Montclair Art Museum was going through a fundamental transition in programming and communication. Historically, the Museum had focused on older works and tended toward more figurative art, but they were implementing more modern and varied content, such as Andy Warhol, and young contemporary artists who were exploring a range of mediums. This change was discussed during many conversations between Design Made and the Museum’s leadership. A partnership was formed and we were asked to help the institution manage its brand, engage a broader audience base, and to enhance the guest experience.
Over the first few months we facilitated a series of workshops to acclimate our team to the culture of the Montclair Art Museum, and to educate the organization on the importance of a clearly expressed value and a consistent, and disciplined, image. All levels of staff attended the workshops—from volunteers to board members. Working with the Museum leadership, we set a realistic timeline that aligned with their forthcoming Centennial. The challenge was to ensure that the brand and visitor experience reflected the new contemporary perspective while still maintaining the Museum’s focus on American art—which included an emphasis on Native American art—and to maintain and build its reputation as a community venue.
We developed a new brand strategy and visual identity for the museum and its Yard School of Art, a comprehensive design system for all of the Museum’s communications, launched a refreshed website, redesigned signage throughout the Museum’s grounds and interiors, and provided new structures for managing content and communications.
Our work was well received by the Museum and the community with an overwhelmingly positive response by members, staff, and the community. The Museum has seen significant expansion in membership and visitors since the launch of the new brand. We have continued to work with the Museum as a consultant and are proud to see a recent investment and re-commitment to our original brand work in the launch of their new website and continued marketing efforts.