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Justin Yee
Department: Design
Year: Senior
Class: DES 427

Glenstone Museum Rebranding Concept

Museum branding always fascinated me and is one of the motivating factors for joining the Visual Communications Design major and Museum Studies minor programs. During the shelter-in-place, museums are relying more than ever on their digital presence to serve the wider audience through online programming and resources. For my final DES427 (Interactive Design II) project, I rebranded the Glenstone Museum in Maryland. Glenstone is a private contemporary art museum that showcases international artists. The goal of the rebranding was to establish a new identity that speaks to the museum’s 2018 expansion and connects the institution’s theme of integrating art, architecture, and nature into a holistic experience.

For my research, I first had to investigate the history of the museum, its mission, and its core values. Through comparative analysis with other American contemporary art museums, such as the New Museum, the Whitney, and the MOMA; I established a tone for the museum that helped with the rebranding process. In the development of the logo, I looked to the 2018 museum expansion by Thomas Phifer that added eleven individual pavilions constructed from 1-foot by 6-foot concrete blocks. I used this system of measurement as well as the typeface, Good Sans, from the Good Type Foundry to develop a logotype that became the new face of the museum. Having established the logo system, I was able to implement it throughout various brand applications such as business cards, tickets, rack cards, exhibition posters, digital signage, and others. Additionally, I explored and established a new digital interface utilizing the new logotype in the form of a website design that added additional resources to their webpage. The website utilizes the logo as a framing device that structures content. Finally, I collaborated with an SFSU alumni composer, Brandon Drake, for the creation of a short promotional ad to promote the museum’s online resources during the current shelter in place.

The new identity of Glenstone allows the museum to be more visible among other more established contemporary art museums. The unique perspective as a multi-sensorial museum that integrates nature as a lens to view art uniquely distinguishes Glenstone as a refreshed cultural institution.