branding, print, interactive
How can we achieve the iniversity's goals without alienating current stakeholders?
The Rockefeller University community had a deep love for their current symbol which was hand drawn when the university was modernized in the 50s. Many were opposed to any changes, not only to the symbol itself, but to all visual elements,
The University's new president presented a daring academic plan to position Rockefeller as a leader in biomedical science in the next century. The University needed to signal a change, reach out to new audiences and initiate a Centennial Campaign.
To understand what was needed we began the project by listening to input from representatives of the over 2000 faculty, students, postdocs, trustees and friends working on Rockefeller's 14-acre campus.
The academic plan provided the scaffolding upon which we built our strategy to showcase the university's scientists, bring new audience's on board and ultimately provide a foundation for the future.
To avoid being subsumed by the past we decide to honor the past, but emphasize today’s university. We would to use the university's illustrious history to accentuate today’s groundbreaking research to demonstrate how Rockefeller University is entering its second century with the same sense of adventure as when it began.
Because so many stakeholders were opposed to changes, so we decided to tweak the existing symbol by adding a date to emphasize the centennial and refining colors.
By honoring the University's storied past while exploring their commitment to the promise of science for the next generation.
The project incorporated not only centennial branding to drive integrated marketing and communications, but also community building to influence the public’s experience of scientific research.
To create a dialogue with the non-scientific New York community, Rockefeller sponsored a series of events examining the connection between art and science, a natural given the university's historic and contemporary architecture, art and music programming.
To foster dialogue about the discoveries taking place on campus, events were planned to inspire the public to view science through other lenses. Music, Art Theater and Architecture were some of the ways we culled out audience.
The public was invited on campus to tour sculptures on loan from the Museum of Modern Art's Sculpture Garden (conveniently under construction at the time) was installed on the upper level of the Dan Kiley designed landscape. Glen Laurey's presentation on the process inaugurated a new lecture series.
We also partnered with the Architectural League including Billie Tsien, Tod Williams, and James Stewart Polshek, and with the 92nd St. Y
The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden is meant to be an integral component of the Museum's display areas. It's an outdoor gallery, carefully defined, that engages with the urban rhythmic space of New York.
Glen Lowry, Sculpture Garden Tours,
May 19, 2001
Invitations and new banners proudly proclaim the centennial year.
We updated the bi-weekly newsletter by using typography, color and photography to create a visual hierarchy. Using these elements to create a dynamic focal point gave the reader an entry to navigating multiple pages yet maintained legibility and content in each article, a must for the scientists. Although the revised newsletter "looked more designed" and acquired a more diverse readership, the researchers did not feel the content was watered down.
Articles were based on current scientific findings at the university but written for lay audiences.
Science in a Byte initiated a system of “repurposing” magazine art and articles as an electronic newsletter. The newsletter, a bi-monthly email, contains reprints of science articles and images from our internal newspaper. With minimal additional time and expense we developed and maintained a continuing relationship with a new international audience.
We advertised in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Herald Tribune. Within weeks we had an international audience.
Design, storytelling and branding all played a role in the creation of the 18-month project celebrating 100 years of leadership in education and research,.
To maintain ties to the beloved symbol we decided to maintain the circular form and calligraphy but "tweaked" it by adding the date to emphasize the centennial.
The combination of symbol, text and image with color made the symbol fresh. Reinvigorated the existing symbol and historic interiors with the classical but oversized typography emphasized the update but honored the university's history.
The project received five CASE awards and an advertising and marketing publications award from the Association of Graphic Communications.