Monday, April 9, 2012

MoMA Presentation at AIGA DC


On Thursday, April 5, 2012 I attended August Heffner's presentation "An INitiative Event: Why In-House Designers are Smarter, More Creative and Better Than Everyone Else" hosted by AIGA DC. August is an In-House Designer and Associate Creative Director of Graphic Design and Marketing at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was very interesting because the MoMA design team does such great work with some limitations (mostly one typeface and limited, but very bold color palette) and their design encompasses exhibition, display, advertising and promotions to get people to come to the museum. It is best to look at their work in this link to see for yourself, or even better make a trip up to NYC and see for yourself. Here are some tidbits of knowledge I learned at the event that I can share with you:

• MoMA mostly only uses the Franklin Gothic typeface and otherwise creates their own if needed (like Tim Burton's based on his handwriting or the Marina Abramovic typeface)
• Did a rock poster show and used wheat paste to put up the signage, but hired the person who does the wallpaper at The White House to install the display, which I thought was an interesting combo of punk rock and high-class
• Marina Abramovic was at the museum every day for 3 months sitting in a chair
• They do not work on MoMA exhibit book publications
• Summer attendance is typically slow at museums
• In general, most people are afraid of modern art
• Original template design by Paula Scher, Pentagram
• At first many people were upset about the lowercase "o" in their branding, but now they own it
• They silkscreen their walls (no vinyl) so people don't peel the graphics
• Working with the artist estates can be hard because they can't use the art in advertising sometimes, so they have to come up with other solutions to "problems"
• I felt like it's good that they showcase their work online because the museum is constant changing with exhibits and their work doesn't last forever on the walls, everything gets painted over and refurbished after each exhibition
• Team promoted summer exhibits last year with really fun handouts at Times Square - http://momadesignstudio.org/Summer-Campaign-2011
• They are starting to do more with video and online ad campaigns
• Breaking "branding" guidelines – Tim Burton does MoMA logo - http://momadesignstudio.org/Tim-Burton
• Pixel Art they did for exhibition, received 50/50 reaction (some people upset they were re-creating art from art), but they were still able to do it - http://momadesignstudio.org/Talk-to-Me


The photo above is a picture of me at MoMA during the time of Tim Burton's exhibit near the end of 2009. That exhibit was amazing and I just realized now that I never wrote a blog about it during that time. It was probably one of the best exhibits I have been to along with Van Gogh's Van Goghs at National Gallery of Art in 1998. Make sure you check out the Burton exhibit photographs in the link to MoMA's design studio. I really appreciated this event because it renewed my vision for design and also makes me embrace limitations at this time.

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