When we unveiled the 2017-18 Annual Report microsite we created for the world-renowned Penn Museum, it marked an important development in our ongoing work with this client.
It was the first venture into an all-new digital format after 3 years of working with the museum in creating print publications. This evolution meant a more engaging and immersive experience for the reader, and a long-lasting, easily shareable, and environment-friendly marketing tool for the museum.
Our goal for the new microsite was to leverage the digital format to reflect their reputation — as both a world-class archaeology and anthropology research museum and the largest university museum in the country — while maintaining a coherent voice across multiple mediums. We worked to translate the visual expression we'd established in previous printed editions to a new digital context.. To convey the theme of “transformation,” we took design inspiration and visual cues from colors, shapes, patterns, and objects in the museum’s Middle Eastern galleries collection while maintaining a strong editorial focus on content that includes an executive vision statement and features on key projects, financial activity, giving, and fieldwork and research linked to pinned locations on a world map.
In the previous print editions, we established an approach that featured bold and striking artifacts on the covers and kept a strong visual focus on the museum’s incomparable accomplishments and collections throughout. The front half of the books featured news and events using four-color design on sleek, white, coated paper; while the back of the books honored staff, donors, and volunteers using two-color design on a rich, light gray, uncoated paper — a decision that resulted in a distinguished, forward-looking publication and a cost-effective printing solution for our client.
Going forward, the microsite we created can be easily adapted and reinterpreted from year to year using design system components that can be used in an almost endless series of configurations to tell the Penn Museum’s ongoing story of discovery and achievement.