ARTS | Branding

Background

The Lawrence Arts Center is a public and private partnership, a regional center for visual and performing arts, contemporary exhibitions, film, and lectures. These programs are complemented by fully developed curricula in ballet and modern dance, theater performance, and visual arts. The arts center employs more than 120 teaching artists whose courses observe Kennedy Center standards for visual and performing arts.

Ten thousand students take courses annually, and the arts center greets more than 200,000 visitors each year. Its mission is to enrich and invigorate the community by offering the best in contemporary exhibitions, performance, and visual and performing arts education. 

Challenge

In 2010, I led development of a new logo for the arts center. It was celebrating its 35th year and wanted an updated mark that would refresh the brand and better reflect its core offerings in exhibition, performance and education.

Solution

The spirit of the new mark came from the idea of art as an expression, an instinct, that lives in everyone. The shape, which evokes an unfolding, evolved from exploration of the three unique caps that form the roof of the arts center.

As the logo and development of supporting materials took hold, arts center staff continually find new ways to express the idea, including an oil drum fire pit and a kiosk for class signup and information.

The most rewarding aspect of the project has been the arts center's success. An enthusiastic leadership team and a new sense of identity has helped bring financial stability and attract national attention through grants and fellowships.

A blog post about the process is here.

Awards // AIGA-Kansas City Professional Award, AAF Kansas City Silver ADDY

Art direction and design // Chris Ralston