aPA’s “museum without walls” philosophy with a sensitivity for design details that also puts the visual art front and center without unnecessary distractions. It also incorporates a subtle recurring box theme that ties into their existing website design and the idea of art being “framed” for the public.
Going forward, this scalable design system can be adapted and applied to future events and initiatives from this prestigious public arts organization.
Let It Glow
Our second major project with aPA involved creating a promotional strategy for another high-profile Philadelphia-based mixed media installation called Winter Fountains by Jennifer Steinkamp, a world-renowned video and new media artist.
Consisting of four large fiberglass domes situated in various locations along the city's Benjamin Franklin Parkway that glow each evening with dream-like animated video projections, the installation was presented by the Parkway Council and commissioned by the aPA for the Parkway's centennial celebration. Inspired by Franklin’s electricity research and other significant art and science explorations represented by institutions located along the Parkway, the project is a true celebration of scientific inquiry.
To support the branding and promotion of Winter Fountains, we created a direct mail postcard and an informational bi-fold brochure for visitors featuring details about the installation and a streamlined, user-friendly navigational map. Utilizing a crossover design strategy, we applied the same branding approach to a digital ad campaign that included interactive banners for blogs and online journals, as well as animated screens for regional rail, subway, and more.
Keeping the design simple once again — just as we did previously for Big Bling — the goal for each of the collateral pieces was to let the artwork speak for itself with a loose arrangement of "constellations" of copy woven throughout Steinkamp's themed designs. The result was a collection of promotional materials that provides organic aesthetic synergy for this truly innovative client project.